A Fintona motor trader has pleaded guilty at Dungannon Magistrates Court and been fined £75 and order to pay compensation for selling a vehicle with false mileage, a false MOT Certificate and a falsified service book.
In a case brought by the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service, Conor Mc Dermott (33), Coyagh Road, Fintona, Co Tyrone, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Fraud Act 2006 and three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The court made a Compensation Order of £1500 against Conor Mc Dermott in favor of the complainant.
The investigation followed a complaint from a consumer who discovered irregularities on the MOT documents and service book shortly after the purchase of an Audi motor car from the defendant. The investigation revealed the vehicle’s mileage had been reduced and it had been sold with a fraudulent MOT certificate along with false records and dealer stamps in the service book.
Eamon McPartland of the Trading Standards Service said, “Consumers should be provided with accurate information to help them make informed decisions when purchasing goods, particularly expensive items such as cars. The onus is on the trader to provide this information to the consumer whether it is requested or not and important information regarding the history of a vehicle should be accurate when provided by motor traders. Consumers should be able to purchase goods without the worry that they will be misled by traders applying false descriptions to goods.”
Anyone who believes they have been sold goods which have been misdescribed in any way should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.
The Trading Standards Service offers the following advice when buying a car:
- Buy from a reputable dealer. Vehicles may cost more when bought from a dealer but they will have carried out checks on a vehicle’s history before offering cars for sale.
- Bring someone with you who knows about cars. Excessive wear and tear on the driver’s seat, steering wheel and foot pedals may be inconsistent with the indicated mileage.
- Ensure that you see all the relevant original paperwork, the logbook, the car’s service history and MOT certificates. With this information, you can contact the previous owners of the vehicle as well as the garages that carried out the servicing work to ask questions about the history of the vehicle. Everything should be present and correct. If it is not, simply walk away from the deal.
- Carry out an online vehicle mileage and accident check before you buy the car
- If you know the registration and chassis number of a vehicle, you can contact the Driver and Vehicle Agency to enquire about the recorded mileage of the vehicle at previous MOTs. The chassis number is visible on the bottom left corner of most car windscreens.
- If buying from a “private” seller, get proof of the seller’s name and address.
- Finally, never buy a car from the side of a road or pay cash to somebody you don’t know.
Notes to editors:
- The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 creates criminal offences for traders who mislead by action or by omission.
- The Fraud Act 2006 prohibits sellers making false or misleading misrepresentations to goods they advertise and subsequently sell.
- Media enquiries should email the Department for the Economy Press Office
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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