A car dealer from Carlisle has been fined £3,500 and ordered to do 150 hours of community service, for selling a dangerous vehicle and claiming the car had a valid MOT certificate, when it did not.
Carlisle Magistrates Court heard that Mark Walker, aged 43, of Mark Walker Cars Sales, sold a Chrysler Voyager with major structural defects to a customer from West Cumbria in August 2018.
The problems included excessive lift in a swivel joint, evidence of collapse of the joint, excessive fluid leakage from the power steering and having a severely damaged tyre.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency examined the vehicle and immediately prohibited its use on the road.
Mr Walker had also described the car as being in ‘great condition,’ and also falsely said that the car had just passed an MOT.
Mr Walker did not use his business name when he advertised the vehicle on Facebook – this was intended to disguise the fact that he was a trader in order to restrict the rights of the purchaser.
Mr Walker was found guilty of selling a dangerously defective vehicle and of dishonestly misleading the purchaser into believing the car had just passed an MOT when it had not.
He was ordered to carry out 150 hours community service and ordered to pay £3,000 legal costs and £400 compensation.
Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “This is a serious offence, to knowingly sell a dangerous vehicle that has failed its MOT shows total disregard for the safety of the person buying it, other road users and pedestrians. A trader must sell vehicles that are safe and of satisfactory quality and reliability.”
The engineer from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency who examined the car confirmed the extent of the damage and concluded that the vehicle was not safe to drive.
Cumbria Trading Standards advise people who are considering buying a second hand vehicle to use two Government websites that provide free information about vehicles – the MOT history website and the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry website. You only need the vehicle’s registration number to use the service.
Trading Standards request for anyone with an outstanding complaint to get in touch by emailing [email protected] quoting Mark Walker Car Sales as the reference and a brief summary of the matter.
Cumbrian residents wishing to make a complaint about a vehicle they have purchased can call the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk