Can I Sue a Car Dealership for Odometer Tampering – Auto Fraud Lawsuit
Odometer tampering is one of the most common acts of fraud perpetrated against innocent consumers in the United States. with an estimated 450,000 cases each and every year. In most cases victims never realize they have been defrauded. Individuals who have suffered harm at the hands of used car dealerships that take part in lowering the mileage of the vehicles they sell to customers as well other deceptive sale practices are entitled to full and just compensation for all harms and hardships incurred.
Establishing Liability Against Car Dealerships for Odometer Mileage Lowering Fraud
Individuals and businesses who common odometer fraud are liable for criminal prosecution and civil claims. Under the Federal Odometer Tampering Statutes,”Altering the mileage reading on a motor vehicle is a felony.” In such cases the intent of the seller to defraud is a vital elements in establishing liability. Intent can be proven by specific acts which have the sole purpose of deceiving others for one financial gain. Fraud can also be established by showing specific acts or words taken by a seller in order to induce an individual to transfer ownership of a valuable property from one party to another.
- Also, odometer fraud laws also allow recovery from dealerships and second hand vendors who are selling a vehicle that was tampered with before they took custody of the item.
Cost of Legal Representation – Attorney Fees and Odometer Fraud: Under Federal Odometer laws and Regulations civil recovery can include, “1,500 or, treble damages, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney’s fees.” Thus, in most cases victims who file a claim will be able to receive from the at fault party whatever legal fees have been incurred.
Steps to Take to Prevent the Incidence of Odometer Tempering When Purchasing a Used Vehicles:
There are several important steps which can be taken in order to prevent or lessen the probability of odometer tampering.
- Ask the seller of the vehicle for the title. Examine the document for it mileage and compare it to the vehicles current mileage.
- Ask for the vehicles inspection reports including oil change reports for the mileage of the vehicle.
- Examine the look of the Car: Excessive wear and tear not in unison with the relatively low mileage is a telltale sign of odometer tampering.
- Ask the seller for CARFAX Vehicle history and check for odometer discrepancies.
- Look for missing screws on or near the dashboard. The seller of the vehicle may have opened up the dashboard to tamper with the odometer.
- Are the digits on the odometer misaligned.
Attorney Consultation Available: If you have been a victim of Odometer Fraud or any other type of auto sales fraud feel free to contact our law firm. All legal consultations are provided by our attorneys free of charge.