Last week, French Senator, Alain Fouché (Les independents) has presented a legislative proposal co-signed by fifty senators to the French Senate to fight against odometer fraud.
The text aims to give "a legal existence
" to the already exisiting Histovec
platform with the creation of a " national register
" gathering all the data related to a vehicle. This register would notably include the mileage history, recorded during visits to a technical center or any intervention by a professional on the vehicle.
It also provides that any sale of a used vehicle is subject to a written contract, on the responsibility of the public authorities to establish a standard contract, as well as the obligation for the seller to give to the buyer a certificate retracing the history and characteristics "as established with the national register".
Odometer manipulation is widespread across the EU and has tremendous consequences for the consumer. In that sense, a 2018 European Parliament study
found that up to 40% of used cars traded across borders are “clocked” and that citizens EU-wide incur a loss of 8.9 billion per year, under conservative assumptions and without taking account of the consumer damage from manipulated vehicles sold in within a same country.
Besides inflated costs for the consumer, odometer tampering has adverse consequences on road safety, the environment and substantially distorts the functioning of the used car market in the EU.
Since many years (*) CECRA is strongly committed in fighting against such harmful practice. CECRA commitment has resulted in a European Parliament resolution
urging the European Commission to take action and has produced good results in terms of increased awareness among the EU decision-makers.
At CECRA, we want stricter measures to prevent mileage fraud and improve the consistency of penalties across the EU. More specifically we recommend:
- the creation of national databases and mandatory exchange of mileage readings across the EU
- the recognition of odometer tampering as a criminal offense across all EU countries
- technical Inspections to include regular registration of vehicle mileage readings
- integration of tamper-proof technological solutions by car manufacturers, with blockchain being considered as a possible measure
Some European countries (i.e. Belgium, the Netherlands) have successfully managed to bring down the number of manipulated cars to almost zero. We believe that big results could also be achieved at European level by simply capitalising on their experience and extending it to all the other EU Member States.
- 2nd half 2010 - The Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU praises the importance of a digital data-base collecting all the vehicles’ mileage over their lifetime (i.e. CARPASS in force in Belgium as from 2006).
- March 2014 – The European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopt updated rules on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles (Dir. 2014/45/EU). Under the new rules the mileage counter readings from the previous tests are made available to inspectors, which make it easier to spot tampering. Odometer fraud is to be considered an offence liable to a penalty.
- April 2016 – The European Parliament European adopts a Written Declaration on combating mileage fraud in the second-hand car market
- January 2018 – The European Parliament publishes a study on “Odometer manipulation in motor vehicles in the EU”
- May 2018 – The European Parliament adopts an own-initiative report with recommendations to the Commission on odometer manipulation in motor vehicles: revision of the EU legal framework (2017/2064(INL)
- July 2018 – RDW (The Dutch Vehicle Authority in the mobility chain) publishes a study titled “Odometer Manipulation: regarding imported vehicles from Germany”