All About Autos
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When considering the mileage on a used vehicle, you need to watch out for odometer tampering. To command a higher price, an unscrupulous seller may roll back the odometer. State and federal laws forbid odometer tampering, which can trick a consumer into paying more for a used car than it's worth.
Odometer rollback and Missouri law
Missouri law requires that a dealer or an individual selling a used car must reveal to a potential buyer the total number of miles registered on the odometer and any alteration done to the odometer. If the odometer has been changed, state law requires notice with details of the change posted on the inside left door frame.
Checking for odometer rollback
If you think a car's mileage has been adjusted, here's what you can do:
- Ask dealers who previously sold the vehicle for copies of the vehicle's odometer disclosure forms.
- Check oil-change stickers for mileage.
- Check the mileage at the vehicle's last inspection. A title search can disclose this.
Legal remedies against odometer rollback
Odometer fraud is a crime, and you may be entitled to remedies in court. If you believe you have been defrauded by an odometer rollback, you may sue in federal court under the federal Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act or in state court. You also can report the fraud to your county's prosecuting attorney.
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