More control of mileage reading fraud. MEPs revise the EU legal framework

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Members of the European Parliament vote this morning almost unanimously in favour of a report on odometer manipulation in motor vehicles in order to revise the current EU legal framework and tackle mileage reading fraud.

Odometer tampering is a malpractice that involves an unauthorised manipulation of mileage readings shown on odometers. Studies estimate the share of tampered vehicles between 5% and 12% of used cars in national sales and between 30% and 50% in cross-border sales, accumulating to a total economic damage, especially for the EU consumers, between EUR 5, 6 and 9, 6 billion in the whole EU.

The objective of this INI Report is to create legal, technical and operational barriers to make odometer manipulations difficult and therefore decrease their negative effect on road safety, environment, economy and consumers. The principle is clear: the problem of odometer tampering is very important, spread and recognised as very harmful for European citizens, whilst the solutions are already known, simple and not generating additional costs.

Some Member States have already introduced instruments to minimise odometer manipulation, like “Car Pass” in Belgium and “Nationale AutoPas” (NAP) in Netherlands: within a short amount of time, both eradicated odometer fraud in their domains. Whilst Slovakia, Luxembourg, Germany and France have recently taken measures to address the issue of odometer tampering, a European answer is still needed.

EUCARIS, the European Car and Driving License Information System, is already an existing tool which could be used as a cost-effective solution for the exchange of odometer readings across the EU.

It is therefore important to call on the Commission and Member States to act rapidly, because, as stressed by Dominique Riquet, rapporteur for the ALDE group on this file:

“It is essential to put in place a European regulatory framework against these frauds. Considering how spread and damaging this problem is, and how easy and efficient the solutions are, the European Union has here a real opportunity to protect its citizens, to demonstrate in concrete and practical manner the European added value for a shortcoming touching upon directly or indirectly almost all EU citizens.”

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