Federal Odometer Laws and State Laws
Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act, 49 U.S.C. Section 32704
- (It shall be unlawful for a person) "with intent to defraud, operate a motor vehicle on a street, road, or highway if the person knows that the odometer of the vehicle is disconnected or not operating; or
- The owner of the vehicle or agent of the owner shall attach a written notice to the left doorframe of the vehicle specifying the mileage before the service, repair, or replacement and the date of the service, repair, or replacement.
- A person transferring ownership of a motor vehicle shall give the transferee the following written disclosure
- Disclosure of the cumulative mileage registered on the odometer,
- Disclosure that the actual mileage is unknown if the transferor knows that the odometer reading is different from different from the number of miles the vehicle has actually traveled.
- Mileage Statement Requirement for Licensing. - (1) A motor vehicle the ownership of which is transferred may not be licensed for use in a State unless the transferee, in submitting an application to a State for the title on which the license will be issued, includes with the application the transferor's title and, if that title contains the space referred to in paragraph (3)(A)(iii) of this subsection, a statement, signed and dated by the transferor, of the mileage disclosure required under subsection (a) of this section
Federal Odometer Laws and Regulations
49 U.S.C. §§ 32701-32711 (Formerly 15 U.S.C. §§ 1981-1991),
49 C.F.R., Sections 580.1-580.6 - Odometer Requirements
- Resetting or altering odometer with intent to change mileage.
- Making false odometer disclosure statement.
- Failure to provide buyer complete odometer disclosure statement.
- In acquiring vehicle for resale, failure to obtain complete odometer disclosure statement from seller.
- Conspiring to violate any of the Federal odometer statutes.
Civil Recovery -
- $1,500 or,
- treble damages, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney's fees.
Assessment of Actual Damages - Combination of:
- Value of vehicle with fraudulent mileage minus value of vehicle with actual mileage.
- Lessened resale value of vehicle with altered odometer.
- Increased finance charges on fraudulently inflated value.
- Increased insurance costs of fraudulently inflated value.
- Increased taxes on fraudulently inflated value.
- Cost of unanticipated repairs and maintenance.
- Times spent resolving problems created by fraud.
State Odometer Laws
- Laws vary widely from state to state; however, odometer fraud is covered in most states.
- State laws may provide access to dealer bonds or other coverage.
- Some state laws provide for recovery of damages under state law in addition to damages recovered under Federal law.
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