How to clock a dodgy motor trader

By on 30/07/2010 in News

Following today's sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court of four men found guilty of falsifying odometers on cars in four separate cases, Birmingham City Council have issued advice on how to avoid buying a clocked car.

Aware that there is a major trade in Birmingham in Japanese imported vehicles being offered for sale with false mileage readings, Trading Standards Officers from Birmingham City Council have been conducting a monitoring exercise of the sale of cars on a well known used car website.

Today's cases have all resulted from activity initially detected via a well known used car website (Details in Note to Editors).

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council said:

“There is a lot of money to be made in clocking cars, and customers buying second hand cars need to be very wary.

“Unscrupulous dealers are importing cars with high mileages that are being sold cheap at auction and then drastically reducing the mileage.

“Clocking cars used to be a lengthy and laborious process that involved manually removing the clock from the car's dashboard and changing the numbers, but advances in technology mean that all they have to do now is plug in a laptop to the car's software and the mileage can be changed in minutes.

“If people are in any doubt about a car they wish to purchase, they should input the registration number into both the HPI mileage check website and the VOSA MOT history check website. Paying a small fee for these checks is better than being lumbered with a dud car.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

Moshun Raza Ahmed (55), from Birch Close in Bournville, (known locally as Charlie Ahmed), trading as Japanese Cars Ltd, was charged with 20 offences of offering Japanese imported vehicles for sale and providing false information as to their odometer readings

Kamran Tabassum (38), from St Johns Road, Sparkhill, trading as Car Point Birmingham Ltd, was charged with 8 offences of offering Japanese imported vehicles for sale and providing false information as to their odometer readings. These vehicles were being offered for sale at the premises of Japanese Cars Ltd.

Mohammed Umar Farooq (34), from Wharfdale Road, Tyseley, trading as Link Motors, was charged with 7 offences of offering Japanese imported vehicles for sale and providing false information as to their odometer readings. These vehicles were also being offered for sale at the premises of Japanese Cars Ltd.

They each received a community order of 250 hours of unpaid work.

Trading Standards Officers from Birmingham City Council initially found an advert for a company called Japanese Car Sales run by Charlie Ahmed, offering Japanese imported vehicles. 

The advert contained a link to Mr Ahmed's own website where he was offering a number of vehicles for sale.  Officers checked the advertised mileages of these vehicles with the British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA).

Results showed that 14 of the vehicles checked had mileage discrepancies.  As a result of their findings in September 2008 a forecourt inspection at the premises of Japanese Cars Limited at New Canal Street, Digbeth, Birmingham was carried out. 

Officers went to each vehicle in turn and recorded the make, model, colour, registration number (or VIN), odometer reading, any sales information and whether or not there was a disclaimer, stating that the mileage of the vehicle could be guaranteed. 

Officers then contacted the British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA) and asked them to carry out mileage checks on the vehicles seen during this exercise. This revealed that out of 30 vehicles inspected, 20 appeared to have mileage discrepancies.

According to BIMTA, one Toyota car that had been sold through auction in Japan with a mileage reading of 244,000 kilometres, had been seen on the forecourt of Japanese Cars Limited with an odometer reading of only 125,053 kilometres.

When questioned by Trading Standards Officers, Charlie Ahmed stated that the clocked vehicles had been supplied to him by 2 different traders, Kamran Tabassum of Five Star Autos Limited and Mohammed Umar Farooq of Link Motors Ltd.

In an unrelated case on Wednesday 28th July, Qaisir Ali (29), of Burman Road, Shirley, and Raees Ali (27), of Westley Road, Acocks Green, both pleaded guilty to 1 offence of conspiring together and with persons unknown to defraud the purchasers of vehicles by selling high mileage cars with reduced odometer readings and 25 mileage related offences under the Fraud Act 2006.

They each received custodial sentences of 18 months.

Again, Qaisir Ali and Raees Ali were advertising cars for sale on a well known used car website with false mileage readings, and in certain cases were supplying them with false service histories.

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