The U.S. Justice Department calls it “clocking”: intentionally rolling back an odometer to make a vehicle appear less used.
Odometer rollback is “the single most common fraudulent issue in Colorado and nationwide." That's a bold statement made by one of this state's top auto enforcement regulators.
So, based on a tip from one of our viewers, the FOX31 Problem Solvers decided to take a closer look at a business which advertises “odometer correction.”
Odo-Pro is a licensed business registered to the address of a corner house in Littleton.
State records show its owner is Peter Petrov Rains.
He sells parts and auto repair services, mostly through via mail.
Odometer repair and adjustment is permitted in some instances under the federal law. However, “if the mileage on the odometer cannot remain the same as before the service, the odometer must be reset to zero.”
What is not permitted is rolling miles on a vehicle backwards with the intent to defraud.
Here’s part of the federal law which says so:
327.03 A person may not
(2) disconnect, reset, alter, or have disconnected, reset, or altered, an odometer of a motor vehicle intending to change the mileage registered by the odometer;
(3) with intent to defraud.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers tested to see if Odo-Pro would reduce the miles, no questions asked, on one of our old news cars: a 2005 Dodge Durango.
We had a mechanic remove the odometer, which had 195,839 well-documented miles on it.
The FOX31 investigative team then printed off a single-sheet form we found on Odo-Pro's website. It said “Odometer Correction Form” at the top.
We requested our odometer be programmed backwards—rolled back to 150, 839—a 45,000-mile reduction.
The form required us to acknowledge that “altering the odometer for personal gain is illegal.”
And that "owners have a legal obligation to notify prospective purchasers if the vehicle's mileage has been altered.”
We mailed our instrument cluster, an $89 cashier’s check from a local convenience store and that form to Odo-Pro in Littleton.
Four days later, our digital odometer came back in a box with Rains’ business card. The mileage was altered per our request: backward 45,000 miles from the original 195,839.