Mr Charnjit Sekhon trading as Binley Woods Service Centre (60-62 Rugby Road Binley Woods) has been fined and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totaling £11,150 after the business carried out an unsatisfactory car service.
Deputy District Judge Jonas (presiding) stated in his judgement that vehicles are ‘killing machines. They can kill if they are driven dangerously or even carelessly & they can kill if they are not maintained properly.’
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service successfully prosecuted the business following a covert test purchase and investigation.
Trading Standards Officers, working undercover, booked a Ford Fiesta in to the garage for a major service costing £132. On collecting the vehicle, it was then checked by an expert vehicle examiner who found that garage staff had failed to attend to nine separate faults.
Garage staff had failed to top up either the coolant or power steering fluid, had not replaced the fuel filter and had not checked the tyre pressures. The trader reported that the offside rear tyre was on the limit and had a tread depth of 1.6mm whereas the minimum depth on this tyre was actually 3.44mm.
The garage had also failed to notify the undercover officer of a split wiper blade, noisy nearside rear wheel bearing or the condition of the spark plugs.
Finally, the rear offside seatbelt stalk was trapped beneath the rear seat cushion suggesting that the function of the rear seat belts had not been checked.
At Coventry Magistrates Court on Wednesday 6th November 2019 Charnjit Sekhon (aged 31 of Rugby Road Binley Woods CV3 2AX), trading as Binley Woods Service Centre was found guilty of an offence contrary to regulation 9 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Mr Sekhon was fined £1,500, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £9,500 and a £150 victim surcharge, a total of £11,150.
Scott Tompkins, Assistant Director for Environment Services said:
“Most of us are not experts in vehicle maintenance and we rely upon garages to carry out car services properly so that we can have confidence our vehicles are satisfactorily maintained.
“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to carry out this important work to protect road users.”
In mitigation, Mr Scott representing Mr Sekhon said that his client was of previous good character and there had been only one incident. He had also made changes to the quality control system.
Warwickshire Trading Standards regularly carries out undercover car servicing enforcement exercises. An expert vehicle examiner places faults on cars before they are submitted for services at garages across Warwickshire. On completion, the vehicle expert then examines the vehicles to see if the garages have carried out the services to an acceptable standard.
Warwickshire residents wishing to make a complaint about a vehicle service they have paid for can do so by contacting Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Find out more about Trading Standards on the Warwickshire Web: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards