Odometer fraud on the rise; stricter rules begin in 2021

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Manipulating odometer readings is a well-known automotive fraud. Government agencies have attempted to curtail the cheating for years, but it’s getting worse.

The increased practice has become so prevalent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will engage stricter regulations beginning January 1, 2021.

Odometer cheating is rampant, so the NHTSA has a new rgulation beginning Jan. 1, 2021
Odometer cheating is rampant, so the NHTSA has a new regulation beginning Jan. 1, 2021

Beginning with the new year, disclosures will be required for every transfer of ownership for the first 20 years, beginning with Model Year 2011 vehicles.

Model year 2010 and older vehicles will continue to be subject to the previous 10-year disclosure requirements. They’re exempt from extended Federal disclosure requirements.

Odometer cheating rampant

The U.S. fleet of vehicles is, on average, older than ever. The NHTSA finalized this rule late last year to address an increase in odometer fraud involving older vehicles.

Model year 2011 or newer vehicles will only be exempt from the new 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 disclosure to the new owner.

Sellers of Model Year 2011 vehicles must continue to disclose readings until 2031.

According to the NHTSA, fraud is the disconnection or resetting a vehicle’s odometer to change the mileage indicated.

The NHTSA estimates more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false readings, costing American car buyers more than $1 billion annually.

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