No, as far as I know, we in AE don't use 'instrument panel' in everyday conversation for cars either, only mainly for more complicated things like airplanes -- though it wouldn't surprise me to see it as 'official' terminology in a manual.
I don't have the foggiest idea what this person is talking about with the 'rearmost surface' -- I assume that would be the side abutting the engine compartment, or the windshield at the top? Very odd.
However, if the writer is trying to differentiate between something called an instrument panel and something different called a dashboard, I wonder if by the latter he or she might just mean the flat horizontal surface that things in the front of the car can rest upon, like a shelf. Particularly a non-native speaker might assume that board/Brett meant the flat horizontal part, as opposed to the part with the dials and gauges facing the driver?
Another option that just occurred to me -- what if the instrument panel is only the part that actually contains the dials and gauges, i.e., immediately in front of the driver, but the dashboard refers to the entire width of the car, all the way across, including the A/C and radio (and now, GPS) and everything? Even the glove box?
Again, I'm not sure a native speaker would think that, but if this by any chance came via a third language, that might explain part of the confusion.
Sorry, all just guessing, but best I can do for lack of anything better at this hour.