What is the Federal Odometer Law?

Texas Car Dealer Fraud Attorneys

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines odometer fraud as the “disconnection, resetting or alteration of a vehicle’s odometer with the intent to change the number of miles indicated.” The administration states more than 450,000 vehicles are sold in America with false odometer readings, costing American car consumers more than $1 billion each year.

 

Are you a victim of fraud by a car dealer? Contact Allen Stewart today.

 

The NHTSA states odometer fraud is one of the most common auto-related frauds committed in the United States. American auto consumers are protected by 49 U.S.C. Chapter 327, also known as the Federal Odometer Law. The law, passed in 1972, prohibits the “disconnection, resetting, or alteration of a motor vehicle’s odometer with intent to change the number of miles indicated thereon.”

 

The law requires a car seller provide a statement on the title if the odometer’s mileage is incorrect. However, vehicles ten years and older are exempt from this requirement.

 

Federal odometer law violators can be subject to civil liability if a jury determines fraudulent intent. The law lets juries award remedies of $1,500 or triple damages, whichever is greater. The law also awards victorious plaintiffs their attorney’s fees.

 

The NHTSA states vehicle performance and condition alone don’t necessarily indicate odometer tampering. Other evidence can include statements from previous owners, receipts for repairs, service station stickers, and other documents showing odometer reading variance. The agency recommends consumers contact their state’s motor vehicle titling and registration office and obtain all title and transfer documentation before filing a claim. They also recommend contacting the vehicle’s previous owners, when possible, to establish and document the vehicle’s actual mileage.

 

If you have been a victim of odometer fraud, the attorneys of Allen Stewart, P.C. can help you recover your economic losses. Don’t wait; contact us today for a free evaluation of the merits of your odometer fraud claim.

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