Man fined £1,000 after selling ‘deathtrap’ second-hand car

A CAR trader has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay almost £4,000 in compensation after selling a car dubbed a ‘deathtrap’ by a court.

Adam Hussain, of Hornchurch in Essex, appeared before magistrates in Weymouth, where he pleaded guilty to selling an unroadworthy car and trying to trying to restrict the customer’s consumer rights.

The 33-year-old is the sole director of The Car Company Essex Ltd, a second-hand car sales business trading as RNM Car Sales Essex.

In March last year, a Dorset consumer was looking to replace their family car and was specifically interested in a Nissan Pathfinder.

They did an internet search and found one being advertised by Mr Hussain on Gumtree.

They contacted Hussain, who described the car as being ‘a good solid vehicle’ and said it would come with a new MOT and three-month warranty.

The customer agreed to buy the vehicle and Mr Hussain stated he would deliver it for an additional fee.

The unroadworthy Pathfinder vehicle was delivered to Dorset. Picture: Dorset Council

The unroadworthy Pathfinder vehicle was delivered to Dorset. Picture: Dorset Council

The car was delivered on March 15 last year by Mr Hussain and he handed the customer the new MOT certificate and a pre-delivery inspection form.

A few days later the customer took it to their local garage for a general check up as they had previously bought a vehicle that turned out to be unroadworthy.

The mechanic quickly identified the car had severe corrosion around the suspension, the handbrake did not work, and the exhaust system was leaking. The faults would mean the vehicle would fail its MOT.

The consumer complained to Dorset Council’s Trading Standards service and an officer arranged for an independent vehicle expert to inspect the car.

He identified the same faults and concluded that the vehicle was unroadworthy and dangerous to drive. He also noted the car had previously failed an MOT test some 18 months earlier with the same faults.

The customer attempted to obtain a refund from Hussain but was told the car had been ‘sold as seen’ and was a ‘trade sale’.

Hussain was charged with selling an unroadworthy vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and for trying to restrict the customer’s consumer rights by using the terms ‘sold as seen’ and ‘trade sale’ under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

He appeared at Weymouth Magistrates Court on September 5 and pleaded guilty to the charges.

Magistrates told him that this was a serious offence and fined him £1,000, ordered him to pay compensation to the consumer of £3,740, and awarded the council’s full costs of £2,124.25.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for culture, communities and customer services, said: “Our Trading Standards team work with the motor trade in Dorset to ensure they trade fairly and comply with all consumer legislation.

“When traders are found to be breaking the law and attempting to restrict consumer rights robust action will be taken against them.”

For consumer advice, Dorset residents should contact Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848.

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