Garages 'missing dangerous faults'
Most garages are missing dangerous faults putting lives at risk, a consumer watchdog said.
During an undercover investigation, Which? surveyed 62 garages and found 87% either missed or ignored problems which could cause an accident, while 39% charged for a product that wasn't supplied.
As part of its survey, investigators made four deliberate, easily-fixed faults a competent mechanic should spot such as a deflated spare tyre, low brake fluid or a blown bulb.
Only eight garages returned the cars fault-free while five failed to fix any of the faults.
Testers also filled up the screenwash as an honesty test to see how many garages charged for it. Nearly 40% billed for screenwash with prices ranging from 68p to £2.41.
Which? said there were a number of codes of practice introduced in recent years designed to improve standards.
Of the garages affiliated to the Bosch Car Service scheme, 64% of the so-called faults were rectified. Garages under the Motor Codes scheme also faired well, with 60% of the faults dealt with. But of the businesses under the Good Garage Scheme only 39% of the problems were fixed.
The watchdog said it would like a new industry-wide qualification introduced for all mechanics.
Peter Vicary-Smith, its chief executive, added: "This is a worrying snapshot of an industry that desperately needs to clean up its act. Almost all the garages in our investigation failed to fix basic faults. This could have endangered the lives of drivers and other road users and is simply not acceptable."
Rachel Greasby, from the Good Garage Service, said she was disappointed with the results of the survey as the faults created by Which investigators are listed on Industry Standard Checklist provided to its members.