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Garage Convicted of charging for car servicing work which was not done 9 August 2006

High Bailiff Michael Moyle has issued his judgement following a trial which was held in May in which Eurocars of Peel Road, Douglas denied that it had been reckless in issuing a customer with an invoice for work that hadn't been carried out.

As part of a local survey of the quality of car servicing and repairs an undercover officer of the Office of Fair Trading put a Volkswagen Golf into Eurocars for a service. The car had several faults including low tyre pressures, a faulty fog light and a defective brake hose with a bulge in it which, if it had burst, would have led to a loss of braking power. Examination of the car after the service showed that all of the faults were still present, despite the customer having been given a service checklist which had boxes ticked to say that the brakes, tyre pressures and lights had been checked and had been given a clean bill of health.

The company admitted in court that faults had been missed by the apprentice who carried out the work and said it had tightened its procedures to prevent this happening again.

In his judgement Mr Moyle said that it was clear to him that the car's brakes had not been examined properly and there was no explanation for this, so he was satisfied that the company had recklessly made a false statement that the service had been done. He went on to say that the company's system for checking the work of its staff had shortcomings as it had not picked up the fact that the apprentice ticked boxes before he actually did the work. Finding the company guilty Mr Moyle imposed a fine of £1000 and ordered it to pay £1750 costs.

The Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Mr Quintin Gill MHK, said "It is vitally important that motor vehicles are properly serviced and repaired as the safety of all road users depends on the quality of such servicing and repairs. I am very concerned that the Office continues to receive reports of poor standards of vehicle servicing and repairs and the sale of unroadworthy second-hand vehicles. As a result we shall be increasing our levels of inspection and carrying out more test services without further notice. Anyone who would like to learn more about this important area of our work or receive advice on such matters could visit our stand at this weekend's Royal Manx Agricultural Show where they can meet our officers and see an example of a dangerously unroadworthy car which was recently sold in the Island."

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