Walsall Magistrates' Court, Aug 2020Walsall Magistrates' Court, Aug 2020

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Used car dealer must pay out thousands for selling Subaru that had dodgy brakes and severe corrosion

  • Stephen Hickman, trading as Netherton Car Sales, admitted supplying an unroadworthy car
  • He also pleaded guilty to misleading customer about rust on the Subaru Forester
  • Vehicle expert said corrosion was ‘extremely severe’ and found defective brakes as well

Time 10:01 am, March 18, 2022

A used car dealer has been ordered to pay nearly £13,300 after selling a Subaru Forester with dodgy brakes and corrosion so bad that it was unsafe to be on the road.

Stephen Hickman, of Seymour Road, Stourbridge, trading as Netherton Car Sales, pleaded guilty at Walsall Magistrates’ Court, pictured, to supplying an unroadworthy car and misleading a consumer about the extent of corrosion on a car.

JPs were told that two customers travelled from Doncaster to view the Forester, which had been advertised on Gumtree.


Hickman told them the corrosion didn’t affect the Subaru’s structure, so they paid him £3,500 for the car.

However, the true extent of the problem came to light when one of the customers started wire-brushing the rust off from under the Forester, intending to spray it with Waxoyl, and found the rusted holes.

A vehicle expert later concluded that the ‘corrosion was very well established’ and was ‘extremely severe near to the rear suspension top mountings, making the vehicle unroadworthy’, said Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

The expert also found ‘the brakes to be defective in that the offside rear wheel cylinder was leaking’ and said: ‘All of the faults on this vehicle could have easily been identified by any careful and competent member of the motor trade prior to sale.’


The court ordered Hickman to pay a total of £13,276.16, including a full refund to the customer and a £1,620 fine.

After the hearing, Cllr Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: ‘This prosecution sends out a clear message to car traders that they have a responsibility to check that the vehicles they sell are lawful and safe to use on the road and are described accurately.

‘Dudley Trading Standards will not hesitate to investigate complaints where consumers have been misled or where they have been sold an unroadworthy vehicle.’

Main image: Google Street View

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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