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Carmarthenshire car dealers found guilty of mis-selling dangerous vehicle

14 Aug 2023 4 minute read
The Fiant Punto’s badly corroded rear axle

Three people running a car sales company in Carmarthenshire have been found guilty of mis-selling a dangerous vehicle, following action from the county council’s Trading Standards team.

In May 2022, a student, purchased a Fiat Punto from the NRJ Motor Company in Llanelli which was advertised as being “very well maintained” and would include a “brand new service”.

The advert claimed that the company was an AA Trusted dealership and a family business with over 40 years’ experience”.

It also claimed that the vehicle had last received an MOT on 19 December 2021, had been serviced in February 2022 and was described as being in an “excellent condition”.

An additional advert for the car reiterated that the vehicle had a “brand new service”, “free warranty” and “one year’s AA breakdown cover”.

Excellent condition

Before purchasing the car and having taken the vehicle for a test drive, the customer was informed by the salesman, who identified himself as the owner of the company, that the car was in “excellent condition” and said that it had only one owner and was very well maintained.

He had said that the car had relatively very low mileage, was cheap to tax and excellent on fuel.

The co-owner of the business told her that the car had a current MOT and service, and these documents were in the car.

However, in the first week of June 2022, it became apparent that the car had significant problems.

The airbag warning light on the dashboard had come on, the motor of the window on the driver’s side had failed and the back wheel kept deflating.

The company agreed to take the car to fix the problems. The window was repaired and they told the owner of the car there was nothing wrong with the airbag, but the warning light remained on.

On 8 July 2022, the rear tyre on the passenger side of the car burst whilst the vehicle was being driven.

On 11 July, having replaced the tyre, the owner heard a loud clanging noise whilst driving. On inspecting the car, her father noticed that there was a serious problem with the rear passenger wheel and told her not to drive the car.

Despite the one-year warranty on the car, David Bonner-Evans of NRJ Motor Company refused to collect the car or rectify the problems.


The student and her parents then contacted Carmarthenshire County Council’s Trading Standards Team, who appointed an expert to inspect the car. A detailed examination revealed a particularly serious fault with a corroded rear axle, making the vehicle not only unroadworthy but dangerous.

The judge who tried the subsequent case stressed the offence was extremely serious and could have caused a serious accident.

A number of additional problems that would render the vehicle unroadworthy and attract failure notices during an MOT were also found.

Officers of NRJ David Bonner-Evans, Susan Bonner-Evans and James Bonner-Evans were fined £1500 each, costs in total of £6678.60 with one third to pay each, £1760.75 compensation to the victim, and a £150 surcharge.

The trio pleaded guilty to engaging in a commercial practice which was misleading, contrary to regulations 9 and 13 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and supplying a product which they knew or should have known to be dangerous, contrary to regulations 8(1)(a) and 20(1) of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

Cllr. Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Lead for Trading Standards said: “The outcome of this case could have been tragic as the vehicle that was sold to the victim by David Bonner-Evans, Susan Bonner-Evans and James Bonner-Evans was not fit to be on the road.

“I would like to thank our Trading Standards Team for holding these people to account and bringing them to justice.”

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