Cork MEP warns car buyers about ‘clocking’

4 January 2015
By Bryan Smyth
bryan@TheCork.ie

Fine Gael MEP for Ireland South and member of the EU Transport Committee, Deirdre Clune has warned those who are buying a second hand car in the month of January to be on the lookout for signs that the car’s mileage has been tampered with. Speaking as we enter one of the busiest months for car sales, MEP Clune said that mileage fraud is undermining confidence in our second hand car market and consumers need more protection from cars that have been tampered with.

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“Figures presented to me in the European Parliament show that second hand cars imported to Ireland from the UK are twice as likely as a second hand Irish car to have been clocked. We need immediate pan European action on car clocking in our second hand car market. Mileage fraud is costing us billions of euro, impacting on safety and undermining our second hand car market.

“Following an initiative by Anthony Lawlor, TD, in 2013, we have legislation in Ireland which makes it illegal to tamper with the mileage reading on second hand cars. Figures presented to me in the European Parliament show that second hand cars imported to Ireland from the UK are twice as likely as a second hand Irish car to have been clocked. According to cartell.ie, one in seven UK vehicles show mileage discrepancies.

“Some member states, including Ireland have taken action on mileage fraud but in an internal market, where second hand cars are easily traded across borders, we must tackle this issue on a pan European basis. We need binding EU wide legislation on car clocking to ensure that consumers have confidence to buy a second hand car knowing that it has not been tampered with.

“Mileage “clocking” is costing European consumers between €5.6 and €9.6 billion annually. Experts in the industry in Ireland claim that car clocking could be as high as 10% of all second hand cars. According to SIMI, the society of the Irish Motor Industry, almost 13% of vehicles imported from the UK had a serious anomaly from the last recorded mileage in the UK.

“This is also a serious safety issue. Cars have scheduled maintenance based on their mileage. If the mileage is wrong – then the maintenance will be wrong, leading to a situation where brake pads may be worn, engines may not be correctly serviced, all of which impacts on safety

The Ireland South MEP also raised the issue of “written off” cars being put back on the road. Motorcheck.ie warns that there are more than 50,000 write-offs on Irish roads every year and as many as 60% these are repaired and put back on the road.

“This is a direct threat to road safety. Although road deaths have decreased in 2015, we have had a terrible start to 2016. I will be calling for harsh penalties for those who are caught putting written off cars back on the second hand car market.”

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