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When we bought the vehicle the battery was dead. After jumping it a few times and driving it enough to stay charged the odometer reset back to 0. Why and can this be fixed?
 

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When we bought the vehicle the battery was dead. After jumping it a few times and driving it enough to stay charged the odometer reset back to 0. Why and can this be fixed?
I would take it to the dealer and ask them to figure it out. Changing odometer is considered criminal offense, if you report it to the dealer, you would have a written documentation proving it wasn't intentional and you tried to fix it.
 

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Did you ever see the actual mileage or was it showing 0 when you bought it? I hope the seller wasn't trying to defraud you.

Yes, resetting the odometer is against the law, but (I'm no lawyer) I think if/when you trade it in there is a form where you state the mileage or check a box saying "Warning, odometer discrepancy." That wouldn't be part of a private sale, however.

When I was younger than I am now my Dad bought a new '59 Chevy and the odometer (obviously mechanical in those days) was sticky and started turning over fantastic miles. The dealer installed a new odometer, but those first few miles were lost to history. It's too long ago for me to recall the time frame between the purchase, discovery of the problem, and the repair -- he may have driven several months worth of miles (with many more miles falsely recorded) before it was fixed. I do remember him getting the new odometer and laughing about zero miles and saying it was a new car all over again.
 

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...I think if/when you trade it in there is a form where you state the mileage or check a box saying "Warning, odometer discrepancy." That wouldn't be part of a private sale, however...
I don't know if it is required in all states but in Vermont and Florida when you transfer ownership of a vehicle there is a place on the title where you must record the odometer reading and state whether it is "actual mileage" or "not actual mileage".

Edit: According to the NHTSA web site it is required in all states:

Every state requires that a private party purchaser of a vehicle obtain a title or certificate of registration in his or her name. These transactions result in records that will contain odometer readings and odometer statements. Federal law requires that the mileage of a vehicle be disclosed on the title each time the title is transferred. Every state maintains title history records.
 
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