Why is it allowable for used car dealers to advertise a car with the mileage showing on the odometer, when they know that it's actually that mileage displayed plus 100,000 miles? They did this even though the odometer display is 6 digits, not 5? How is this legal???

Asked by Sep 16, 2016 at 08:40 PM

Question type: General

I purchased a car that's odometer displayed 48,998.  The only place where it was evident that the mileage was not correct was on the Odometer Disclosure Statement when all the purchase paperwork was being signed.  Here the box stating "the odometer reading reflects the amount of mileage in excess of its mechanical limits" was checked.  Truly this would mean that the car has 1,000,050!!!  (it's a 2010) since the odometer is not a 5-digit odometer!  Anyway, ALL other paperwork (including the Vehicle Information on the sales receipt) shows 48,998 (not 148,998)!!!  And, all advertising for the car said 48,998 for "Mileage" (not "odometer reading)!

If a dealer knows the actual mileage, why aren't they required to indicate it anywhere MILEAGE is reported for the car . .. not just on the odometer Disclosure Statement.  I think it should be illegal to notate the odometer reading for Mileage if you know the two are different!

3 Answers


Maybe the odometer was changed out due to being broken? All the paperwork was there, but I agree the dealer should have been up front about it. Legal? If you think you we're deceived I would complain to the dealership that you want out of the deal, or lower the price accordingly. Contact your attorney to see what recourse you have.

Thank you Tom for taking the time to answer. I certainly feel victimized. I may follow up with the dealership but my feeling is that they will feel they covered themselves with the Odometer Disclosure Statement (although I'm not altogether convinced that they didn't check that box after I signed it and before they made the copy!!!).


Feel victimized because a friend of mine bought brand new Toyota 4x4 drove it for 2+ years, went on trips all over, took it mud & trail riding, manage to rack up 90,000+ miles and traded it in at high end Auto Retailer Down town B-ham AL. A few weeks later we went to look at it for sale and all the mud was gone, no sign of ever been in mud it whole life, looked brand spanking New and the Mileage on the odometer read 38000 and some change. I do not know if they change it out or run it backwards but I rode in this truck most the places it went and I know the odometer worked, it hauled a boat and launched them in salt water, road dirt roads a lot too. I looked around at all the nice cars there and new in my gut that all of them were misrepresented.

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    Tom Demyan
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