Trading Standards officers in Warwickshire made unannounced visits to 16 garages across all five districts and boroughs of the county, selected using consumer complaint data.
A vehicle expert was employed to carry out a thorough examination of 31 cars, of which five were found to have so many faults that they were deemed to be dangerous and unroadworthy. Faults identified included damaged brakes, illegal tyres, seatbelt mounting corrosion and steering and suspension faults.
All garage owners were advised of their responsibilities and further enforcement action will be undertaken in the future.
Warwickshire Trading Standards receives more consumer complaints about cars than anything else. These unroadworthy vehicle checks form part of a rolling programme of mystery shopper exercises that have led to a number of successful prosecutions including last year, when a garage was fined and ordered to pay costs of more than £9,000 after selling an unroadworthy vehicle it described as ‘in good condition’ and ‘drives very well without faults’.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “Whilst we are pleased that most of the garages visited are selling vehicles that are safe and roadworthy, it is a concern that any garage would attempt to sell a vehicle that was dangerous to drive.
“Car buyers, most of whom are unlikely to be vehicle experts, have to trust car dealers that the vehicles they sell are safe to drive.”
“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to carry out these unannounced visits to protect used car buyers and help ensure that traders are only selling cars they know to be safe and legal.”
All five vehicles identified as dangerous were removed from sale and all 16 traders advised of their responsibilities under the Road Traffic Act 1988, General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.