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Northern Ireland car dealer fined over misleading customer over Vauxhall purchase and faking signature

Published 01/07/2016

The purchase of a Vauxhall car led to the case.
The purchase of a Vauxhall car led to the case.

A Northern Ireland car dealer has been fined for misleading a customer and faking their signature over the sale of a Vauxhall.

The Coleraine Vauxhall dealer, Roadside (Garages) Ltd of Somerset Road in the Co Londonderry town was fined £3,000 plus costs at in court on Friday.

Roadside (Garages) Ltd was found guilty of failing to inform the consumer during the sales negotiation that a Vauxhall Insignia was an ex-rental car despite having this information available.

Had the consumer been made aware of this fact he would not have purchased this vehicle.

Roadside (Garages) Ltd was also found guilty of falsifying the consumer’s signature on a document which they presented to Trading Standards Service.

This is the third case brought by the Department for the Economy (formerly Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment) Trading Standards Service against Roadside (Garages) Limited, a franchised Vauxhall and Kia dealer.

Sharon Muldoon of the Trading Standards Service said: “Consumers should be provided with comprehensive and accurate information to help them make informed decisions when purchasing goods.

"The onus is on the trader to provide this information to the consumer whether it is requested or not. Material information such as the previous ownership of a vehicle should not be omitted.

"Anyone who believes they have been misled regarding the purchase of a vehicle should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or visit the website at  www.consumerline.org ”

In a statement Roadside (Garages) Limited said: "Roadside (Garages) Limited can confirm that after hearing all the evidence concerning their recent case, the Judge dismissed three of five charges brought by Trading Standards against the company.

"The Judge commented that Roadside Garages Limited has a high reputation within the local community. He also said that it is unfortunate that this reputation has been blemished by the actions of a rogue ex member of staff.

"The Judge further commented that neither the consumer nor any member of the public suffered any loss in this matter."

A spokesman for the company said that when the actions of the employee came to light, the matter was dealt with as quickly as possible and the employee was dismissed.

He added that the company exercised stringent controls and processes to ensure customer service and integrity is of the highest standard.

"It is disappointing and apologised that on this occasion the company fell short of what is expected and will be working to ensure that further controls are put to in place to ensure that such a case does not arise again."

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