He thought he found a Jeep in 'perfect shape.' But it had 100,000 more miles on it than advertised.

ByDiane Wilson and Isabella Seman WTVD logo
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Man duped into buying Jeep that had 100k more miles than advertised
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Nationwide, CARFAX estimates more than 1.8 million vehicles on the road have had their odometer rolled back.

Looking for a used car? Before you hand over any money, make sure you take a look at the car's history or you might not get what's advertised.

An ad on the Facebook Marketplace caught Reid Atwood's attention.

"What really attracted me was the low miles," he said.

There was even a picture of the odometer showing the 2007 Jeep Commander with just 86,000 miles on it.

"I also sent him a message asking if there was anything wrong with the vehicle and he said no the vehicle is in perfect shape with the exception of the radio," Atwood said.

The price tag was just $6,900. Atwood arranged to see the Jeep in person. When he saw it, it looked fantastic for a car of that age, he said.

Atwood paid cash for the Jeep and got the title and registered it on his insurance.

Once he got home he did a CARFAX on the Jeep.

"Then, I realized the mileage was way off by over 100,000 miles," he said.

According to the CARFAX history, the mileage jumped several times from 170,000 miles, then 195,000, back down to 174,000.

When Atwood bought the SUV, the odometer showed just 86,000 miles.

If you wondering how that happened, it's all due to technology easily bought on the internet. Criminals can use devices to roll back odometers.

ABC11 showed you in a previous report how fast it can happen.

Josh Ingle, owner of Atlanta Speedometer, a company that specializes in automotive repairs said with a tool you can buy off the internet, odometers can be rolled back within seconds.

"There is no recourse to tell it's been done. No digital footprint that it's been done," Ingle said.

Nationwide, CARFAX estimates more than 1.8 million vehicles on the road have had their odometer rolled back. The best thing you can do to avoid being a victim of odometer fraud is to make sure you always check the vehicle's history. You can do going to CARFAX, put in the VIN of the vehicle, and make sure the mileage continues to go up on the history report. Besides checking the CARFAX report, you should also take the car for a test drive, and have a mechanic check it over, and specifically look for odometer tampering.

Besides the mileage being off, Atwood also found other problems with the Jeep.

"It had a blown head gasket on it, which he did not tell me, and I didn't know at the time. There was no way of me knowing, it drove perfect," he said.

Unfortunately, this is a tough lesson for Atwood. Besides facing an expensive repair, the SUV is also worth much less since it has more than 100,000 miles more than he thought it did.