Motor dealer fined after admitting consumer protection law breaches

Jul 27, 2019

A CAR dealer has been fined again after trading standards officers continued to receive complaints about his trading practices, despite him being prosecuted in 2017.

Syed Shahryar Kamal, of Hilton Car Supermarket on the A5 in Hockliffe, pleaded guilty to three breaches of consumer protection law at Luton Magistrates Court.

The court heard that trading standards officers from Central Bedfordshire Council received several complaints from Hilton Car Supermarket customers between September 2017 and March 2018. All of the customers had problems with their vehicles shortly after driving them away from the premises and experienced difficulty in exercising their consumer rights.

One of the customers bought a BMW with an advertised mileage of 95,000, only to find a few months later that it had in fact travelled in the region of 250,000 miles. The customer had problems with the car from day one but was denied any redress by the garage. 

Hilton Car Supermarket had also falsely claimed in an advertisement that the vehicle was ‘Trading Standards Approved’, when they had neither applied for nor been awarded approval. 

Another customer bought a Jaguar after being told that it had a full service history, a spare key and had been well maintained. He never received the service history nor second key, despite contacting the garage on numerous occasions. The car also developed a fault within a few miles of leaving the Hilton Car Supermarket premises.

A third customer bought a car from Hilton Car Supermarket which was described as having two previous keepers.  It had, in fact, had three, one of which was a hire car business. Again, the customer experienced problems with the car but had difficulty in getting faults put right.

The court also heard Victim Impact Statements from the witnesses, setting out how they had been affected by Hilton Car Supermarket’s attitude to their problems.

Mr Kamal was fined £2,550 and was also directed to pay compensation to the buyers and for the prosecuting party’s legal costs, leading to total fines of £19,631.50. 

Mr Kamal was previously prosecuted back in 2017 by Central Bedfordshire Council’s trading standards department for three breaches of the same consumer law and was fined a total of £2,310. 

The court heard that the officers had visited Hilton Car Supermarket shortly after the prosecution to discuss ways to prevent such offences reoccurring.  Mr Kamal was not at the premises and, despite assurances from his staff that he would be in touch with the council, made no contact with the council .

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