THE managers of a company which sold a car that was later repossessed because it had outstanding finance on it, have been prosecuted by a council in south Wales.
Trading standards officers launched an investigation after being contacted by a woman who bought a 55-reg Citroen C3 from One Direction Cars in Canal Road, Cwmbach, near Merthyr Tydfil, in May 2014.
She said at no time during the sale was she informed the vehicle still had outstanding finance on it. But she was contacted by a company called Mobile Money, some months after she had bought the car, demanding a £900 outstanding payment.
Initially, Mobile Money gave the buyer the chance to sort the matter out with One Direction cars, but nothing was resolved and the car was repossessed.
Trading standards officers were initially told Tahir Karim, who effectively ran One Direction Cars, was in the process of sorting the matter out. Officers carried out an HPI check which revealed the car had money owed to Mobile Money from 2013.
Letters were sent to One Direction Cars’ offices in Cwmbach, Zaher Tarim, 35, the director and Tahir Karim, 45, by trading standards officers, inviting them to attend an interview.
An unsigned response came back from Tahir Karim, stating he had left employment with the business in November 2014, but claiming he could still speak on behalf of the business.
He went on to explain that the garage carried out HPI checks, but not on older vehicles. He said there was no HPI check on this car as they had bought it in a state of disrepair.
They were unaware of the outstanding finance. He also confirmed the garage now undertook an HPI check on all vehicles.
One Direction Cars Ltd, Zaher Karim and Tahir Karim admitted one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at Pontypridd Magistrates Court.
The company was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £200 and £40 victim surcharge. Tahir Karim was fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £200 and £40 victim surcharge. Zaher Karim was also fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £200 and £40 victim surcharge.
Paul Mee, director of public health and protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf council, said: ‘I hope this case reassures consumers that we do take offences seriously and will investigate and prosecute where appropriate.’
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