A Nottinghamshire motor dealer who sold a potentially dangerous vehicle with a string of defects and without a valid MOT to a customer has been hit with a fine of £6,000.
Beechwood Autos Ltd in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and its director Rishi Bajaj pleaded guilty to supplying an unroadworthy vehicle at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 1 November.
The company also admitted supplying misleading information by stating the Ford KA had a valid MOT certificate when it did not.
Bajaj and Beechwood Autos Ltd were prosecuted following a detailed investigation by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards Team after the victim reported the matter to them.
Trading standards officers found the dealer had sold the vehicle to a young woman in July 2020 after purchasing it from an auction seemingly without carrying out any further checks to assess its roadworthiness.
As part of the sales negotiations, the victim was told the vehicle had a valid MOT.
However, she realised several days after buying the car that it did not have a valid MOT and, when she took it for testing, was told it was unsafe to drive.
The victim then reported the matter to trading standards, which had the vehicle independently examined by an expert who confirmed it was unroadworthy and potentially dangerous.
- worn out, pitted and corroded brakes;
- brake fluid below the minimum required;
- insufficient and diluted engine coolant;
- insecure bodywork, including one example of bodywork trim found tied to a pipe with a cable tie – while another part fell off during inspection;
- buckled wheels;
- advanced corrosion in points very close to suspension mountings.
The prosecution comes ahead of National Road Safety Week, which runs from Monday (15 November) until Monday 22 November, and it serves as a warning to motor dealers not to compromise the safety of motorists when selling a vehicle.
Councillor John Cottee, chairman of the county council’s Communities Committee, said: “We take matters of consumer safety extremely seriously and we are pleased the court recognised the severity of the offence and the potential harm that could have been caused to this consumer and other road users had the vehicle continued to be on the road in the state it was sold in.
“We are thankful that the victim in this case brought the matter to the attention of our trading standards team, which then carried out a thorough investigation into this motor dealer’s practices to help bring him to justice.
“Our hard-working trading standards team will continue to crack down on unscrupulous traders and this successful prosecution sends out a hard-hitting message to any business or individual who compromises customer safety in this manner.”
As well as receiving the £6,000 fine, Bajaj must also pay a further £1,270 in costs and victim surcharge.
- Anyone who has any concerns about the safety or integrity of a vehicle they have purchased, should report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.