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Car dealer fined

PUBLISHED: 00:03 26 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

A USED car dealer has been fined after his firm wrongly described a vehicle sold to a customer.

Richard Wilding of Boundary Car Sales Limited, admitted two counts of false trade description after his firm sold a £1,095 Peugeot which lacked features the buyer expected.

A USED car dealer has been fined after his firm wrongly described a vehicle sold to a customer.

Richard Wilding of Boundary Car Sales Limited, admitted two counts of false trade description after his firm sold a £1,095 Peugeot which lacked features the buyer expected. The first charge related to the false description of the Peugeot and the second to the supply of that car.

Trading Standards launched a probe after a buyer dropped into the Felixstowe branch after spotting an advertisement featuring the Peugeot 309 automatic in July last year.

He was told the vehicle was in the Ipswich branch in Derby Road and was given a print-out so he could identify the car, said Christine Hayes, prosecuting on behalf of trading standards.

The print-out included a picture of the vehicle and details of specifications, such as air conditioning, anti-lock braking and central locking so he could spot it in the Ipswich branch.

Mr Wheeler, who wanted the car for his partner, took the vehicle for a test drive.

It was only after he bought the vehicle and took it home he realised the car lacked those specific features. He complained to the garage and Trading Standards, who investigated.

They were told by the garage that Mr Wheeler was handed the picture so he could recognise the car and the details related to not to the Peugeot, but a BMW.

When Trading Standards traced the BMW it was discovered the vehicle had 166,000 miles on the clock and no driver's air bag or air conditioning.

Neil Saunders, mitigating, told the court it was obvious what features the Peugeot lacked saying: "It was a great shame that the details were not checked."

Magistrates heard there would not be a repeat incident as the Felixstowe branch has now closed and only the Ipswich branch in Derby Road is in operation. A system of measures were in place to ensure it did not happen again.

He added was not a deliberate act but: "an occasion of human error."

The complainant had since got his money back after making a civil claim and the car is back with the garage.

Bench chairman David Brennan said: "We [the bench] took the view that the initial false trade description published was less serious than the supply of the car."

Mr Wilding was fined £500 for the trade description and £1,000 for the supply of the car. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs incurred by Trading Standards.

After the case David Baker, on behalf of Trading Standards, said: "They [Boundary Car Sales] did not help themselves in the way they dealt with the complainant.

"They had plenty of opportunity to put the matter right but didn't. It took a year for the complainant to get his money back. "

The Trading Standards investigation involved three officers and took up 50 hours of their time.

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