Somerset car dealer pleads guilty to supplying a dangerous car

A Somerset used car salesman, who pleaded guilty to an offence of supplying a car in a dangerous condition, received a £500 fine and ordered to pay costs and compensation totalling £2350.75 which includes a £500 compensation order for the victim.

Peter James Thorner trading as PT Car Sales, Leighton Lane, Evercreech, was sentenced on Tuesday 9 September 2104 at Yeovil Magistrates Court for an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 for supplying a Citroen Picasso in an unroadworthy condition to a member of the public.

The court heard how Mr Thorner advertised the vehicle on eBay last December describing it as having ‘some battle scars’ but ‘drives well’.  A member of the public purchased the vehicle from Mr Thorner for £800 but later became concerned and she was informed by another garage that ’the car was dangerous to use’.

During an investigation by Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service the vehicle was examined by an independent motor vehicle engineer who reported serious faults in the steering system and concluded that ‘the vehicle was in a dangerous condition at the time of supply’ to the complainant.

During sentencing the Magistrates commented that Mr Thorner ‘should take more care in future’.

Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall says; “We try to offer support and advice to local business, but sometimes it is necessary to take matters like this to court. Pre sale checks should have highlighted these dangerous defects.”

Nationally, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service says second hand motors continue to be the most complained about issue.

If you are thinking of buying a new or used car Citizens Advice has a list of top tips at www.adviceguide.org.uk. Traders approved by Trading Standards can be found on the Buy with Confidence website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk .

Devon and Somerset Trading Standards will continue to monitor any complaints received about used car sales in partnership with Citizens Advice.  If you have any concerns or would like advice about your rights please telephone The Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 0404506 or www.adviceguide.org.uk

Citizens Advice in England and Wales helped with 14,405 used car problems between October 2012 and September 2013.

Businesses can also find advice on the Devon and Somerset Trading Standards website www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk or call 01392 381381.