Car Law from A to Z: O for Odometer Fraud
The North Carolina Vehicle Mileage Act requires transferors of vehicles less than 10 years old are required to provide purchasers and lessors with odometer disclosure statements at the time of purchase. In North Carolina this is commonly done via (1) completion of a Odometer Disclosure Statement and (2) written representations on the reverse side of the vehicle’s Certificate of Title. This information is required to be correct to the best of the seller’s knowledge.
Bad guys roll back odometers and even make fraudulent representations as to vehicle mileage in an effort to maximize their profit in selling a vehicle. Serious consequences for violators include the prospect of forking out treble damages (a/k/a three times the amount of actual damages incurred by the consumer..ouch!) and attorneys’ fees and facing criminal prosecution. In addition the vehicle dealer who misrepresents a vehicle’s true mileage faces revocation of his or her license to sell vehicles. This is serious business.
If you suspect you have been the victim of odometer fraud, you should obtain an official copy of your vehicle title history from DMV (click here for a sample form to assist you). You may also want to consider obtaining a CarFax or Autocheck report to see if there are other references or notations of inconsistent mileage. Last but definitely not least, be sure to contact an auto fraud attorney as soon as you discover you may have been duped on your vehicle’s true mileage.