All Sorts Motor Company in Caerphilly, sold a Jeep with ‘a long list of extremely worrying defects
Carbuco has learned via an article in June 2018 in Wales Online that a used car dealer sold a dangerous and unroadworthy Jeep Grand Cherokee with faulty brakes for £2,500 after advertising it online as a “stunning” vehicle.
The director of All Sorts Motor Company in Caerphilly , made the misleading sale while he was being investigated by Trading Standards for a series of similar previous offences.
Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court , prosecutor Kayleigh Simmons said: “[The vehicle] was found to have a long list of extremely worrying defects.”
The court heard Josie Fletcher saw the second-hand Jeep advertised on the Auto Trader website for £2,500 as “a stunning example of a vehicle of this type”.
She travelled from her home in Somerset to the garage on Main Road in Maesycwmmer with her father on June 5, 2016.
Prosecutors said she agreed to buy the vehicle for the asking price, including a three-month warranty, and paid a £250 deposit, followed by three instalments.
Ms Fletcher collected the Jeep a week later and was given an MOT certificate and V5 document.
The court heard the air conditioning failed as she drove home to Cheddar.
Prosecutors said she then discovered problems with the windscreen wipers, windows, electric mirror controls, boot and lock on the driver’s door.
Ms Simmons said: “There was a burning smell from the bonnet.”
The court heard there was a “scraping” and “screeching” noise when she drove around right-hand corners and a “creaking noise” after she turned off the ignition.
Prosecutors said the vehicle had a number of faults which made it dangerous and not fit for purpose.
Ms Fletcher took the Jeep back to the garage on June 21 and was told it would be repaired the next day.
Prosecutors said she was subsequently told the repairs would take a week, then the company did not contact her or return her calls.
Ms Simmons added: “She was consistently told someone would call her back.”
The complainant was told she could collect the vehicle at the beginning of July.
Prosecutors said: “It soon became apparent the repairs had not been carried out.”
She decided to take it to another garage, at her own cost, and mechanics found more than a dozen “worrying” defects, including oil leaks and rusty brakes.
Ms Fletcher described All Sorts Motor Company as “unhelpful” from the start and contacted Trading Standards at Caerphilly council .
Prosecutors said the defendant was invited to attend an inspection, but did not reply or attend.
An expert inspected the Jeep on August 24 and concluded it was in a “dangerous and unroadworthy condition” due to the braking system.
He found it should not be taken on public roads as it would present a danger to the driver and other road users.
The court heard the vehicle had previously failed an MOT in 2014 due to problems with the brakes.
Prosecutors said Ms Fletcher sold it for scrap.
Courtney was invited to attend an interview, but did not respond.
Ms Simmons said: “This is not the first time that this defendant has appeared before the courts in connection with his used car business.”
The court heard he was sentenced in January 2017 for four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
Prosecutors said he sold a car which was a Category C write-off without telling the buyer and also sold a vehicle described as a 4×4 which was not a four-wheel drive.
On that occasion, he was fined £400 on each count and ordered to pay £1,838 in compensation, plus £4,349.50 in costs.
The court heard the new offences were committed in between court appearances for those previous offences, while he was under investigation.
Courtney, 28, of Hengoed Road in Caerphilly, admitted two counts of engaging in misleading commercial practice.
Andrew Taylor, mitigating, said: “It is a learning curve for most people when they start a business.”
He told the court there is now a “huge difference” in how the business is run, as his client pays a specialist company for advice when he needs it and runs more staff training.
Mr Taylor added the business is “thriving” and Courtney sold more than 600 vehicles last year.
He said: “He has many – including many repeat customers – who refer family and friends because they were satisfied with the service and vehicles.”
The defence barrister described Courtney as “a young man with ambition”.
Judge Eleri Rees noted the vehicle was “dangerous and unroadworthy”.
She fined him £1,200 and ordered him to pay a £120 victim surcharge, plus £2,616 in compensation and £8,500 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, Cabinet Member Councillor Eluned Stenner said: “Traders must take their responsibilities towards their customers seriously, ensuring the vehicles they sell are roadworthy and safe.
“Clearly any incident that puts the safety of members of the public at risk is a serious matter and I am pleased the court shared our concerns in the sentence it imposed”.
Remember that Carbuco can help you learn more about any car dealer via our “Car Dealer Background Check”.