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27 July 2021

Selling an unroadworthy Land Rover costs car dealer more than £1,000

On Monday 26 July, James Vaughan, trading as Autobarn Prestige in Dronfield, Derbyshire appeared at Barrow Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to selling a Milnthorpe resident an unroadworthy Land Rover vehicle in a case brought by Cumbria Trading Standards. Mr Vaughan was fined £400 and ordered to pay £600 in costs, plus a £40 victim surcharge.

The Land Rover Defender was sold by James Vaughan of Autobarn Prestige - ‘the region’s premier Land Rover specialists,’ to Daniel Johnson, Director of DRJ Flooring Ltd in Milnthorpe.

Mr Vaughan said the vehicle had a full in-house upgrade and service with differentials replaced, a really good spec, and that the buyer would not find a better Land Rover Defender model for the price.

After driving the vehicle for two months Mr Johnson had become slightly concerned regarding the functioning of the Land Rover and asked a local garage to check it over. The garage raised concerns regarding the safety of the vehicle which led Mr Johnson to get it professionally examined by the DVSA.

A DVSA inspector examined the vehicle and highlighted the following faults, which he concluded would have been present at the time of sale.

The vehicle had one dangerous and six major defects.

Autobarn Prestige were charged with supplying a motor vehicle to Mr Daniel Johnston in an unroadworthy condition with various defects namely:
  • The vehicle structure was excessively corroded within 30cm of the tow bar mounting (the cross member was severely corroded and holed within 55mm and 130mm of the tow bar mounting points). 
  • The brake servo was inoperative. 
  • The service brake efficiency for the rear brakes was below requirements. 
  • Both LED headlamps were not fitted with an automatic headlight levelling device as required to prevent on-coming traffic from being dazzled by the headlamps. 
  • Both headlamps had no clear beam pattern with light bleeding across the full screen. 

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said:

"This is a serious offence, to knowingly sell a dangerous vehicle shows total disregard for the safety of the person buying it, other road users and pedestrians. A trader must sell vehicles that are safe and of satisfactory quality. "

Cumbria Trading Standards advise people who are considering buying a second-hand vehicle to use two Government websites that provide free information about vehicles - the MOT history website and the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry website. You only need the vehicle’s registration number.

Cumbrian residents wishing to make a complaint about a vehicle they have purchased can call the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk.

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On Monday 26 July, James Vaughan, trading as Autobarn Prestige in Dronfield, Derbyshire appeared at Barrow Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to selling a Milnthorpe resident an unroadworthy Land Rover vehicle in a case brought by Cumbria Trading Standards.