Drivers who are shopping for a used car usually pay attention to its mileage, as that is a good indicator of the wear and tear a vehicle may have. However, new research from Carfax found that odometer fraud may be a major issue. According to the data, more than 190,000 vehicles may have their odometers rolled back so as to appear as if they have traveled fewer miles.
This fraud can have disastrous results for drivers. Carfax estimates that it costs unsuspecting owners more than $760 million in lost value and auto repair expenses each year. Motorists in a few states may be more susceptible to odometer fraud than others, as states such as California, Nevada, Massachusetts, New York and Texas tend to have the most instances.
"Odometer fraud is a calamity for car buyers," said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. "There are serious problems that can arise from a rollback. ... This new data is a clear warning that consumers everywhere need to be on the lookout for odometer rollbacks and protect themselves when buying used cars."
To avoid becoming a victim of odometer fraud, make sure you are thoroughly checking seller records and vehicle history of any potential purchase. Buying a used car from a reliable source is also a smart idea.