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Thousands of vehicles on Charlotte area roads believed to have fake odometer readings

Experts warn used car buyers of a scam involving rolled back odometers which could change a car's value.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Recent data from Carfax suggests an increase in the number of cars that have had their odometer rolled back.

Carfax spokesperson, Emilie Voss, told WCNC, "The Charlotte area, in general, has about 15,600 vehicles on the road that Carfax estimates with a roll-back odometer. That puts them 27th nationwide when we compare to other metropolitan areas, and it's a 4% jump year over year."

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Voss added that North Carolina is 10th nationwide when it comes to the number of vehicles on the road with rolled back odometers, with 45,300. That's up 7% from last year. 

"If you buy a vehicle and don't know that the odometer is rolled back, unfortunately, you're likely going to pay thousands extra upfront for that vehicle," Voss said. On average, the difference is about $4,000 when the odometer is altered.

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Voss said getting a Carfax report is a useful tool when researching a used car purchase.

"Carfax keeps odometer readings throughout the lifetime of the vehicle, whether it was when the vehicle was serviced, or during registration. We keep those those mileage readings," Voss said. "If the mileage heads in the wrong direction and goes down, and then starts climbing again, we flag that vehicle."

She also suggested getting an independent inspection by a trusted mechanic who can catch things like wear and tear that might not match the odometer reading.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to WCNC Charlotte by emailing money@wcnc.com. 

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