The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Carfax Offers Consumers Free Odometer Checks to Help Uncover Nearly One Billion Miles Lost in Recent Fraud Scandal

April 29, 2004

The FBI recently indicted 17 men in the Northeast for allegedly misrepresenting mileage on approximately 10,000 used-vehicle odometers. To help consumers in the region who suspect their odometer readings may have been altered, Carfax, a provider of vehicle history reports, is offering free odometer checks to allow consumers to see the last reported odometer reading in the Carfax database. Consumers can access the free odometer check by visiting and entering the 17-digit vehicle identification number for their car. The Carfax reading should be compared to the odometer reading displayed on the dashboard of their car. "We're really concerned whenever we hear about consumers being ripped off," says Kristy Darcey, director of consumer affairs for Carfax. "Carfax is working hard to expand the depth and scope of our data to give consumers even more protection when they are shopping for a used car." Odometer fraud, one of the latest trends in automotive fraud today, is the illegal act of rolling back odometers in order to make a car appear as if it has not traveled nearly as many miles. Vehicles in which odometers have been tampered with can then be sold at a higher price because the odometer reading is a key indicator of the car's true value. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 450,000 cases of odometer fraud in the United States each year, which costs consumers an extra $1 billion per year.
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