Odometer fraud is nothing new. In fact, it’s getting worse, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
After documenting an increase in cheating, the NHTSA is reminding consumers of stricter regulations beginning January 1, 2021.
Beginning with the new year, odometer disclosures will be required for every transfer of ownership for the first 20 years, beginning with Model Year 2011 vehicles.
Odometer fraud costs drivers $1 billion annually
Model Year 2010 and older vehicles will continue to be subject to the previous 10-year disclosure requirements. They’re exempt from extended Federal odometer disclosure requirements.
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 odometer 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 odometer disclosure to the new owner.
Sellers of Model Year 2011 vehicles must continue to disclose odometer readings until 2031.
According to the NHTSA, odometer fraud is the disconnection or reset of a vehicle’s odometer to change the mileage indicated.
The NHTSA estimates more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings, costing American vehicle buyers more than $1 billion annually.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: email@example.com.