odometer tampering

Vehicles That Are Subject To Odometer Tampering


Odometer tampering has been a pervasive problem within the automotive community since the early 1970s. Horrifying government reports state that nearly half a million vehicles appear for sale each year with tampered or otherwise altered odometer readings. It results in $4-10 billion dollars losses for petrolheads. While the technologies for odometer rollback prevention have seen a significant upheaval, there is no remedy to avoid it altogether. ClearVIN’s focus is to help consumers worldwide avoid buying a vehicle subjected to odometer fraud or rollback. Be ahead of the game: you can still pick up a great deal by checking their odometer tampering history prior to buying. We’ve put together several car brands and models that fall victims to this felony more often than others.

What Is Odometer Tampering?

odometer tampering

Odometer tampering is the illegal practice of rolling back/resetting/altering/disconnecting/forgery/or any other unlawful action with odometers to make it appear that vehicles have lower mileage than they do. On a federal level, it was prohibited for the first time in 1972 in the USA, and “The Truth In Mileage Act” of 1986 only enforced the previous statute. It occurs when the vehicle seller falsely represents the vehicle’s actual mileage to the buyer. According to the valid law regulations, a vehicle title can be considered false if it contains a discrepancy between the accurate and displayed mileage. Even though the odometer tampering has been determined as a serious criminal violation, this issue still accounts for significant setbacks rated at billions of dollars for car buyers annually.

What Are The Most Common Cars Subjected to Odometer Tampering?

odometer tampering

The National Odometer and Title Fraud Enforcement Association (NOTFEA) has researched the used car market to represent the 20 car models the most often sold with tampered odometers. German luxury brands like BMW and Audi are on the top of the list. A few models from the BMW’s top-tier M division (M4, M5, and M6) are the most victimized ones. ClearVIN can explain it simply. All people want to buy sports cars with minimum wear and tear and these high-performance machines lose their value drastically.

odometer tampering

Several Volvos (V70) and Volkswagens (CC, Phaeton, and the European-oriented Sharan) accompanied them and had taken the majority of places. The latest generation of the Ford Mustang (S550) is an American-made vehicle that commonly falls victim to odometer tampering. SUVs have also appeared here, so the BMW X5, X6, and Volkswagen Touareg will be worth a thorough check or qualified car diagnostics if you don’t want to buy a car with an odometer rollback.

How To Prevent Buying A Car
With Odometer Rollback?

odometer fraud reporting

You can run into a rolled-back odometer on whatever used model you’re buying. However, there are some basic rules on protecting yourself from buying such a car.

Always look into the vehicle’s title and compare the records with vehicle information stored in government databases like NMVTIS. Trust only official sources!

ClearVIN is one of a few approved NMVTIS data providers, so our vehicle report contains the most up-to-date and accurate information on any vehicle which has been ever registered in the USA. Conduct an overall vehicle inspection and arrange a test drive to exclude other issues if no inconsistencies are found.

What To Do If You’ve Accidentally Bought
A Car With A Tampered Odometer?

report odometer rollback

Don’t panic. Call Customer Protection Branch (CPB) or inform your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to make a statement and let government institutions know about being a victim of odometer fraud. Alternatively, you can reach out to The Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation and describe your case. Federal enforcement will take care of the rest.

Final Thoughts

We’re your clearinghouse when it comes to buying a used car. ClearVIN will be glad to help you learn what the vehicle has seen in its history. Sign up to look up vehicle by VIN and order a VIN report for any car that has ever been in the USA. Remember that we also offer a license plate lookup service to meet your needs. Fill out our online form or call us at +1 (844) 268-5991, if you have any questions.

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