|The "Cadillac" of odometer tampering devices?|
The Iowa auto group notes that low mileage vehicles are very difficult to find these days and dealers re paying higher than normal prices for low mileage cars and trucks. Premium prices for low mileage vehicles means lots of opportunity for crooks to "roll" the odometer back and make a quick and easy buck - in fact, thousands of dollars.
The dealer alert warns dealers that the National Auto Auction Association has also issued several alerts about odometer programming devices being used to reset odometers to lower readings. Many of these devices are made overseas, often in China, and sell for a few hundred dollars up to as much as several thousands. Some are handheld devices that simply plug in while others require more work to get the numbers changed. Easy or hard - it's illegal in every state to tamper with an vehicle odometer.
|Handheld Odometer tampering device for sale on the internet|
And in a few minutes with one of these devices, a crook can crank back the odometer on a used car and increase its value on the resale market by an easy three to eight thousand dollars. Given the cost of the device itself, a crook can make a lot of money very fast and very easy.
These computer devices can tap into your car's onboard diagnostic computer and alter the odometer reading with just a few clicks. Moral of the story? If you are in the market for a used car, be very careful when you look at any low milage vehicles. In fact, it's easier to spin a high mileage commercial truck from 200,000 miles down to 100,000 and not get noticed - and the money is just as good.
So commercial or consumer vehicle, the danger is out there. Before you buy a used vehicle, protect yourself with these easy steps.
Run an AutoCheck or CarFax or NMVTIS report - better yet, run all three. Each of them get their data is slightly different ways and sometimes from different sources. Better safe than sorry and the cost isn't that much. But don't stop there.
Check the vehicle out carefully for what you can see. Look for unusual pedal wear and floor mat wear, along with carpeting and seat wear. Worn and thin places, combined with low mileage on the car or truck, is a sign that someone has rolled the odometer backwards to increase the vehicle's value. But don't stop here either.
Likely "target" vehicles are one-owner vehicle so be extra careful. Iowa's group points out that with one owner vehicles, the best thing to do is get sevice records to show real mileage number history. If the mileage seems suspiciously low and the seller has no service records, be careful.
Another way to minimize your problem later is to always insist on getting some kind of warranty from the seller. Even a 3 day warranty from the selling dealer will, in most states, trigger warranty rights that can help you later.
But of course, the best way to avoid a rollback vehicle is to always buy from someone you know. And that's not likely a car dealer.
Car dealers buy hundreds of vehicles at auto auctions all over the US and the auction yard is a crook's favorite place to unload a rollback vehicle. A quick sale and the thief is gone. Months later, long after the dealer has sold the vehicle, the consumer may find out the engine has a lot more wear than they thought when parts begin to fail. Complaining to the selling dealer won't do much good because they will just claim innocent lack of knowledge. And you get stuck.
Be careful out there. Thieves are everywhere. And some of them are car dealers who know what they are buying - and what they are selling.
If you get ripped off, call us. We can help you get even by getting your money back. It's what we do.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves. Everyday.