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MALTATODAY 23 October 2022

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2 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 23 OCTOBER 2022 NEWS Event, PR & Media agency by day. Invention lab by night. NEW WORLD New Challenges New Perspectives Building brands WITH PURPOSE AND PASSION IDEAS THAT GROW BRANDS soar IDEAS THAT For more information contact: Margaret Brincat on 9940 6743 / Niki Cauchi on 9939 6620 / Martin Vella on 9919 6510 / CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 An exercise carried out by MaltaToday on a sample of 18 cars flagged by multiple indus- try sources, revealed discrepan- cies ranging between 30,000km and 130,000km between the original mileage and the one registered in Malta. Sources indicated that at least two car dealers were us- ing the services of a garage in San Gwann to tamper with the odometer, and then falsify doc- umentation issued by the Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Cen- tre (JEVIC), to dupe consumers into believing the second-hand car they are being sold is of low mileage. Crucially, industry sources told MaltaToday that the racket starts the moment the cars ar- rive in Malta: when they are of- floaded at Laboratory Wharf in the Grand Harbour, the police have to fill in the Vehicle 5 (VEH 005) customs and police inspection form. The manual form con- tains several fields, in- cluding one where the car's dashboard mileage is listed. However, it appears that dealers often use the excuse that the car battery has been drained throughout their voy- age at sea on the cargo ship, preventing the dashboard mile- age from being read by the in- specting police officers. In these instances, the in- spector leaves the mileage field blank so that the deal- er can fill it in later, when the car is re-started using a boost- er. Sources indicated that al- though there may be genuine cases of car batteries that fall flat, many times these would have been disconnected by the dealer. The blank field allows rogue dealers to write down the tam- pered mileage at a later stage. Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia told MaltaToday that Transport Malta has increased its scrutiny of documentation of Japa- nese car importers. "Transport Malta has further strengthened its internal practices, as has the procedure by which vehicles imported from Japan are registered, where the JEVIC certificate is being independently verified by other entities," he said. Following MaltaToday's in- vestigation, a number of duped customers had come forward with their story. A couple who wished to remain anonymous had each bought a Mazda De- mio from Tal-Qasab, but when comparing the original JEVIC certificate to the log book de- tails, they found a discrepancy of 51,000km and 25,000km re- spectively. Another customer who reached out to this newspaper said he was sold a Toyota Re- gius van that was advertised at 98,470km by Rokku Autodeal- er. The JEVIC data base showed that in fact the truck actually had 266,751km on it – a dis- crepancy of almost 170,000km. Farrugia said the logbooks and other vehicle documentation connected to the case are in the process of being replaced and updated according to the actual mileage. "TM has sent a letter to anyone affected to inform them of this," he said. The minister also said the transport authority has contin- ued to collaborate with the po- lice in their inquiries. Transport authority steps up verification of Japanese used car imports' mileage

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