Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Unroadworthy Vehicle Check

A safety check on some of Pembrokeshire's garages has revealed almost half the cars offered for sale were unroadworthy.

Officers from the County Council's Public Protection Division carried out a survey of garage forecourt vehicle sales at five County garages in July.

Trading standards officers checked that the vehicles offered for sale were road worthy and complied with the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

At each garage four or five vehicles were randomly chosen and inspected by an independent vehicle examiner.

Out of 21 cars inspected, 10 had defects. Nine vehicles were withdrawn from sale and one had the fault put right while officers were carrying out further checks.

Now the Trading Standards Team has issued guidance to all garages selling cars in the County advising traders of their obligations.

Defects found on cars included: tyres below the legal limit; brake pipes excessively corroded; headlight damage; battery insecure (fire risk); track rod ends worn; CV Gaiters split and leaking; indicators not working; fog lamps not working; front side light bulbs missing; number plate lights not operating; wiper blade with no rubbers.

Several of the garages inspected were under the misapprehension that as long as the vehicles were put in a roadworthy condition once the customer had bought the car they complied with the required legislation.

However, vehicles must be in a roadworthy condition before being offered for sale, so that anyone viewing and test driving the vehicle can be assured that it is safe condition and can be legally taken on the road.

After the inspections, trading standards officers advised traders of the law and traders sought to put in place procedures to comply with the legislation.

Further surveys will now be carried out to ensure compliance.

Councillor Ken Rowlands, Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services said, "The use of a car is part of many people's daily activity and a necessity for people to work and enjoy their spare time. It is very important to expect every vehicle offered for sale to be in a roadworthy condition.

"I am pleased at this initiative and that traders are taking their responsibilities seriously".


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