Odometer manipulation is an EU-wide problem, affecting up to 40% of second hand vehicles. An effective solution needs to be implemented at EU level. However, there was no final consensus reached on how mileage fraud could most effectively be tackled. Car-Pass, the Belgian solution to mileage fraud, hosted an international conference for all stakeholders in the used car market that are confronted with the widespread problem of odometer tampering. FIA Region I President Thierry Willemarck also spoke at the event.
Many participants supported an EU-wide database that ensures regular, mandatory entries of odometer readings during the vehicle’s life, to be recorded at periodical technical inspections or roadside inspections. This would accommodate effective data exchange between Member State authorities when a vehicle would be re-registered in another Member State. CARPOL reported that cross-border vehicle sales increase the risk for odometer manipulation. An additional solution proposed was to address the issue at the source by implementing mandatory technical solutions on-board the vehicle.
FIA Region I stressed the urgency of resolving the issue quickly and recommended to tie-in prevention of odometer reading manipulation and key-less car theft prevention into an holistic cyber-security approach, to be established at EU level.
MEP Ismail Ertug had drafted a resolution for the European Parliament to call upon the Commission to come forward with a proposal to effectively combat mileage fraud. The resolution had not adopted, but it had sensitised the MEPs on the detrimental impact that odometer tampering has on society and consumers. In his view, the Commission should table a proposal to address the issue. The Commission acknowledged the flagged concerns but did not commit to submitting a proposal to Council and Parliament soon.
The conference was held to mark Car-Pass’ 10th anniversary, and its purpose was to spread awareness about the scale of mileage fraud, exchange best practices to fight odometer fraud and reflect on how the problem could be addressed in the near future. The event took place on 19 October and was attended by over 100 participants. Other speakers included the Belgian federal minister for Mobility, members of the Belgian federal government, the European Commission, the European Parliament, Price Waterhouse Coopers among many others.