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Car dealer jailed for selling dangerous vehicle

06 Feb 2024 2 minute read
The condemned vehicle at the centre of the case.

A car dealer been jailed for six-months and ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation for selling an unsafe vehicle.

Alan Peter Lewis, of APL Cars, Skewen was found guilty of the charge, under the General Product Safety Regulations, after a complaint was made to Neath Port Talbot Council’s Trading Standards team via Citizens Advice.

At a hearing at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Geraint Walters sentenced Mr Lewis to six months in prison and ordered the defendant to pay £2,000 compensation in relation to the sale of the vehicle.

The court heard the female complainant who purchased the car from Mr Lewis initially contacted the consumer service run by Citizens Advice after her local garage condemned it.

The council’s Trading Standards team subsequently arranged for another examination which also found the vehicle to have been unsafe when it was sold in January 2022.

Dangerous

Addressing Mr Lewis in his sentencing remarks, Judge Walters told him he had no experience in the sale of motor vehicles but ventured into business, buying cars at auction and selling them on.

He added: “In this case you sold a motor vehicle and when the customer went to have an MOT at point of renewal five months after she bought it, it received a failure notice and a direction that the vehicle could not leave the garage due to its dangerous condition.

“Expert evidence given to the jury said the vehicle could only be described as dangerous and should never have been on the road.”

Failure

The court was told the vehicle had been driven for five months after sale and at any moment could have been subject to failure which could have risked the customer’s life and the lives of other road users.

A council spokesperson said: “Trading Standards welcomes the sentence imposed on Alan Lewis, considering the seriousness of the offence and the defendant’s attitude to compliance with the law.

“Trading Standards takes the sale of unroadworthy and misdescribed cars very seriously. Second hand car sales remain the most complained about trade sector and we hope this sends the correct message to unscrupulous businesses”.


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