Cartell.ie Bill on Vehicle Clocking gets National Coverage
Today’s Sunday Independent credits Used Car History Check experts Cartell.ie with prominent drive to criminalise vehicle clocking in Ireland
In a piece written by journalist Shane O Donoghue Cartell is mentioned in connection with drafting a Bill which seeks to send out a clear message that vehicle clocking is a serious issue worthy of criminal penalty as well as data which highlights the extent of vehicle clocking. Cartell has estimated that 208,978 vehicles in Ireland are clocked. These numbers apply to both imported vehicles and indigenous vehicles alike with as many as 11% of all imports from the UK showing false mileages.
In June 2010 Cartell presented to the Oireachtas a Bill which sought to introduce the offence of clocking of a motor vehicle among related offences. This Bill received the support of the Labour Party and recently was firmly endorsed by AA Ireland. Cartell continues to call for the introduction of this offence in a climate when consumers must be especially careful about unwittingly parting with hard-earned cash for a vehicle which is potentially unroadworthy.
The article states: “The AA renewed calls to criminalise the act of car ‘clocking’ in Ireland following a report last month (October) that revealed that up to 11 per cent of car imports from the UK have false mileages. Data from Cartell.ie, the official vehicle records experts in Ireland, was also used to illustrate how the number of imports has increased substantially in the past decade, putting Irish buyers at risk. “Some Irish consumers are being taken for a ride as Ireland is seen as a dumping ground.” Says AA Ireland public affairs manager Conor Faughnan. Yet there is no legislation to prevent the act of changing a car’s mileage reading (‘clocking’), nor to penalise those that knowingly sell clocked cars.
The AA referred to Ireland’s existing laws as weak and has called for clocking to be made an offence. John Byrne, Legal and PR Manager of Cartell.ie, drafted a Bill to make clocking and interfering with an odometer a specific offence and submitted it to the then government for inclusion into the 2010 Road Traffic Act. The Bill was not passed.
Amid fresh calls to criminalise the act of clocking the AA points out that it’s not just fraud, but potentially dangerous: “Clocking is a major safety concern as a vehicle with more mileage than indicated may not have had the correct servicing at manufacturer’s recommended intervals. This makes breakdowns more likely and increases the chances of an expensive repair like a timing belt. More seriously, critical parts such as braking and power steering systems may be in need of repair without the driver knowing it. ”
It was hoped that the advent of more sophisticated instruments would make clocking impossible, but in fact it’s easier than ever. The AA cites the availability of the technology to carry out the clocking for less than €100 – and it’s rarely necessary to dismantle the dashboard nowadays. In effect, there is precious little deterrent for a non-scrupulous seller to alter the odometer reading. “If you are planning to bring in a car from Northern Ireland or Great Britain make sure that you check its history.” Says Faughnan.
While the new data refers to imported cars, the National Mileage Register (NMR), operated by Cartell.ie, reveals that Irish cars are far from exempt, with mileage discrepancies across the board. The NMR holds over five million readings and was set up to protect consumers. To further boost the usefulness of this database the AA would like to see the release of the NCT mileage readings. Anecdotal evidence suggests that NCT test centres regularly observe mileage discrepancies, but they are not bound to act on this. It is proposed that the penalty for vehicle clocking would be a fine of up to €5,000 or up to three months imprisonment on summary conviction or up to €10,000 and up to two years imprisonment on conviction on indictment. Jeff Aherne, Director and co-founder of Cartell.ie commented: “It is time that Ireland sends out a clear message that it will not allow its citizens be ripped off and put in harm’s way when laws can be passed to protect them.”” END