Dealer broke law with unroadworthy car

PUBLISHED: 16:15 20 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

A SECOND hand car dealer is £4,000 out of pocket after pleading guilty to selling an unroadworthy car. Kevin Kennedy, 53, of Hine Way, Hitchin, was fined £750 and ordered to pay £1,700 compensation to his customer and £1,600 prosecution costs at Stevenage

A SECOND hand car dealer is £4,000 out of pocket after pleading guilty to selling an unroadworthy car.

Kevin Kennedy, 53, of Hine Way, Hitchin, was fined £750 and ordered to pay £1,700 compensation to his customer and £1,600 prosecution costs at Stevenage Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday).

A Hertfordshire Trading Standards investigation revealed that he sold a 12-year-old Rover 111 GSI with braking and steering faults and damage to the petrol tank for £1,400 from the premises of Small Specialist Cars at Baldock Road in Royston in April 2008.

The customer contacted Trading Standards after petrol leaked from the car onto his drive. Tests revealed that each of the faults posed risks to both the owner and other road users and the car was therefore unroadworthy.

Kennedy, who helped set up Small Specialist Cars as a consultant, claimed he had no knowledge of the defects and that it was the first time the business had come across this type of problem. He added that it had changed the company used to carry out MoTs and now employ two mechanics to check over all cars.

Richard Smith, county council executive member for community safety, said after the hearing: "The law on the sale of unroadworthy vehicles is strict for good reason. The public need protection from any vehicle that is being sold which is unsafe.

"The onus is on sellers to ensure that any vehicle sold is safe for use on the road. It is not sufficient to rely on an MoT or service history, they need to take their own measures to inspect vehicles to ensure they are roadworthy. If they do not, they will find themselves liable to prosecution.

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