Undercover trading standards officers sent car for a £132 service at a Binley Woods garage - with shocking results

A Ford Fiesta was sent to Binley Woods Service Centre for a £132 'major service' - and the result was so poor the garage's owner has had to pay £11,150.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 6:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 12:43 pm
Binley Woods Service Centre on Rugby Road. Photo: Google Streetview.

When Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards officers collected the car from the service they had it checked by an expert.

And it was found that staff at the garage had failed to attend to nine separate faults.

Garage staff had failed to top up either the coolant or power steering fluid, had not replaced the fuel filter and had not checked the tyre pressures.

The trader reported that the offside rear tyre was on the limit and had a tread depth of 1.6mm whereas the minimum depth on this tyre was actually 3.44mm.

The garage had also failed to notify the undercover officer of a split wiper blade, noisy nearside rear wheel bearing or the condition of the spark plugs.

Finally, the rear offside seatbelt stalk was trapped beneath the rear seat cushion suggesting that the function of the rear seat belts had not been checked.

The owner appears in court

At Coventry Magistrates Court on Wednesday, November 6, Charnjit Sekhon, trading as Binley Woods Service Centre, was found guilty of an offence contrary to regulation 9 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Mr Sekhon was fined £1,500, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £9,500 and a £150 victim surcharge, a total of £11,150.

Vehicles are 'killing machines'

Deputy District Judge Jonas (presiding) stated in his judgement that vehicles are ‘killing machines'.

Adding that they can kill if they are driven dangerously or even carelessly & they can kill if they are not maintained properly.’

Scott Tompkins, assistant director for environment services said: “Most of us are not experts in vehicle maintenance and we rely upon garages to carry out car services properly so that we can have confidence our vehicles are satisfactorily maintained.

“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to carry out this important work to protect road users.”

The owner was of good character and has made changes to quality control at the garage

In mitigation, Mr Scott representing Mr Sekhon said his client was of previous good character and there had been only one incident.

He had also made changes to the quality control system.

Trading standards regularly works undercover

Warwickshire Trading Standards regularly carries out undercover car servicing enforcement exercises.

An expert vehicle examiner places faults on cars before they are submitted for services at garages across Warwickshire.

On completion, the vehicle expert then examines the vehicles to see if the garages have carried out the services to an acceptable standard.

Warwickshire residents wishing to make a complaint about a vehicle service they have paid for can do so by contacting Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Important note

Binley Woods Approved Used Cars Ltd. - although sharing the same site, is not connected to Binley Woods Service Centre.