In the most recent case of a car dealer committing fraud and getting served, the Motor Vehicles Department of Thrissur, Kerala imposed a fine of Rs 1,04,750 on a dealer that was found to be rigging the odometer of an automobile. The authorities levied this heavy fine on the dealer because he was noted to be driving from one place to the other with the odometer of the car disconnected and he had also not paid the road tax of the vehicle.
According to the enforcement wing of MVD Thrissur, the vehicle of the dealer was intercepted near Mathilakam and was on its way to Guruvayur for a demo. It was reported that the dealer was from Kodungallur. As part of the MVD’s routine inspection, the squad inspected the car by driving it on the road. It was then discovered that the odometer was not moving when the officials drove the vehicle. Following this, the above mentioned fine was imposed on the dealer for perpetuating fraud.
Odometer tampering like this via a used car dealer is not something that is extremely new and it happens fairly often. In fact due India’s growing market for used cars the likelihood of being taken advantage of rises as more individuals are now choosing used vehicles over new ones. This tampering of odometer is done by the dealers because the value of the automobile is increased on the used car market by demonstrating how little it has been driven. And the thing that gives the confidence to these con artists to do something of this sorts arises due to the fact that it is very hard to identify. So if you are in the market for a used car and want to be safe from getting scammed here a few things that you can do to protect yourself.
There are the two types of odometers – the first is the analogue type and the second is the digital one. Since most older vehicles had the same old analogue odometers rolling back the mileage on these is fairly simple. The analogue odometers can be easily tampered with, and this is why a tonne of workshops do it. To significantly lower the reading on the odometer, technicians use simple tools to roll back the numbers in 10,000 or 100,000 places. They then sell these vehicles as lightly used and scam the buyers.
- So if you want to be safe from this scam you can note that the numerals will not be correctly aligned.
- Checking the odometer when the car approaches 10,000 kilometres is another technique to spot tempering.
- The digits in tampered odometers won’t turn smoothly or click into place.
The digital odometer is the other type of odometer that is being more frequently found in cars. It was assumed that tampering with these would be difficult but with modern technology, even digital odometers, can be rolled back. Since everything is electronic, the tempering also leaves no outward physical traces as well. These are carried out at “meter repair shops,” where the instrument console is connected to a laptop and the chipset is flashed to reset it. The reading can occasionally be reversed by switching out the chipset and re-soldering the setup. On a physical level, you can only see if there an ill-fitting instrument cluster, some moisture, or screwdriver marks around the borders to be safe from scam from the tampering.