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California Lemon Law Lawyer Discusses Odometer Fraud

» Posted May 11, 2016Resources | Share This Post

Recently, AutoBlog reported on an instance in which an auto mall sold a vehicle after the odometer had been replaced to show a lower mileage. The vehicle’s odometer, bill of sale and windshield vehicle markings indicated that it had been driven 35,771 miles. However, in reality, the vehicle had been driven more than 210,000 miles.

When confronted with the reality of the car's true miles, the dealer said they didn't guarantee the miles on cars sold at auction that were more than 10 years old.  The dealer said the vehicles were sold as-is and they weren't responsible for the false mileage information.

This statement by the dealer disclaiming responsibility was not correct information. Many state agencies will take action when there is mileage fraud, and it is possible for both state and federal charges to be brought based on this type of fraud.

Unfortunately, far too many car buyers don't know their rights when cars turn out to have problems.  Understanding what you are entitled to as a car buyer is essential, and a California lemon law lawyer can help you understand your legal rights when vehicle problems arise.

Victims of Odometer Fraud or Other Types of Fraud May Have Options

When someone knowingly sells a car with the wrong mileage listed and the bill of sale doesn't contain a disclosure indicating either “not actual miles,” or “true miles unknown,” the purchaser could be entitled to damages.  The state attorney general or the Secretary of Transportation could also pursue civil and criminal charges and obtain fines from the seller or dealer of the vehicle with the faulty mileage information.

Despite the fact that there are strict rules aimed at protecting consumers, odometer fraud and many other types of mileage fraud are very lucrative endeavors.  Data shows that odometer fraud is as much as a $10 billion business throughout the United States.  Low income consumers, immigrants, college students and retirees are all among the common victims of odometer rollbacks or other kids of odometer fraud. 

Those who engage in odometer fraud count on the fact that individuals will not know their rights, will be uncertain of how to hire a lawyer, and won't actually pursue legal action to recover their damages. Odometer fraud can also be hard to prosecute criminally, which means that those who engage in deceptive behavior surrounding mileage will usually count on the fact that they will evade prosecution.

Odometer fraud is just one of many ways in which car buyers end up being victimized, such that they lose money while not necessarily knowing what to do to recover their damages. Anyone who has purchased a car and believes they were defrauded or thinks that the car is not performing as promised should consider exploring their legal options and rights under the law. 

A lemon law lawyer in California can help consumers who have purchased cars and have found themselves facing financial loss. Contact an attorney as soon as possible when you begin having issues with a purchased vehicle so you can find out what options you have for recovering for losses.


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