A Birmingham car trader and its director were ordered to pay a total of £7,500 for selling a used car that was misdescribed and unroadworthy, at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (11 July 2016).
M A Trade Centre Limited, based at 36 Arthur Road, Yardley, and the company’s director Mahmood Hussain, 48, of Geraldine Road, Yardley, had pleaded not guilty to four offences each under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Road Traffic Act 1988 at an earlier hearing (31 March 2016).
Both Hussain and M A Trade Centre Limited were found guilty on 6 June 2016 of all offences relating to advertising an unroadworthy 2011-reg Ford Fiesta for sale via the Auto Trader website. Hussain and the company were each fined £1,750 and ordered to pay £2,000 towards costs. An order was also made to confiscate the Ford Fiesta.
Birmingham City Council brought the case against Hussain and M A Trade Centre Limited as the result of a consumer’s complaint received on 8 September 2015.
An independent examiner, from Warwickshire Vehicle Consultants Ltd, who inspected the Ford Fiesta on 23 September 2015 confirmed it was unroadworthy and dangerous. The examiner’s report found wheel securing nuts were loose on the two rear wheels, an incorrectly fitted brake servo pipe, and the car had sustained collision damage, which would require extensive repairs.
The repairs which had been carried out were done with poor workmanship, including the poorly repaired and welded front nearside chassis, incorrectly fitted and secured wheel arch lines, and numerous electrical items were disconnected including a rear fog lamp.
The advert claimed the car contained equipment that was not fitted, including cruise control, rain sensitive wipers and a spare wheel. It also stated the vehicle had optional extras and only one previous owner – both statements were untrue.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Increasingly people are looking to buy used cars online so consumers should be able to have confidence in the vehicle they’re buying – and the person or business selling it.
“The defendant gave a false impression that the car was fit to drive, when it was in fact unroadworthy and dangerous.
“The level of assurance offered by car-selling websites varies so you may find back-street dealers listed alongside established dealerships – but if the car’s price looks too good to be true, then it probably is.”