At Motorcheck we see issues around a car's mileage reading on a daily basis. Unfortunately if you're buying privately there's very little that can be done as the legislation around 'car clocking' in Ireland only pertains to a business and falls under a breach of consumer law. You can read more about the legislative problems here.
Included underneath is an email I received from one of our customers last week. Claire believes her car was clocked and is in the difficult position of negotiating with the dealer she bought it from nearly a year ago.
I am emailing to ask for your advise following a check I conducted on my car using Motorcheck.ie
I bought a car 06###### Volvo S40 from a dealer in Dublin in June 2010. The dealer is SIMI registered and I was issued with a 3 month warranty. During that time the car had only one problem which thankfully the garage covered under warranty (after an initial NCT failure the car was repaired and passed the NCT in August 2010).
During the first few months subsequent to buying the car I had quite a few correspondances with the sales man to get a jack, second key and service book sent to me. The latter was never made available to me.
Since then I started to have trouble with the car and have had to spend quite an amount of money repairing the car. I then heard about Motorcheck.ie and decided to check my car's history. The report showed a mileage reading for my car in 08 at 112,807km, however when I bought the car the mileage was 104,022km! I did some further detective work of my own and indeed spoke to a previous owner who confirmed the mileage of the car in Feb 2009 was 127,000km.
I took the car to a main Volvo dealer who estimated that the repair work needed for the car would come to €1,300. The car has been deemed unsafe to drive by the garage and as I live in West Cork this is a significant inconvenience to me.
I have contacted the dealer and discovered the salesman who sold me the car not longer works there. However the dealer has accepted that the mileage of the car is inaccurate and offers his apology for selling me this car. While this is a start I am currently in the awkward position of having to borrow a car to get to work and all this investigative work carried out on my own accord has made this a very stressful situation. Currently the car is parked at my home and I am reluctant to finance the repairs for a car I have discovered has a mileage history discrepancy.
I would appreciate any help and advice you can offer me to achieve a prompt solution to my problem.
I'm very sorry to hear about your trouble. 'Car clocking' is one of the most common frauds we see perpetrated against innocent buyers on a daily basis and one we're trying hard to increase our detection of it with our own National Mileage Register.
It looks like you have some very strong evidence to back-up your suspicion that the car you have was clocked. I'm glad that the dealer who sold you the car has accepted that fact and I can see why you're reluctant to drive the car. Why he's slow to resolve the issue is a bit of a puzzle though. No professional dealer wants to be associated with 'car clocking'. Frequently the dealer turns out to be an innocent participant having been conned by a previous seller but in terms of responsibility they are certainly liable. Indeed we have a trade system on Motorcheck specifcally for this purpose. It allows a dealer to check a car's history including its odometer reading before offering it for sale and I'm sure if the garage who sold you this car had a run a Motorcheck report on it they would have seen the mileage discrepancy themselves.
Thankfully the garage you purchased the car from is an SIMI member. The society takes a very dim view of 'car clocking' and I'm sure they will be pleased to help you. I suggest that you make contact using their complaint form here. They will in turn contact the dealer in question and hopefully bring the matter to a successful conclusion for you.
One other option open to you would be the National Consumer Agency. You can complete a consumer complaint report here. The Agency is familiar with 'Car clocking' and will know exactly what part of consumer law has been broken and may be able to persuade the dealer to do the right thing.
I hope the above is of use to you. Please let us know how things progress.