One in ten Galway cars is clocked - and a potential deathtrapAugust 30, 2012 - 7:00am
Around one in every ten second-hand cars in Galway have had their mileage ‘clocked’ – by amounts of up to 100,000 miles – posing a potential deathtrap to their owners, according to new statistics.
A report from Cartell.ie – a vehicle history checking website – shows that 11,165 cars in Galway were found to have had their odometers ‘wound back’.
And the practice – which itself is not illegal and simple to carry out – is becoming more widespread as the recession bites and motorists turn their backs on brand new cars.
John Byrne of Cartell told the Connacht Tribune: “We know from our database how many used cars there are in the Galway area, and we know now than 10% of cars there have been clocked. It’s very easy to clock a car. All you need is diagnostic equipment, and wind the clock back. The figures vary hugely, and are anything from a few thousand miles to 100,000 miles.
“There are more than 11,000 clocked cars in Galway, we’re surprised by those figures, but when you look at the economic climate, and the amount of money that can be ‘earned’ by clocking a car, it’s probably not that surprising,” he said.
Mr Byrne said clocked cars can pose a potentially deadly threat to drivers – particularly if the car was being driven at speed and its timing belt snapped causing the engine to seize.
“In extreme cases, it’s far from inconceivable that there could be a critical failure in a clocked car. If you have a car with 100,000 miles on it, and you’re aware of it, you know that things like timing belts need to be changed. But if you had 40,000 on the clock, you wouldn’t know to get it replaced. If the belt went on a motorway, there would be an element of risk.
“Some people would argue that if a car reached 100,000, it proves it’s reliable, but the owner must be aware of the fact it has done that mileage to maintain it appropriately," he added.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune.