On 27th November 2018 at Bradford Crown Court, Bruce Kitchener of York was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay legal costs after pleading guilty to an offence under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
Mr. Kitchener, who owns Dub Beach VW Sales, sold and renovated a vintage Volkswagen campervan for a West Yorkshire couple charging them just short of £20,000. The renovation work was completed to a very poor standard, so much so that expert mechanics deemed it un-roadworthy and dangerous.
The couple took the vehicle for an MOT, in which it failed on numerous items, once again confirming its un-roadworthy state.
The campervan was imported in from America, thus meaning the renovation had to include a conversion from left hand to right hand drive. The conversion was done to such a poor standard, that the chassis structure was left weakened and could have seriously affected the safety of anyone driving or travelling in the vehicle.
After several failed attempts to engage with Mr. Kitchener for a refund, the couple decided to sell the van to re-coup their costs. Due to the van being in such a poor condition, the only offer they had was from another vehicle restorer who purchased the van for parts at £3,000.
The couple’s dream of having a holiday campervan have been crushed, and their detriment still stands at around £17,000.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “We are very pleased with this result. Un-roadworthy vehicles such as this, can be extremely dangerous and pose great risks to all road users.
Traders selling dangerous and un-roadworthy vehicles can reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
We would like to remind traders that inspections of car garages can be conducted at any point by officers at Trading Standards.
We would also encourage any West Yorkshire Resident looking to purchase a vehicle to buy through a dealer registered with our Motor Trade Partnership
Councillor Pauleen Grahame, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Governance and Audit Sub-Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards, said “This is a great result for West Yorkshire Trading Standards and highlights that this type of offending will not be tolerated.”