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Consumer LAW PA Consumer LAW PA
  • Serving the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
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Beware of Odometer Fraud


The odometer on the car is the part on the dashboard that shows the number of miles the car has traveled since it was manufactured.  In other words, how old or new a car is depends not only on its model year but also on its mileage.  Odometer fraud is when a seller tampers with the odometer of a car to make its mileage appear lower than it actually is.  As used car fraud goes, odometer fraud is one of the oldest tricks in the book.  It is harder to do with newer cars that have computerized odometers, but as advances in technology increase protections against fraud, fraudsters keep finding new ways to defraud.  People who have suffered financial losses because of deceptive practices by used car sellers have legal remedies available to them.  If the used car you recently bought turned out to be a lemon dressed as lamb, contact a Philadelphia used car fraud lawyer.

How to Protect Yourself Against Odometer Fraud

The future looks bright when you are young and have saved enough money to buy your first car.  Of course, without having spent years building your credit history, buying a car from a car dealership is probably out of the question.  When people in their mid-20s or older manage to save up X amount of money to buy a car, they can use the X dollars as a down payment and finance the rest, even if that means putting a substantial portion of each paycheck toward their car payment for years to come.  When newly licensed drivers save up X amount of money to buy a car, however, X must represent the entire purchase price of the car.  In practice, this means that your first car will probably be close in age to you.

Last year, a 19-year-old man from Doylestown Township bought a 2007 Pontiac Solstice that the seller had advertised on Facebook Messenger.  In other words, the buyer’s birth year was only four years before the car’s model year.  The car began to malfunction shortly after the buyer bought it, and he reported it to the police as used car fraud. The police eventually discovered that the seller had tampered with the car’s odometer to make its mileage appear lower.

When you buy a used car, beware of prices that seem too good to be true.  Also beware of cars whose odometers show much lower mileage than you would expect from a car that has been on the road for so many years.  It is also a red flag if the car has other signs of wear and tear that are inconsistent with the odometer reading.  If possible, get the car inspected or test drive the car before you buy it.

Contact Louis S. Schwartz About Protecting Yourself Against Odometer Fraud

A Philadelphia consumer law attorney can help protect you against odometer tampering and other types of used car fraud.  Contact Louis S. Schwartz at to set up a free, confidential consultation.


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