You Could be Charged with Unintentional Odometer Fraud
In past articles we’ve covered the never-ending odometer fraud problem of how any measures taken to alter a vehicle’s odometer reading is a felony punishable by jail time and/or a fine that can run into the thousands.
You may think, “Well this does not apply to me, because I would never get involved in any odometer fraud circumstances.” However, as it turns out, because of a Tacoma engine error code problem in some models right now, you could easily find yourself skirting the law taking your vehicle to someone who will do a repair Toyota no longer can.
Related article: New Odometer Fraud Tool Scam Warning
Toyota Maintenance Tacoma Warning
That was the message in a recent Toyota Maintenance YouTube channel episode where the host warns Tacoma owners that if their vehicle has a check engine light warning and a subsequent P0500 scan tool code (speed sensor malfunction) message pinpointing the cause of the warning, you will discover that Toyota dealerships can no longer fix the problem because Toyota no longer makes the instrument cluster panel needed for the repair.
Related article: Toyota Tacoma Repair Scam… or Not?
But wait, this gets worse.
According to the host, going to a non-Toyota dealership for the repair becomes a problem because of laws governing a vehicle’s odometer when an odometer is discovered not showing the correct mileage on it.
In short, going to a junked Toyota for a replacement instrument panel which includes the odometer can put the owner at risk of being charged with odometer fraud down the road when the car is being sold or traded-in for another vehicle and a vehicle history report reveals an odometer discrepancy.
The Value of This Video
The value of this video warning cannot be overstated for current or future used Tacoma owners and serves as a good lesson on one of the reasons why a check engine light warning is ALWAYS a used vehicle red flag despite reassurances from the seller that the vehicle runs fine.
Related article: Toyota Tacoma Maintenance Check Warning
Follow along with the host as he explains the problem and admits he is at a loss for how to remedy the problem to everyone’s (including odometer fraud laws) satisfaction.
Toyota Tacoma Code P0500
Making the Best of a Bad Situation
Currently the best solution to this problem is the old military acronym CYA. In other words, make sure that there is a paper trail showing a vehicle’s true mileage on it before resorting to a junked vehicle part or aftermarket part repair to include a notarized document with dated photos. You can also check with your local law enforcement beforehand and find out what they advise. Should your vehicle afterward trigger an odometer fraud warning, at least you can show your efforts were to fix rather than cause a problem.
For additional articles related to the Toyota Tacoma’s, here are a few for your consideration:
- Common Repair Problem Toyota Tacoma Owners Cause
- Toyota Tacoma Warning for Owners Who Camp or Park Outdoors
- Toyota Tacoma Rust Problem Demo
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
Image source: Deposit Photos