Generally speaking, it is against the law to perform fraudulent practices relating to motor vehicle odometers. The replacement, disconnection or the reset of an odometer of any motor vehicle on which the odometer does not recognize the true mileage driven is a fraudulent practice and … can be punishable with a class 1 misdemeanor. 1

While there are laws about setting back car and truck odometers, they don’t apply to farm machinery hour meters. Only fraud statutes apply there and aren’t often applied. 2

Anti-Tampering Laws

  • Illinois (720 ILCS 5/17-11.1)
    • Law repealed 7-11-11
      • Any person convicted of tampering with an hour meter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor 3
  • Iowa
    • Doesn’t have an anti-tampering law
    • Has official brochure to prevent purchasing tampered tractors through Iowa Attorney General Farm Division 4
    • Farm Division has helped on consumer fraud cases with hour meter tampering (illegality would be from consumer fraud, not a direct hour meter law) 5 , 6
  • Minnesota (Statute 325E.166)
    • Victims of tampering may recover the actual damages sustained together with costs and disbursements, including reasonable attorney fees. The court, in its discretion, may increase the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages sustained or $1500, whichever is greater 7
  • Tennessee
    • No direct legislation
    • Hour meter tampering can be brought to court under fraudulent misrepresentation, and as a violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act 8
  • Wisconsin (100.48)
    • Any person tampering an hour meter attached to farm equipment may be fined not more than $5000 or imprisoned for not more than one year in the county jail, or both, for each violation 9