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Trading Standards investigate used car dealers in Somerset and Devon

An investigation by Devon and Somerset Trading Standards into the region’s used car dealers resulted in a total of 13 cars withdrawn from sale following visits to 18 forecourts.  

The service receives over 2,000 complaints about second hand cars and servicing each year, a number which prompted the investigation of forecourts, garages and pre-worn tyre traders which began in April 2015.

As part of their investigations, the Western Gazette reported that Trading Standards officers had also booked a car into 13 garages that offered free safety checks to test if defects reported by the trader were genuine.

Twelve passed, but one trader returned the vehicle in an unsatisfactory condition after carrying out work on the brakes.

Traders were urged to sign up to the Buy with Confidence (BWC) scheme, which shows that a trader operates within the law, following the discoveries.

Speaking to the Gazette Paul Thomas, head of the Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service, said: "The new provisions of the Consumer Rights Act provide an opportunity for improved levels of consumer satisfaction but this will only be achieved if both traders and consumers are aware of, and understand, their rights and obligations."

Around 750,000 consumers face unresolved problems with a used car purchase and 210,000 vehicles are sold each year with a major fault each year, according to the AA.

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