West Sussex Trading Standards inquiry shows garages tell fibs over work

Sue Ball

Law expert speaks after controversial new ruling

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GARAGES are not carrying out all the repair work on vehicles that they claim, Trading Standards officers have warned.

An investigation was carried out by West Sussex Trading Standards and revealed a catalogue of blunders. Eight garages in West Sussex were tested to see if they had actually done the work they claimed – and only one got it all right.

The garages were targeted following people’s complaints.

A car was checked beforehand by Trading Standards and then taken to each garage for a service and pre-MOT check.

Serious problems found included an oil filter which was not changed in a service, despite being charged for.

A tyre was said to be damaged, and part of an exhaust needed replacing when neither was faulty.

Other problems included an engine overfilled with oil, extra work done and charged for without permission, and tyre pressures which were not checked.

Formal action is now being considered by Trading Standards against four of the garages.

Councillor Christine Field, in charge of public protection in West Sussex, said: ‘Motorists need to be able to trust their garages won’t exploit them, as most people are unlikely to be able to check the claims for themselves.

‘In the present economic climate, people are feeling the pinch, and need to be able to rely on work being done competently.’