Stratford garage owner fined for selling unroadworthy vehicle

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The owner of a Stratford garage has been fined after selling an unroadworthy vehicle with a number of serious defects.

Aspi Mobed, 57 of Tanworth Lane in Henley, pleaded guilty to one offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

He was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £4,683 by magistrates in Nuneaton on 10th September.

Mobed, trading as Aspi Specialist Cars Warwick Rd, was prosecuted by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, following a complaint from a customer who had purchased a Saab 9-3 from the trader.

The consumer had seen the vehicle advertised on Ebay where it had been described as “very good indeed”, “a nice bright car” and “quite remarkable for miles covered.”

On purchasing the car, the consumer was asked to sign a document that stated that the vehicle was being sold as a ‘trade sale’ and that no refunds or compensation would be given after the vehicle had been driven away.

These statements are illegal as they seek to give consumers the false impression that they have no legal right to return the vehicle if a fault occurs.

On driving the car away from the garage, the consumer immediately noticed a droning noise and took it to another garage that identified a number of faults. He then contacted Warwickshire Trading Standards who asked an expert vehicle examiner to check the car.

A number of issues were identified which would attract failure notices during an MOT test and render the car dangerous and unroadworthy.

These included a broken front road spring that is highly likely to have caused a suspension collapse and the very real possibility that the spring could then have severed the brake pipe.

Other serious issues included a worn tyre, defective brakes, a failed drive shaft gaiter and a failed gaiter on nearside track rod end.

Representing himself in court Mobed admitted that he had been naive but had never tried to hide the vehicle’s defects from the consumer and had paid the consumer back his money.

On sentencing, the Chairman of the Court told Mr Mobed that he was a trader of longstanding and this was his first offence, but as an expert he ought to be experienced in this area.

Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, portfolio holder for community safety said: “Unroadworthy vehicles put the lives of all road users at risk”.

“Warwickshire Trading Standards Service will continue to take action to prevent the sale of unroadworthy vehicles, helping to ensure consumers don’t buy cars that could be worthless and potentially lethal to drive.”