Car trader denies selling unsafe accident-damaged VW Touran

Time 6 years ago

AN EXETER car dealer has denied selling an unroadworthy vehicle after failing to tell customers about its accident damage.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court was told Nigel and Philippa Rutherford bought the VW Touran in January 2012 from car dealer Andrew Leach who runs St Leonards Cars in Magdalen Road, Exeter.

They drove the car for 17 months before a mechanic told them there was an issue. The court was told that when Leach was contacted, he swiftly gave them a full refund.

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Leach, who denies engaging in an unfair commercial practice and supplying a dangerous product, said he had told his customers that the used VW Touran, which they had bought for more than £10,000, had previously sustained an accident before they took ownership of the vehicle. He maintains that his company survives because of its reputation, and that it wouldn’t be in his interest to mislead customers.

The Rutherfords were told by a mechanic that a damaged chassis leg, forming part of the crumple zone, needed repair, the court was told.

The prosecution said that Leach, 50, knew of the problem when the sale took place, because he had previously sold it to another customer, who had in turn demanded a refund after discovering the damage.

The defence argues that the vehicle was roadworthy, as thorough repair work had been carried out before it was sold to the Rutherfords.

According to the Exeter Express and Echo, Leach told the jury: ‘The experience of this case has been horrendous over the past two and a half years and put a great burden on me and the business and caused a lot of stress and anxiety.’

The trial continues.

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