Motor trader fined for ‘misleading customer’

A motor trader was fined a total of £1,000 at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court on Monday for selling a vehicle to a consumer without disclosing that it had been damaged in an accident.

Dungannon Courthouse.
Dungannon Courthouse.

Compensation of £2,593 was also awarded to the purchaser of the vehicle.

In a case brought by the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service, Samuel Nigel Ferguson (56) trading as Ferguson Motors, Drumconvis Road, Coagh, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The investigation followed a complaint from a consumer who had experienced multiple mechanical problems and costly repairs for a vehicle he had purchased from Mr Ferguson. The investigation revealed the vehicle had been declared a Category D insurance loss. Mr Ferguson did not inform the consumer of this.

Charlene Conlon of the Trading Standards Service said: “Consumers should be provided with accurate information to help them make informed decisions when purchasing goods, particularly expensive items such as cars. The onus is on the trader to provide this information to the consumer whether it is requested or not.

“Important information regarding extensive accident damage and the history of a vehicle should not be withheld by car dealers. Traders should also not mislead consumers by applying false descriptions to goods.”