A Coventry used car dealer has pleaded guilty to selling an unsafe vehicle and applying misleading descriptions to it after a car they sold was found to be unroadworthy.
Adewale Adebiyi, 45, who traded as Conquest Autos Coventry from Cromwell Street, pleaded guilty to five offences under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Companies Act 2006, at Coventry Magistrates Court on Wednesday 25 September.
Mr Adebiyi received a fine of £276 for supplying a dangerous motor vehicle and was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1370, with no separate penalty for the other offences.
The case was taken by Coventry City Council’s Trading Standards team following a complaint from a customer who travelled from Hertfordshire to purchase a second-hand Toyota Avensis.
The car was sold to the customer by Mr Adebiyi personally and was described as being in ‘excellent condition’ and ‘drives like a brand-new car’.
The customer was concerned by the vehicle’s performance on the journey home, and when he drove it the next day, smoke emerged from the exhaust and it was making a noise when cornering.
Mr Adebiyi initially promised to collect the vehicle to look at the issues, but this never happened. The consumer then decided to take the vehicle to a local garage to establish what might be wrong with it. They identified various faults with the vehicle including a broken offside front coil spring and a serious fluid leak from the nearside front shock absorber.
Coventry Trading Standards arranged for an independent vehicle examiner to inspect the car.
He determined the vehicle to be dangerous and unroadworthy due to long-term deep-seated corrosion in the fractured offside front road spring, a significant long-term oil leak from the nearside front shock absorber and the engine misfiring and smoking due to excessive wear.
He reported: “All three of these faults have been present for a considerable time, and each fault individually should be cause for the vehicle failing its MOT test, and as a result rendering the car unroadworthy.”
Cllr Christine Thomas, Chair of the City Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee said:
“The decision by the court sends out a clear message to used car dealers around the city that they must trade fairly and ensure all vehicles that they offer for sale are roadworthy.
“This case was brought even though Mr Adebiyi shut down his business website, closed email accounts and telephone number, and failed to attend a formal interview to explain his actions.
“Any Coventry consumer who purchases a car that they believe is unsafe from a motor dealer is encouraged to report the matter to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.”