Express & Star

Stourbridge car dealer handed hefty court bill after selling 'dangerous' and 'unroadworthy' Mercedes

A Stourbridge car dealer who sold a "dangerous" and "unroadworthy" vehicle advertised as being in "mint condition" has been handed a court bill of almost £20,000.

The car was advertised as being in "mint condition"

Khizar Bukhari, director of SOS Motors Ltd trading as The Motor Store and SOR Motors Ltd, was ordered by a judge to refund the £3,500 paid by the unsuspecting customer after an appearance at Wolverhampton Crown Court on September 21.

The company, which is based in Slough, was also fined £4,800 and ordered to pay £11,095.47 in court costs, along with a £190 victim surcharge.

The court heard the car dealership advertised a Mercedes ML350 in Autotrader as being in "mint condition".

But an investigation by Dudley Trading Standards, which brought the case to court, showed there was a "dangerous fault" with the power steering on the car.

An independent vehicle expert said it would have made it "almost impossible to safely negotiate a bend" and found the handbrake system to be "defective and inoperative".

The expert concluded that the vehicle was in a "dangerous and unroadworthy condition" when sold by Bukhari in October 2021.

Both the company and Bukhari entered guilty pleas to fraud and failing to act with professional diligence at a previous court hearing, and appeared on September 21 to be sentenced.

Bukhari, of Birmingham Street, Stourbridge, was sentenced to 13 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He also received three penalty points and was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days.

Councillor Ian Bevan, cabinet member responsible for trading standards at Dudley Council, said: "I welcome the ruling of the court in this case.

"Dudley Trading Standards will not tolerate car dealers who evade their responsibilities and risk people’s lives by putting dangerous vehicles on the road.

"Traders who expose consumers to risk of harm by selling unroadworthy or dangerous vehicles will be investigated.

"As this case shows, we will work tirelessly to bring a prosecution, which could lead to a hefty bill and a prison sentence."