34,400 Colorado vehicles were identified with odometer discrepancies in 2019 (so far), a number which is up from the past two years.

According to the National Transportation Administration, over 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with odometers that have been tampered with.


This crime costs American car buyers more than $1 billion annually. We want consumers to know how to spot odometer fraud , how to protect against it, and who to contact if you think you're a victim of this illegal behavior."


The NHTSA website says it is illegal to tamper with, disable or destroy a car's odometer. This is a federal crime that can result in prison time.

Odometer fraud doesn't just impact older model cars. The NHTSA says that digital odometers that have been tampered with are much harder to detect than traditional mechanical odometers.

Here's some tips from the NHTSA on how to protect yourself:

-Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage indicated on the vehicle's maintenance or inspection records. Also, search for oil change and maintenance stickers on windows or door frames, in the glove box or under the hood.


-Check that the numbers on the odometer gauge are aligned correctly. If they're crooked, contain gaps or jiggle when you bang on the dash with your hand, walk away from the purchase.


-Examine the tires. If the odometer on your car shows 20,000 or less, it should have the original tires.

-Look at the wear and tear on the vehicle-especially the gas, brake and clutch pedals-to be sure it seems consistent with and appropriate for the number of miles displayed on the odometer.


-Request a vehicle history report to check for odometer discrepancies in the vehicle's history. If the seller does not have a vehicle history report, use the car's VIN to order a vehicle history report online.


-If you suspect fraud, contact your State's enforcement agency (Colorado DMV, District Attorney's Office, or Colorado Attorney General's Office).

Source: NHTSA

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