Odometer Fraud Laws

Several laws apply to claims for odometer fraud.  First, the federal odometer statute applies. However, that law requires proof of an intend to defraud.  Cases have gone both ways regarding whether indication of excessive wear or tampering can create an inference that the dealer knew or should have known of the fraud.

State Odometer fraud laws  

Most states have odometer fraud laws, called deceptive practice statutes, or consumer fraud laws.  See New Jersey Consumer Fraud statute, N.J.S.A 56:8-1.    Many laws impose liability upon a showing that a deception was committed or a false statement made without requiring proof of intentional acts.  This is important because when confronted with a claim, virtually every dealer touts its record of reliability and honesty, challenging the plaintiff to find proof of intentional conduct.  In odometer fraud cases, the transferor to the dealer frequently misrepresented the mileage.  Under state consumer fraud acts, we argue the dealer is liable for any deception to the consumer and that its their responsibility to make a claim against the third party.

Warranty Laws 

A statement about mileage may be regarded as a representation or warranty, creating a breach of warranty claim if its is false.  The Uniform Commercial Code creates an implied warranty that goods are reasonably unless they are sold as is.  A claim for breach of this implied warranty can be presented if the odometer  reading is false, since the consumer cannot know when required maintenance is needed, and there is a limited market for vehicles with unknown mileage.  


Law Offices of Howard A. Gutman,
230 Route 206, Mount Olive, New Jersey 07836
(973) 598-1980, E-mail
New York Office
305 Madison Avenue, Suite 449
New York, New York 10165 (212) 886-4838


We offer a free initial telephone consultation to discuss your odometer tampering claim case. Please feel free to call or e-mail our office.


Our office has handled over 400 automobile fraud, lemon law, and odometer claims.    

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