A GARAGE owner has been fined for failing to carry out work he claimed to have done.
Duncan Paul Hogg – who trades as Road Hogg Motors at Longlands Road in Batley – pleaded guilty to offences under the Trade Descriptions Act when he appeared at Dewsbury Magistrates Court.
He had falsely claimed to have carried out repairs to the chassis, brakes and steering of a van.
He was prosecuted by West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and magistrates sentenced Mr Hogg to 60 hours Community Service.
He was also ordered to pay £440 costs.Š
The magistrates heard that the van was owned by Batley-based charity Environment Concern Limited, which undertakes environmental work using people given community service orders.
The van was taken for MOT work to Road Hogg Motors, where it had been tested and serviced for several years.Š
The vehicle was returned to Environmental Concern with an invoice stating it had been fitted with new king pins – part of the steering mechanism – the rear brake cylinders had been replaced and parts of the chassis had been welded.
But after only a short time the van suffered braking problems and the recovery garage called to deal with it was concerned these faults appeared to have occurred so shortly after the MOT.
They contacted the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) – the Government Agency that oversees MOTs – and suggested that the charity contact Trading Standards.
Examination by a VOSA vehicle inspector confirmed neither the king pins nor the brake cylinders had been replaced andŠsome of the welding the charity had been billed for had not been carried out.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Chief Officer Graham Hebblethwaite said: “While problems with the motor trade are the largest area of complaints to Trading Standards, in this case it was another garage who was so concerned they raised the issue with the authorities.’’
Clr Derrick Yates, deputy chairman of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said: “Not only was the defendant asking for payment for work he had not undertaken, given that the van actually suffered braking problems, he was putting people’s lives at risk. This is unacceptable and we welcome the penalty awarded by the magistrates.”
Anyone with concerns about the safety or description of vehicles can contact Consumer Direct on 08545 040506.