Business Minister, Anna Soubry has pledged to close the loophole that enables fraudsters to wind back the miles on a vehicle's odometer; a process which dupes drivers into thinking they are buying a newer model. The move has been warmly welcomed by vehicle history check experts, HPI, who estimate that as many as 1.7 million used cars could be on the road in Britain with fraudulent mileage readings, posing a considerable threat to other road users. The mileage alteration process, known as 'clocking' is often used by criminals to increase the potential sale price of a vehicle; sometimes by thousands of pounds. According to HPI, due to the computerised systems located within modern day vehicles, clocking a vehicle can have severe ramifications beyond false mileage reading. As many as 10 per cent of all the modules within a modern day vehicle _ i.e. airbag, ABS and ignition _ feed data into the central ECU system, and each time such an event occurs a 'snapshot' of the vehicle's mileage is recorded on these modules. Subsequently, in the event a vehicle's mileage is wound back by a particularly hard-working 'clocker', it could potentially affect the aforementioned modules as well as the odometer; leading to issues with safety warnings and legal issues in the event of a road accident. Neil Hodson, deputy managing director, Cap HPI, said: 'Clocking is a blight on the used car industry. 'It's a fast and easy way for unscrupulous sellers to make money, with many simply thinking 'why not?'. 'But here is a perfect example of why not _ serious problems can occur with a vehicle. 'Firstly, there is the potential to miss important servicing and warning light indicators, as the car's various different components will be reading different mileages. 'By changing the mileage, a clocker will actually be causing conflicts within the cars' electronics and interfering with the normal routines for servicing and repair. 'In addition, the manufacturer's warranty is likely to be void if the car is discovered to have been clocked. 'There is also a very serious legal issue to be considered. In modern vehicles crucial evidence of a cars' performance and speed at the time of an accident will be stored in the cars' on-board computer. 'Such evidence may have an important contribution to make in an accident investigation, but sadly if a vehicle has had its mileage tampered with, the integrity of the data could be said to have been compromised and likely inadmissible as evidence in court. 'So an innocent party in an accident could find themselves unable to prove this if they had been driving a clocked car without realising.î