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Allen Ford Warwick Fined For Poor Car Servicing

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service has successfully prosecuted Allen Ford (UK) Ltd, trading as Allen Ford Warwick for failing to properly complete a 60,000 service and brake fluid change.

At Stratford Magistrates Court on Thursday 10th May, Allen Ford (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to two offences under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 Section 1(1)(b) and was fined a total of £3,400 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1837.50

Mark Ryder, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards Service said:
“A good service will help ensure that your vehicle remains safe and roadworthy. Unfortunately, our undercover car servicing projects and this prosecution clearly indicate that some garages are not doing the job properly.

For most consumers it is very difficult for them to tell whether a service has been correctly carried out or not. That is why Warwickshire Trading Standards are committed to doing all we can to help ensure that garages are providing adequate services and taking action against those garages that do not.”

On 14th March 2006, as part of undercover car serving enforcement exercise, Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers submitted a Ford Fiesta motor car for a 60,000 mile service and brake fluid change at Allen Ford Warwick, Tachbrook Park Drive, Warwick.

An expert examination of the vehicle following the service revealed that a number of points had not been attended to. The power assisted steering fluid had not been topped up and was still at a minimum level, the pollen filter had not been changed, but it had been charged for, and the nearside rear bleed nipple had been sheared off, making it impossible to remove the old brake fluid from the nearside wheel cylinder, but again a brake fluid change had been charged for.

Also, the offside front wing repeater lamp was still not working following the service, nor was the luggage compartment illumination lamp, and the door check straps still required lubrication.

The total cost of the service and brake fluid change was approximately £300.

In mitigation, Mr Patel for the defense said that company had now put in to place new procedures. Further, he stated the business had had no previous convictions even though they undertook 1,000s of services each year and said the technician was to blame for not following the company standard.

In deciding upon a sentence, Magistrates said they took account of the fact that the company had put into place new procedures and gave credit for a guilty plea.

Allen Ford (UK) Ltd were fined £1,000 for failing to carry out a 60,000 mile car service to Ford’s specification and £2,400 for falsely claiming to have carried out a brake fluid change as the old brake fluid had not been removed from the nearside rear wheel cylinder.

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service earlier this year carried out another undercover servicing project in which five out of the seven garages visited performed badly. Some of these garages may also be prosecuted.

Top Tips for Car Servicing
Be clear about what sort of service you require
Get quotes from several garages and go on recommendation if possible
Be specific with the garage about what you want doing
Ask them to report any faults and state that any further work that is required beyond the service will need your prior authorisation
Get this and everything else in writing – before you leave the garage

For more information, visit our website http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards

To make a consumer complaint phone 08454 04 05 06