There is a big misconception that odometer fraud disappeared with digital odometers, but that’s not so: CARFAX data suggests that more than 1.8 million vehicles on the road today have had their odometer rolled back, a 13% annual increase over 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings, and that costs American car buyers more than $1 billion in value annually. Not only that, odometer rollback can also lead to unexpected repair costs for buyers whose cars have more wear and tear than they expected.
That’s what happened to Renee Chance, a driver in Oregon state. “I bought a car and then when I got the CARFAX report after, it showed potential odometer fraud. The car shows 80,000 miles on a digital odometer. I have spent $1,000 trying to make the car trustworthy, and it still is not. Now the car needs an $1,800 repair. In addition, I overpaid $1,000 because of the odometer reading. I am a pretty savvy car buyer and have never had this happen before.”
Several heavily populated states saw double-digit increases in cases of possible rolled-back odometers, with Texas leading with a 31% rise over 2019.