Federal Odometer Rules to Have Little Impact

By May, Bill | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 9, 1988 | Go to article overview

Federal Odometer Rules to Have Little Impact


May, Bill, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Federal regulations dealing with record-keeping on odometer readings of all cars bought and sold will have little, if any, affect on Oklahoma dealers or consumers.

The regulations, scheduled to become effective in April, are designed to curtail rolling back odometers, costing consumers more than $3 billion a year nationwide. This cost comes from paying more for a car than it's worth, based upon the miles it has been driven.

Oklahoma law, adopted three years ago, requires odometer readings be recorded on the title so there is a paper-trail of how many miles the car was driven, according to Steve Rankin, executive director of the Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association.

One benefit to be derived from the federal regulations, Rankin said, is that dealers or individuals who sell cars no longer will be required to also provide a separate mileage statement.

"The way it has been explained to us," Rankin said, "is that the new federal regulations will supersede the need for a separate statement.

"Now, the only thing that will be necessary is the recording of the odometer reading on all titles."

Sine that state law became effective, Rankin said, automobile titles have been colored green. Previous titles, which don't contain odometer readings, are brown.

"There are still a lot of brown titles around," he said. "But when those cars are sold, the titles will be updated to record the odometer raedings."

The regulations, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will impose stricter paperwork standards on states and auto dealers across the nation. The rules take effect next April.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated the requirements will cost $6.5 million annually, although removal of other record-keeping requirements will reduce the net cost.

Douglas Greenhaus, an attorney for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said the rules would be good for the auto retailing industry.

"It should result in a net benefit to dealers, who are oftentimes victims of odometer fraud, to the extent that they are purchasers of vehicles that have been spun back," Greenhaus said. "This rule will increase enforcement and help solve the odometer fraud problem. It will benefit dealers in the long run."

The regulations, required by the Truth in Mileage Act passed by Congress in 1986, will require all motor-vehicle titles issued after April 29, 1989, be printed so that counterfeiting and alteration can be detected easily. Titles also must include mileage readings and a place for buyers to disclose the mileage when a car is sold.

Regulations also would require:

- Sellers disclose odometer readings when transferring title. …

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