Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

Trading Standards at your Service!

West Yorkshire garages were put to the test last week in an operation carried by West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service.

Complaints about car servicing were analysed and Trading Standards Officers targeted the ten garages with the most complaints. This was after a rise in the number of complaints to the Consumer Helpline about cars in the last few months.

Cars were examined by independent engineers before being taken to the selected garage for a full service. The engineers rigged the vehicles with a number of identical minor faults in order to test the standard of servicing. This is a tried and tested method to check that the service had been carried out accurately.

There was cause for concern in each garage. For example only one garage out of the ten managed to check and inflate the spare wheel. This is despite the fact that most of the garages had ticked the service schedule box stating that the spare wheel had been checked.

In addition to this one or two garages were over cautious in recommending repairs and in many cases garages had failed to top up windscreen washer bottles and power steering pumps.

The majority of the garages failed to check at least two of the service items. On a more positive note none of the garages committed an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act as all the parts they charged for had been fitted.

In addition to this operation, five vehicles were hired from car rental companies to see if they were roadworthy. Of the five cars, one was found to be dangerous as it was supplied with a tyre that had damage to the sidewall. This could have resulted in a serious road accident and West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is currently investigating the matter. However, it was encouraging to note that the majority of the vehicles hired were in a reasonable and roadworthy condition

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said, “A full service should mean exactly that and the fact that many parts were not checked, despite the garage saying that they had been, causes me great concern. Consumers in West Yorkshire should always be on their guard when taking their car for a service”.

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee added, “This operation highlights the importance of using garages that you can trust. The Motor Trade Partnership has been set up by Trading Standards to encourage people to use garages that are honest and operate fairly. I would encourage anyone seeking to buy a car or have theirs serviced to look for the logo”

For more information contact

Carol Hallett: General media contact: 0113 3836407
Paul Smith: Principal Officer: 0113 2898219

Notes to editors

1. The Motor Trade Partnership was launched after complaints against the motor industry accounted for 19% of all complaints received by the Service.

The Partnership now boasts over 100 members, who have all agreed to abide by the terms and conditions of membership, including: -

2. A full list of members can be found on www.ts.wyjs.org.uk

3. The picture shows the Motor Trade Partnership logo.

4. None of the garages examined were members of the Motor Trade Partnership.