A Neath based car dealer and care home manager has been fined for selling an un-roadworthy and mis-described car.
Mr Ryan Harris of Cilfrew, Neath, had been a trader before becoming the sole Director of RH Auto Group Limited, based at Neath Abbey, Neath. Mr Harris sold a “dangerous and un-roadworthy vehicle” to a consumer.
The consumer, who was 19 when she bought the car, drove the car home from Neath Abbey to West Wales. Having concerns about the amount of tread on the tyres, she took the car to her local garage who told her it was unsafe and that it should not be driven.
The vehicle was found to have been “clocked”. The MOT dated the 25th of April 2016 recorded a mileage of 219,417, but the MOT dated the 9th of February 2017 recorded a mileage of 95,514.
An independent Trading Standards vehicle examiner found 26 defects on the car. In his report, he said: “The combined effect of the defects found with the vehicle was a recipe for disaster placing both the user and other road users in danger”
Ryan Harris had previously run a company called Abbey Autos Limited. It was when he was with this company that Trading Standards visited him and advised him on selling properly described and roadworthy cars.
At the hearing at Swansea Magistrates Court, on the 24th of September 2019, Ryan Harris pleaded guilty to two breaches of Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and a breach of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and fined £990, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council was awarded costs of £945 and a victim surcharge of £33, totalling £1,968.00. The victim has been reimbursed.
Cllr Leanne Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Community Safety said:
“Cars are the second biggest purchase any of us will make. Consumers should expect the vehicle they are purchasing to be accurately described and above all, safe”
“The department won’t tolerate car dealers or any traders who take short cuts or ignore their obligations in providing safe goods and consequently risk people’s lives”
“The service is promoting and rolling out a national trading standards run trader approval scheme called ‘Buy With Confidence’. Legitimate and responsible traders are encouraged to make enquiries with the department to join the scheme. Consumers should check the ‘Buy with Confidence’ website for approved traders, although it is early days we expect membership to grow”.