Directors of dodgy family-run dealership fined for selling ‘dangerous and unroadworthy’ used car

  • Successful prosecution brought against owners of NRJ Motor Company
  • Family-run dealership sold ‘dangerous’ Fiat Punto to a 22-year-old student
  • Firm refused to fix corroded rear axle despite selling car with a one-year warranty

Time 10:36 am, August 15, 2023

A family of dodgy car dealers have been fined after admitting to selling a ‘dangerous and unroadworthy’ vehicle and refusing to honour its warranty.

David, Susan and James Bonner-Evans all pleaded guilty to breaching consumer protection regulations in relation to NRJ Motor Company in Llanelli.

The firm, which now appears to have shut down, sold a Fiat Punto to a 22-year-old student in May of last year after advertising the car as being in ‘excellent condition’.

In its ad, NRJ described the Punto as being ‘‘very well maintained’ and promised to include a brand new service, a free warranty and one year’s AA breakdown cover.

However, within a few short weeks, the young buyer began experiencing problems with the Fiat.

By early June, the airbag warning light on the dashboard had come on and the motor of the window on the driver’s side had failed.

To make matters worse, one of the back tyres appeared to have a slow puncture and kept deflated every few days.

Initially NRJ agreed to take the car back to carry out repairs but then only fixed the window – insisting there was no issue with the airbag, despite the light remaining on.

After returning the vehicle to the buyer, the following week the rear tyre burst while being driven and was replaced by NRJ.

However, when it later transpired that the problem was being caused by a serious issue with the wheel itself, the firm refused to step in and help.

After a standoff between the two parties, the female student contacted Carmarthenshire County Council’s Trading Standards Team, which opened an investigation.

An examination of the vehicle revealed the Punto had a corroded rear axle, which experts said made it ‘not only unroadworthy but dangerous’.

Trading Standards also found a number of other serious issues that would have led to an MOT failure and decided to lead a prosecution against the dealership.

Following the guilty plea, David Bonner-Evans, Susan Bonner-Evans and James Bonner-Evans were each fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs totalling £6,678.60 with one third to pay each.

The victim was also awarded compensation to the tune of £1,760.75.

Reacting to the sentence, Aled Vaughan Owen, cabinet lead for Trading Standards at Carmarthenshire County Council said: ‘The outcome of this case could have been tragic as the vehicle that was sold to the victim by David Bonner-Evans, Susan Bonner-Evans and James Bonner-Evans was not fit to be on the road.

‘I would like to thank our Trading Standards Team for holding these people to account and bringing them to justice.’

Google Business Profile currently lists NRJ Motor Company as being ‘permanently closed’.

According to Companies House. the family-run business was handed notice for a compulsory strike off in April, although the action was later suspended.

The outfit’s latest set of accounts were due by the end of January and are currently six-and-a-half months late.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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