'SmartCheck' to check automobile fraud

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New Delhi, Mar 15: Amid reports of stolen vehicles flooding used car market, a leading auto portal has launched a new feature which will help the prospective buyer check the history of the second hand vehicle he intends to buy.

AutoIndia.com, the pioneer of the online automotive marketplace in the country, last week launched the vehicle history 'SmartCheck' feature which is said to be the first of its kind in India. "SmartCheck", which has gone live at www.autoindia. com is an interactive feature that serves data on more than 1,00,000 used vehicles with problems relating to fraud and theft, Portal's CEO V Chandramouli said here today.

He warned consumers to be beware of a new type of automobile fraud - "Engine or Chassis Number Cloning." "This is done using the engine or chassis number from one vehicle to mask the identity of a stolen vehicle. Unfortunately, these stolen vehicles end up in the hands of unsuspecting car buyers." Based on 2007 statistics, according to Mr Chandramouli, there were more than 90 million motor vehicles in the country.

"Today in India, a vehicle is stolen approximately every five minutes, as per police records. Most of these are passenger vehicles." The highest incidents of thefts and frauds were reported in Delhi, followed by Mumbai and Bangalore, both for two-wheelers and passenger cars.

"A recent AutoIndia.com study shows a significant increase in stolen vehicles coming up for sale over the last five years," said Mr Chandramouli, while pointing out that SUVs and popular models of four-wheelers and two-wheelers are frequent targets.

Insurance companies lose over Rs 1,000 crores every year, and as much as 15 per cent of all motor claims are for theft or fraud.

"As vehicle thefts increase, more and more consumers could find themselves paying for someone else's crime. AutoIndia advices customers to be cautious when purchasing vehicles and to do a vehicle history check through it's free SmartCheck," Mr Chandramouli said.

He suggested that all car and bike buyers have their vehicle inspected by a trusted, professional mechanic prior to purchase and to purchase vehicles from reputed parties.


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