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Rogue garages put public at risk, says NFDA

The UK body that represents franchised car dealers has called for greater transparency of the car servicing and repair industry to protect motorists.

According to a survey by the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA) and Trusted Dealers, 84% of people are unaware that there are no minimum qualifications needed for someone to work as a car mechanic.

The NFDA undertook the research to highlight the training 'gap' it claims exists between technicians at franchised dealers and some non-franchised garages and to press the Government for stronger, legally-binding regulation of the industry.

Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: "The average car is a potentially lethal weapon if poorly maintained, making this a real issue of public safety. As the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have reported 40% of cars fail their MOT when first tested, meaning these cars are being driven in an unroadworthy state.

"Cars today are becoming increasingly sophisticated and well beyond the skills of many non-franchised garages where staff might have completed manufacturer-approved training courses, or as little as a one-week tyre fitting course - there's no way of knowing.

"At present anyone can open up a garage regardless of their background or ability and we think this is a situation that needs to change. Therefore we are calling for tougher, legally enforced minimum standards to raise the bar in the industry."

The NFDA highlighted Germany, where all garages have a master technician, and where they are licenced to protect consumers and guarantee high standards.

Neil Addley, director of franchised dealer-owned used car website Trusted Dealers, said: "The NFDA and Trusted Dealers are urging the Government to do more to protect motorists by creating minimum standards for all UK garage technicians.

"Although there are excellent independent garages with very high standards, the fact remains that because the industry is unlicensed, there is no way of knowing whether the man in the overalls taking a spanner to your car knows what he's doing."

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  • Paul Copper - 18/07/2014 14:41

    Dealers need Trust and transparency.

  • Juiceautomotive - 18/07/2014 15:51

    Personally this has been a long time coming, for all those independent garages that are doing it correctly (and there is a lot) there is nothing to worry about

  • IVAN JALOPKIN - 18/07/2014 15:56

    There are plenty of Franchised and Dealership Garages that do despicably shoddy work, most I have seen in the last sixty years belonging to FORD ... Generalizations are Dangerous, and demeaning ... This Article should be retracted immedietly and apologies made to Independent Garagemen ... Just because you are successful, and Right most of the time, is no excuse for Bad Form ...

  • Michael livesley MIMI - 18/07/2014 15:58

    The sooner the trade is licensed the better

  • Juiceautomotive - 18/07/2014 16:03

    Yes Ivan you are totally right that Franchised Dealers do get it wrong also, but I think that singling out Ford in this instance is not appropriate, what about the 100's of Ford dealers that get it right?

    • IVAN JALOPKLIN - 18/07/2014 17:11

      @Juiceautomotive - Thank You for your reply, and I do agree with you ... but I must tell you that the Attitude of FORD employees, at the Factory, has been reflected in the Attitudes of Dealer Employees as well ... Perhaps you are unaware, where you are, of the Late 1960's TV Show, wherein 60 Minutes interviewed Employees at the factory, and asked what the fellow would do if he got a Part, that didn't fit ... His Answer, "I'd get a Bigger Hammer and make it fit ..." ... In my pewrsonal experience; To preclude voiding the Warranty, I took a Brand New '69 Mustang MACH 1 back to the Dealer 16 times, to get the 2 Four Barrels synchronized, so that the engine would run right ... On the last occasion, four months later, I sat with a Friend at the end of the Car Park, and watched, addl day, and finally, near closing time, some Grease Monkey came out and moved my Car six or eight spaces from where I had parked it that morning ... a few minutes later I went to the Service Writer, and was told that my Car was fixed ... Not one damn thing had been done to try and make the Car right ... and it was suggested to me that I should take the Car to another Dealership across Town, that I might like better ... Never mind all the months of harrangue and dealing with the Dealership Manager, Service Manager, Ford Sales in Dearborne, etc. etc. etc. I even talked with the President of the UAW, to see if I could get someone to tell the Truth, and actually DO something ... So, while my view of Ford is slightly jaundiced, Facts are still Facts ... I am sure all other Makers/Dealers have got Stinkers too, but I have new had any such Non-Professional experience with any other Marque than Ford ... I finally voided the Warranty, fixed the Engine myself, and kept the Car for another eight years ... of course, by that time Gasoline was no longer 27 Cents a Gallon, and that Car would pass everything on the Road but a Gas Station ... I Sold it, for just a few Dollars less than I had paid for it in the first place ... Didn't mean to seem like I was being unfair ... and I still own a '53 and a '57 Ford, both of which I still drive ... Not so much against FORD, as I am Non-Professionalism ...

    • iceage - 19/07/2014 00:58


  • iceage - 19/07/2014 00:54

    what a lot of cr@p... just fix the car and get in the real world!

    • IVAN JALOPKIN - 19/07/2014 03:32

      @iceage - Glad to know that you are sp Blewssed and Rich that you don't have to be concerned about voiding a Warranty ... May things only get better for you .......