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Odometer fraud still going strong

Goldhedge

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If man made it, another can unmake it...

Odometer fraud still going strong​

DATED: MAY 3, 2021

The following is a transcript of an investigative report on Full Measure News. Click on the link at the end of the transcript to watch the video story.

A lot of a car's worth is measured by miles travelled, and there's long been a market for illegally dialing back the reality. Rolling back the odometer can add thousands of dollars to the value of a used vehicle. And Lisa Fletcher found digital technology hasn’t made the scam obsolete.

Odometers perform a simple enough task, counting the miles, which helps measure a vehicle's age and wear. Crucial when it comes to determining the value of a used car or truck. It can have a big impact on the sale’s price.

Take for example these two 2012 Chevy Silverado pickups with the same options. The one on the left has 175,000 miles and has a used value up to around twelve and a half thousand dollars, but take the same vehicle and roll the mileage back to 60,000 miles, and the value shoots up to over twenty-two thousand -- a difference of over ten-thousand dollars.

To find out just how easy it is to roll back modern digital odometers, we went to see Josh Ingle, owner of Atlanta Speedometer in Georgia.

Lisa: I think everybody thinks, "I have a digital odometer, can't be rolled back. That happened in the old days with the old-fashioned ones." Is that true?

Josh Ingle: No. Depending on the manufacturer, it's pretty simple to do if you've got the right equipment. In recent years, the equipment used to be $5,000 to $10,000, and some of these things are $300 now. So you don't have to disassemble anything. You can plug it into the car, change your number, unplug it. And outside of finding some written records somewhere, there's no trace.

video http://fullmeasure.news/news/shows/odometer-fraud

 

Voodoo

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Most places take the Odometer and VIN into the system when you do any maintenance. So that would raise a red flag on systems that a Carfax might catch.
 

Casey Jones

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But the independent garage industry is still going strong. As cars get more complex, dealers charge moar - and so do independents, partially offsetting their additional tool cost. What I'm seeing now is brand-specific independents - one local shop does Toyotas, nothing else. Another does only Volkswagens.

On top of that, many fleet operators have their own garages. If you're running a fleet of Chevy one-ton pickups, construction or whatnot, it would probably pay to have a mechanic either on contract or on the payroll with a shop on your property.

I had bought a 2016 van used by a Wide-Load Escort company - had 194,000 miles on it. Obviously they followed the law in not tampering with mileage; but there were NO Carfax entries on the van, even though it was obvious to my mechanic that the transmission had been replaced.

Add those factors to the mix.

Bottom line is: If there's money to be made by breaking the law, someone will find a way. If not rolling back the digital mileage-counter, than just by replacing the instrument cluster. Pay a wrench another $50 to not enter the data on the repair online. Whatever it takes.
 

chieftain

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The odometer is not the only device to record the mileage in a modern vehicle. Multiple systems and control units record the mileage; when they are probed by a standard OBD2 scan tool, they give up nothing but the factory/dealer tools are able to query them and get that data out.
 

BarnacleBob

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Model Year 2011 or newer vehicles will only be exempt from the odometer rules after 20 years. To comply with Federal law, anyone transferring ownership of a Model Year 2011 or newer vehicle will be required to provide an odometer disclosure to the new owner.