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Knowing What Is The Penalty For Odometer Tampering Is A Red Flag For Wrongdoers

April 24, 2023

What is the penalty for odometer tampering? – The law is rigid towards individuals and organizations who commit this offense, however, the formulation of the law varies from country to country. Undeniably, odometer manipulation is a wrong practice, which harms the victim financially in the first place. However, sometimes this crime results in physical damage. Misinterpreted mileage may become a reason for wrong timing for car service. If you do not change components after certain miles are covered, you may get into danger while driving. 

A simple Google search will give you an indication of odometer fraud penalty in different places. It is undoubtedly punishable in all areas, but the form of punishment differs. Another significant issue is identifying and discovering possible offenses because, with the help of modern technologies, it becomes harder and harder to detect potential manipulation. So, there are flaws in legislation regarding this topic which makes harder proper implementation. 

Let’s dig deeper, learn how legislation responds to this crime, and discuss whether it is enough to stop people from committing it. Crime is on the rise but you may have been wondering what is the penalty for rolling back an odometer

The seriousness of odometer fraud 

Mileage manipulation has been a popular illegal practice since the era of analog odometers. Moreover, it was easier to clock it manually without the help of advanced tools. Implementing digital odometers did not stop this crime as many people thought. Soon wrongdoers found methods for such manipulation. In America, people call it “busting miles” and in the UK – “clocking”. Before we jump into what is the penalty for odometer tamperinglet’s take a closer look at statistics. This crime is one one the greatest consumer fraud in the USA costing one billion dollars yearly. According to Wikipedia, in the UK the Office of Fair Trading estimates the annual cost at £500m. The analysis of the Irish used car market showed 15% of all used cars for sale are clocked, with 70% of these cars being diesel engines.

Sometimes individuals or organizations not only tamper with numbers displayed, but they also commit associated criminal acts, such as a forgery of documents and conspiracy to make altered mileage as believable as possible. Needless to say, odometer fraud penalty is not enough in this case and wrongdoers may face other legal issues. 

Unethical use of odometer changing devices

So, the problem is not severe if you just fix or change odometer reading for some reason (it breeaks, when you need replacement, or it doesn’t show correct numbers). Strictly speaking, altering and resetting are unacceptable when you do not attach this information in the title and written disclosure statement. In short, when you sell your automobile and want to deceive a potential buyer, you aim to report fake odometer readings. If you have ever thought about it, take kind advice and first learn what is the penalty for rolling back an odometer in the country in you live. After you know that, you may decide that it doesn’t worth it and it is pivotal to avoid taking risks just for gaining financial profit. 

The seriousness of odometer fraud cases

What is the penalty for odometer tampering in European countries? 

Since mileage alteration is hard to spot and the biggest challenge in the European car market, the law is severe against dishonest individuals who commit this felony. Manipulation is punishable in 26 European countries (25 EU Member States plus Norway). What is the penalty for odometer tampering in the European government? – punishment varies from country to country. For example, In France, offenders spend more than two years in prison, whereas it’s €226 fine in Slovakia. Odometer readings of used vehicles traded across the EU have adjusted odometers more frequently than automobiles on national markets. Despite measures, European added value assessment identifies weaknesses in the existing legal system. For example, member states do not have an organized system of exchange of information on car odometer readings; Car manufacturers do not tend to install tamper-proof odometers.  

 Before learning about the odometer fraud penalty, another problem comes to the surface. The most challenging thing to determine is who is responsible for the crime. Is it a dealer from the exporting country, the dealer from the importing country, or a new or old owner? Identifying the offender is not easy. 

Who is responsible?

It is easy to determine what is the penalty for rolling back an odometer but it is sometimes impossible to identify the offender. The situation gets out of hand when some consumers know that an auto they are buying has a discrepancy, but accept it (or as mentioned in the attached research, even ask for it), as it will mean that they can still have a capital gain when they sell the car in a few years. 

So, knowing what is the penalty for odometer tampering in one part of the world is not all, let’s see how US legislation responds to this offense. 

Odometer fraud penalty in the USA 

It is unlawful under federal and state laws. Under 49 USC § 32703, disconnecting, resetting, or altering an odometer of a motor vehicle intending to change the genuine mileage is punished.

Civil penalties can include fines of up to $10,000 for each violation, with each altered odometer constituting a separate violation. Additionally, if you know about the fraud and willfully engage in odometer fraud, you spend three years in federal prison. So, learning what is the penalty for rolling back an odometer is not enough, you should learn that participation in the crime is also punishable. 

However, there are cases, when the odometer reading needs correction for some reason. In this case, the private seller should complete the form and declare genuine mileage. If the vehicle is more than ten years older, the seller is exempt from providing any document regarding mileage. 

So, be careful, asking what is the penalty for odometer tampering is necessary before you decide to commit a such felony. Moreover, you should ask what will happen if you close your eyes to that crime. 

 All about the odometer fraud penalty in the USA 


There are several ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this crime. You can check for various documentation closely, and observe the vehicle interior and exterior closely; the condition of the automobile should match the mileage recorded. As for official ways for identifying possible odometer fraud are the following:

  • MOT history check is essential to confirm that your vehicle is safe to drive and meets UK regulations. It involves checking brakes and fuel systems to lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust system. This is a good source for learning yearly mileage.
  • Carfax– it is an excellent non-public solution, it is a North American company, but it also works in some EU member states; the company provides European buyers with second-hand American and Canadian cars, with a chance to track vehicles’ mileage history (and other relevant data). The company has 30 years of experience in the business and its European branch collects data from 20 countries.

Common “secret” methods for altering mileage 

people employ various methods for odometer manipulation. Mostly they have dishonest purposes. That’s why they constantly search for helpful devices. They are available on online shops and everyone can purchase them. Odometer rollback tools are widely used for this goal. They simply roll back numbers on the odometer. In modern automobiles, mileage is not only stored in the instrument cluster. The data is also stored in other control units. Needless to say, if someone uses diagnostic scanners, they can discover genuine information. Needless to say, you face odometer fraud penalty. So, rollover devices work effectively on the surface, but it is easy to detect actual odometer readings. 

The working principle of mileage blockers differs. They do not correct existing numbers, they just stop counting mileage. Various companies are producing such blockers. However, not all of them work flawlessly. The motivated team from Super Kilometer Filter specializes in developing Can-bus and FlexRay systems, and produces one of the best Mileage blockers with superb features. 

Even though knowing what is the penalty for rolling back an odometer Some wrongdoers use Mileage blocker for fraudulent purposes, even though the module is created for testing and tuning. 

Mileage blocker 

Mileage blocker from Super Kilometer Filter will work flawlessly unconditionally because it is made of heat-resistant and premium-quality parts. It is user-friendly, and it is installed behind the speedometer. You can test the performance of your automobile in a controlled environment. You will be sure that the recording process will be stopped in all control units. It has simple Do-It-Yourself installation instructions, that save your time. If you have any questions please check the support or reach out to the customer center.


So, it is pivotal to know what is the penalty for odometer tampering. The penalty is serious at any rate. It is a serious crime. This is not an innocent act, you should not do it without reporting it later in documents. If you are going to change odometer data for some reason make sure that you are not breaking the law. 

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