A DANGEROUS and unroadworthy car was advertised as ‘drives terrific’ by a Rugby car trader, who has been prosecuted after being caught by an undercover investigation.
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Officers purchased the vehicle from dealer Richard Anthony Keene, 46, of Glover Street, Coventry, who trades as Bournebrook Motors.
The vehicle, which was bought by officers for £775 in February, was found to have a number of faults including broken springs at both sides of the front suspension and insecure wheel nuts on one of the front wheels.
The expert who examined the car said the front wheel would soon have come off the vehicle if it had continued to be driven, and the front suspension would cause the vehicle to handle erratically, and would eventually collapse.
At Nuneaton Magistrates Court on Monday September 1, Keene pleaded guilty to two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and two offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988. He was fined £500, ordered to pay £1250 prosecution costs and a £50 victim’s surcharge.
In mitigation, it was stated that Keene had written to the purchaser as soon as he realised that the wheel nuts had been removed or loosened by his mechanic.
Warwickshire County Council safety spokesman Coun John Horner said: “Consumers wanting to buy a used car, whatever its price, should have confidence that the vehicle they are purchasing is roadworthy and safe to drive. Unroadworthy vehicles put the lives of all road users at risk.”
Fellow County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “We will continue to take action to prevent the sale of dangerous and unroadworthy vehicles, helping to ensure consumers aren’t deceived into buying cars that could be worthless and potentially lethal to drive.”
Warwickshire Trading Standards Service advises anyone buying a used car, particularly at the cheaper end of the market, to check the vehicle and any paperwork thoroughly before purchase.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards for more advice. Consumers can make a complaint about a car dealer and obtain further advice on their consumer rights by phoning Trading Standards on 03454 040506.
Businesses unsure of their obligations should telephone the Trading Standards Service on 01926 414040.