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150.

Recodification of the Odometer Fraud Statutes

In 1994, Pub. Law No. 103-272, 108 Stat. 745, among other things, recodified the criminal odometer-tampering statutes that were previously located at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1981 et seq. This recodification of the odometer-tampering statutes, which were originally enacted as part of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, should be viewed as nothing more than a housekeeping change designed to codify various transportation-related provisions within Title 49. Section 6(a) of Pub. Law No. 103-272, specifically provided that the new act's restatement of prior law "may not be construed as making a substantive change in the laws replaced." Case precedent under the Title 15 statutes was thus unaffected by the move to Title 49.

Violation of the Title 49 provisions constitutes a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to three years per violation, as well as by a fine of up to $250,000 per violation. Other violations of criminal statutes previously located at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1981 et seq. were similarly recodified, as follows:

  1. Odometer tampering: The odometer tampering provision which was 15 U.S.C. § 1984 is now 49 U.S.C. § 32703(2);

  2. False odometer statement: The false odometer statement provision which was 15 U.S.C. § 1988 (in concert with 49 C.F.R. § 580.5) is now 49 U.S.C. § 32705(a)(2);

  3. Record retention: The record retention provision requiring dealers to retain odometer statements for five years which was 15 U.S.C. § 1988 is now at 49 U.S.C. § 32705(a)(4) and 49 U.S.C. § 32706(d)(1)(A) (in concert with 49 C.F.R. Part 580);

  4. Odometer fraud conspiracy: The odometer fraud conspiracy provision which was 15 U.S.C. § 1986 is now 49 U.S.C. § 32703(4); and

  5. Criminal Penalties: The criminal penalty provision which was 15 U.S.C. § 1990c is now 49 U.S.C. § 32709(b).

[updated April 2009] [cited in USAM 4-8.305]