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EU to get tougher on car mileage tampering

The EU is set to crack down on odometer tampering of used vehicles, and will vote on new legislation to deal with this issue today, said Brian Hayes MEP.

“50% of second-hand cars traded in the EU have had their mileage rolled back on, with the price of vehicles fraudulently increasing by €2,000-€5,000 on average,” he stated.

“This practice has impacted particularly on sales of imported used cars, with a staggering 30% to 50% of these vehicles presenting with odometers which have been tampered with. Within individual countries around the EU member states, 5% to 12% of second hand vehicles sold have altered mileage readings. I think most Irish motorists would be shocked at these figures, particularly as cross-border car purchases are now so popular.

“This fraud is costing an estimated €5.6-€9.6 billion a year to consumers, second-hand car dealers, leasing companies, insurers and manufacturers.

“Consumers not only pay too much for their vehicles, but are often faced with unexpected maintenance and repair expenses for overused cars. There are also harmful environmental consequences as these cars are often more polluting and road safety is compromised by potentially hazardous vehicles

Although odometer manipulation is prohibited in 25 EU countries, sanctions can vary widely. Parliament wants stricter measures to prevent mileage fraud and improve the consistency of penalties across the EU. Its recommendations include:

  • The creation of a European database collecting mileage readings of all EU cars, similar to Belgium’s “Car-Pass” or “Nationale AutoPas” in the Netherlands
  • Recognition of odometer tampering as a criminal offence across all EU countries
  • Technical Inspections to include regular registration of vehicle mileage readings
  • Integration of tamper-proof technological solutions by car manufacturers

“A resolution calling for this new legislation is to be voted on in Parliament in Strasbourg today and I support it. The cost of purchasing and running a car is hefty enough for Irish motorists without having to contend with dodgy mileage. Anyone trading these vehicles must face the full rigours of the law.”

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