Odometer fraud can be a buyer’s worst nightmare. You think you just snagged the car of your dreams for the perfect price, only to have it break down on the freeway two weeks later. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate, one in ten vehicles have had their odometers rolled back at one point in their life. While the digital meters found in most modern vehicles were thought to be less susceptible to tampering, they turned out to be even easier to manipulate for a fraudulent odometer reading.
Since digital odometers have no visible moving parts, detecting fraud is a lot more difficult than a mechanical odometer. Auto manufacturers originally developed the digital odometer to fight tampering; like any new technology, scam artists quickly found a way to use it for the wrong reasons.
Digital odometer calibrators can easily be purchased online, and despite disclaimers from sellers, are being used to reset digital odometers. Just like a hacker with a computer, an individual with the right software can do whatever they want to a digital odometer. As consumers, how are we able to combat these scam artists?
Detecting Odometer Fraud
Although it can be extremely difficult to detect when a vehicle’s odometer has been tampered with, there are guidelines you can follow to help identify the problem.