Digital Odometer Fraud - How can I be sure?


I am in the market for a used car. I saw a car that I liked at a good price with low miles, 2000 Mitusbishi Eclipse, 65,000 Miles. However, when I ran a VIN check on the vehicle, it stated that the last odometer reading reported with the DMV was 67,000. I contacted the owner about this and he apologized and stated that the owner he bought it from made a mistake when writing the mileage down, and instead of writing 58,000 he wrote 67,000. In some ways it checks out, the reading prior to the 67,000 was only 8 months prior, and was 45,500. Could he really drive it 22,000 miles in 8 months? But doesn’t the DMV actually look at the odometer?

Should I avoid this vehicle completely? Or look at it and be cautious? It has a clean record, however it does list that there has been a duplicate title as well as a loan record. Any advice would be helpful!


I have the same kind of question… any body know?


The difference between those two mileages is just not worth worrying about.


This happens all the time, and is not a red flag. People guess mileage all the time, and it is not usually verified when a vehicle is titled. No one would bother rolling an odometer back a few thousand miles. A duplicate title means the owner lost the original, and requested a reprint.


After looking over your post again, your particular situation may pose a problem. You will have to title the car now with the correct mileage, which shows to be less than the title mileage. This will normally brand the title as not actual mileage. You will need to have the owner apply for a corrected title. You could also title the car again with the wrong mileage, as long as it is higher than the reported mileage, although that is probably illegal.


Aside from confusion in paperwork, which you can straighten out, this seems like a reasonable deal. If the car checks out mechanically I see no reason why you shouldn’t proceed.


You’ve asked several questions here.

Could he really drive it 22,000 miles in 8 months?

Why NOT?? I usually drive 30k miles in 8 months.

and instead of writing 58,000 he wrote 67,000.

You talked to the prior owner and he confirms that the mileage was written down wrong…So what’s the problem???

But doesn’t the DMV actually look at the odometer?

This the first time you’ve ever registered a car?? I’ver NEVER seen ANY DMV in ANY state actually look at the mileage of ANY vehicle for registration purposes. A lot of the time people don’t even have the car with them when they’re registering it, all they have is the paperwork.

Sounds like the vehicle checks out…with the exception of a slight difference in mileage. I don’t see a problem.


If I were you, I’d find someone who can check ALL the vin numbers. This is a red flag for a stolen car, but if all the numbers match, then go for it.