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Whistleblowers claim Jaguar Land Rover dealership ramps at ‘serious risk of collapse’

  • Two Lookers dealerships are said to be operating with ramps in worrying conditions
  • Whistleblowers contact Car Dealer after staff fears were ‘ignored’
  • 24 ramps in one dealership said to be seriously corroded due to water leaks
  • Lookers refutes claims and says ramps comply with safety standards

Time 5:11 pm, January 11, 2024

Two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships run by Lookers are alleged to be operating with workshop ramps that are ‘in danger of collapsing’.

Whistleblowers from within Lookers have told Car Dealer that 24 out of 26 ramps at Jaguar Land Rover West London are corroded so badly they believe they ‘pose a risk to staff’.

The 24 affected ramps are based underground at the Acton dealership and are said to have been seriously damaged by water leaks in the past eight months.

Documents seen by Car Dealer show a maintenance contractor was forced to pump out thousands of litres of water from the workshop in October, which had caused ‘substantial damage’ to the devices used to lift three-tonne Range Rovers daily.

The maintenance partner has been seen by the car dealership’s staff regularly visiting the site and attempting to fix ‘damaged and corroded parts’. 

One staff member said they had seen contractors drilling out corroded bolts and replacing them with new ones on the lifts.

Other sources say a huge water tanker is often on site and being used to extract waste water that is leaking into the dealership’s subterranean workshop.

The documents also show that most of the pits surrounding the ramps have been sitting in large pools of water that contractors have had to pump out.

Whistleblowers claim Lookers has ‘ignored staff concerns’ that the lifts were ‘not installed correctly’ in the first place.

The sources believe the company is ignoring their worries because the JLR dealership is ‘one of the most profitable Lookers runs’ and that ‘the cost of shutting it down to fix these problems would be crippling’.

‘The water table in that area is too high so it has been leaking on to the ramps and has caused the damage,’ said one Lookers source.

‘Contractors have been trying to fix the problems for around seven months and the volume of these outsourced agencies we’ve seen coming in to try to fix the issues is crazy.

‘One contractor alluded to the fact the ramps were installed with the “incorrect concrete” which has caused most of the problems. These things are at serious risk of collapse.

‘We’ve been told the integrity of the lifts is at risk and the company has been warned about the dangers. Technicians are frustrated about their concerns not being listened to.

‘Staff are frustrated and concerned that no reassurances have been provided to them by senior management or the health and safety team.’

One source spoke of seeing contractors push a screwdriver through corroded metal at the base of one of the ramps at the London dealership.

‘The things are rotten, but the company is not listening,’ said another source.

The ramps are not the only problem at the showroom. Other team members claimed the dealership’s roof is leaking, the offices are regularly flooded and there is ‘mould on the walls’.

Another whistleblower alleges similar issues are affecting ramps at the Lookers Colchester dealership, where ‘subsidence’ has caused concerns regarding the integrity of lifts there.

Lookers told Car Dealer: ‘We were already aware of the issues at our Colchester and West London sites. 

‘Ensuring safety for our colleagues and our customers is of paramount importance. We are carrying out the necessary remedial actions in a safe and appropriate manner.

‘We have received independent assurance that our lifts have always and continue to comply with safety standards and are safe to operate.’

Lookers is in the process of making 14.5% of its workforce redundant. Staff recently lashed out at the way the company was handling the process, with some claiming the firm is ‘cutting corners’.

Lookers told Car Dealer the employees’ claims about the redundancies were ‘incorrect’ and that it was doing all it could to be ‘thorough and sensitive to ensure that all employees have a fair consultation process’.

Jaguar Land Rover has been contacted for comment about the ramps.

Main image: Google Streetview

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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