Stockport second hand car dealers convicted of supplying an unroadworthy car

Two car dealers who sold an unsafe vehicle to a customer have been fined at Stockport Magistrates Court.

Jonathan Brian Redfern, 31, of Brabyns Road, Hyde and Darren Edward O’Donnell, 34, of The Clough, Stockport, trading under the names JD Motors, DJ Motors and Darren Motors, failed to carry out adequate checks on the vehicle before selling it for £1490 to an unsuspecting customer for use as a family car and to tow a horse box.

Two days after the sale the customer obtained a report from another local garage which said that the vehicle was dangerous. The sellers ignored the customer requests for a refund.

The vehicle assessor report obtained by Stockport Council Trading Standards stated that the car was excessively corroded and rotted through in many places to the extent that the entire rear of the chassis could come away altogether, especially if towing.

Serious defects in the steering, suspension and wiring were also identified and the fuel tank was found to be leaking.

The report concluded that the vehicle was ‘unroadworthy and extremely dangerous presenting an extremely high risk of damage to property, and exposes the vehicle’s occupant, the trailer’s contents which may be animals and other road users to the risk of injury or death’.

The vehicle was uneconomic to repair and only fit for scrap.

Trading Standards went on to bring a prosecution against Jonathan Redfern and Darren O’Donnell. On Thursday 3 January 2019 both defendants pleaded guilty to supplying an unroadworthy vehicle contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Jonathan Redfern additionally pleaded guilty to two charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. He misdescribed the vehicle and recklessly engaged in an unfair commercial practice which contravened the requirements of due diligence by describing the vehicle as ‘drives great good for everyday or off road…2 keys…good tyres…good bodywork for age solid underneath…not your usual rubbish Terrano good example’ when in fact it was actually in an unroadworthy and dangerous condition and there was only one key.

For his greater part in the advertisement and sale Jonathan Redfern was fined £500, and ordered to pay £4,040 - £2,000 towards the prosecution costs, £50 victim surcharge and £1,490 in compensation to the customer.

Darren O’Donnell was fined £300 and ordered to pay £415 - £85 towards costs and £30 victim surcharge.

Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, Councillor Sheila Bailey, said:

“Tackling rogue second hand car dealers who put the safety of drivers, passengers and other road users at serious risk of injury and who cheat consumers by misrepresenting their vehicles is a priority for our Trading Standards team.

Complaints about second hand cars bought from independent traders continue to rank high on the list of the most common consumer complaints, both nationally and locally, and we will continue to take robust action against dishonest traders.”