Odometer is the best way to know the exact condition of the vehicle, how much the vehicle had traveled or if any necessary repair is required in it. Odometer fraud occurs when the seller of a vehicle falsely represents the actual mileage of a vehicle to the buyer. It is one of the most serious and widespread crime on used vehicles in which buyers are left with worthless vehicle. Odometer inspection is made mandatory while importing used cars in many countries to avoid odometer scams.
The myth that digital odometers cannot be tampered is baseless as it is easy to tamper digital odometers in comparison to analog. The used car mileage is reduced when odometer rollback takes place due to which large number of buyers loses money. On an average, every year billions of dollars are lost by customers to odometer fraud. Thousands of miles are decimated from the vehicle’s clock, when odometer rollback takes place. Odometer tampering is one thing that should be taken care of while buying used vehicles from Japan as well.
The authenticity of vehicle mileage is an important part when buying, selling a used vehicle is considered. Protection is given to consumers by Federal and State law, who suspect that they have purchased a vehicle with a rolled back odometer.
According to the Law:-
- A written odometer statement stating vehicle’s exact mileage at transfer time, the date of transfer, the buyer’s name and address, the seller’s name and address, and the vehicle’s make, year, body type and vehicle identification number, must be handed over to a buyer by the seller. Vehicle’s Certificate of Title should also contain odometer disclosure information.
- Odometer tampering, selling, buying or even marketing any device for tampering and use a vehicle with a disconnected or non-functional odometer with intent to defraud is against law.
- If the seller knows that the mileage has exceeded the odometer’s mechanical limit (i.e. 9, 99,999 miles), the seller must provide that information to the buyer.
Many importing countries and Government bodies contract various inspection agencies like JEVIC, JAAI, JOCI, etc. to conduct odometer inspection on vehicles before their importation. Odometer inspection is able to recognize tampered odometers and prevent odometer fraud.
How Odometer inspection is carried out:-
- Odometer is removed in order to check any sort of tampering.
- The vehicle’s services records are checked to ensure that vehicle match the stated odometer reading.
- Vehicle’s history report is also checked and compared with other relevant information about the vehicle.
- The vehicle is also checked for signs of wear and tear that could affect the odometer reading.
After the vehicle passes odometer inspection, a recognizable sticker is placed on the front windscreen, in order to identify it as having an authentic odometer reading.
It is advisable to buy a vehicle from authorized and reputed dealer only. There are many Japanese used vehicle exporters who are in this business for many years. It would be beneficial from buyer’s point if they do some research about the dealer before buying a vehicle. It is always safe to deal with authorized and reputed dealers to avoid any problems.
In order to protect the vehicle from odometer tampering, odometer inspection is carried out on used vehicles, before they are exported to another country. Odometer inspection is an inspection process which assures that the vehicle displays its mileage accurately. It is illegal to disconnect, reset or replace an odometer.