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Help! Carfax mileage clerical error?

Hi, I’m looking at a new-to-me truck that’s an exact match to what I am looking for. It’s from an individual seller, has 50K original miles, and looks to be in near mint condition.



I carfaxed it, and it came up with a possible odometer rollback issue. See the report below. I have omitted some info, but stressing the timeline more than anything.



12/05/2001

NICB

Vehicle manufactured

and shipped to original dealer



12/15/2001

Michigan

Motor Vehicle Dept.

MI

Registered as

personal vehicle



01/07/2002 8 Mi

Michigan

Motor Vehicle Dept.

MI

Title or registration issued

First owner reported



05/06/2003

Michigan

Motor Vehicle Dept.

Registration updated when owner moved

the vehicle to a new location

06/12/2003



Michigan

Motor Vehicle Dept.

Registration updated when owner moved

the vehicle to a new location



10/29/2003

Hawaii

Motor Vehicle Dept.

HI



Registration updated when owner moved

the vehicle to a new location

11/01/2003 72,742 Mi

Hawaii

Motor Vehicle Dept.



Title or registration issued

Owner Two Vehicle History

Purchased: 2004

Where: Hawaii

Est. miles/year: —

Est. length owned: 10/2/04 - 3/24/05

(5 months)





Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:

10/02/2004 23,000 Mi

Hawaii

Motor Vehicle Dept.

Title #NCG52804

Title or registration issued

New owner reported

INCONSISTENT ODOMETER READING



3/24/2005

Washington

Motor Vehicle Dept.

WA

Title or registration issued

New owner reported

02/27/2006



Washington

Motor Vehicle Dept.

Olympia, WA

Registration issued or renewed

Vehicle color noted as Silver



02/27/2007

Washington

Motor Vehicle Dept.

WA

Registration issued or renewed

Vehicle color noted as Silver



So obviously there’s a mileage discrepancy. I did some digging and found that the owner has been in the same locations that this vehicle was registered. I have positively discovered that this vehicle has been in the same locations as this owner for its life.

I also called the dealer where the truck was purchased, and it was serviced on 4/9/02 at 1529 Miles. So between April of '02 and November of '03 Carfax claims the truck racked up more than 70K miles.



So what to do? I probably should run away from this car, however, this guy moved around alot with the vehicle, so I can see how an error could occur. Talking with him, he did transfer ownership to a friend in HI for several months, before bringing it back to the mainland which explains the transfer in ownership.



At this point I am for certain having it throughly checked at a mechanic. Maintenance records would also help in verifying correct mileage, right?



Also, what else can be done to prove the mileage is inconsistent and better yet, have it removed from the history report should I purchase this vehicle and decide to sell it in the future. I’ve read elsewhere that these errors have occured with other people. To me, this is a case where I’m not convinced that Carfax is being accurate this time around.



Thanks for the help.

I’m not sure why you really care what Carfax says. Error are made and looks like they just added an extra digit in HI. I’d just make sure that the VIN numbers match the dash, fenders, etc. so that it hasn’t been a stolen or reconstructed vehicle. In MN anyway, the mileage is hand written on the back of the title and then transcribed by a clerk and assume Carfax buys the info in electronic version. They are just telling you it is a flag to check out. Once it is purchased and registered it should come up with the actual mileage.

It seems that everyone is pretty carfax happy these days, so I worry about this possible mistake on the title should I choose to sell the truck later on. I plan to keep it for the long haul, but you never know. I agree, after doing the math I think someone accidentally entered a “7” instead of a “1” when recording mileage. I’m wondering, though if this will prevent the truck from having a “clean” title, as this guy is asking above blue book (which this vehicle usually fetches). He is a physican, and has moved all over the country- not exactly the profile of a con artist but you can never know.

Either way, I think a mechanic should at least be able to tell the difference between a vehicle with 50K on it, and 120K while giving it a good going over- especially since this truck looks very clean.

It’s a toss-up. CarFax is not to be trusted, they do make mistakes.
However, it’s also possible that someone could have changed the entire instrument cluster (with the speedometer/odomter) in an effort to have the vehicle show lower mileage.
Someone buys and installs a low mileage cluster from a salvage or eBay for 50 bucks and that can translate into a 1000 or so additional dollars when the vehicle is sold.

That little stunt has been done countless times so I would advise having it checked carefully.

Well, I called the DMV in Hawaii, and there was an inconsistent odometer reading. From what the owner told me, he did have the vehicle transfered to a friend for about 5 months before he brought it to Washington. During that transfer in Hawaii, the inconsistent reading popped up, and according to the DMV there, it was reported by the “new owner” or friend transferred to, and was subsequently notarized. Don’t think carfax is lying, but I’m definitely getting this rig throughly inspected by a mechanic should I consider making the purchase. If it checks out fine (I’m thinking it will), then I’ll probably take it.