Dublin car trader Mark Healy, of BRM Motors, Naas Road, Dublin has been convicted of deceiving or misleading a consumer in relation to the prior history of a car. The conviction follows an investigation by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
Mr Healy was fined €500, and ordered to pay compensation of €8,277 to the consumer who bought the car within the next six months. Mr. Healy was also ordered to contribute €4,000 plus VAT towards the CCPC’s legal and investigation costs.
The court heard that the CCPC opened an investigation following a complaint from a consumer who had bought a car from Mark Healy. Within days of collecting the car, it became apparent to the consumer that there were a number of problems with it. Upon making enquiries, the consumer found out that the car had previously been involved in an accident and had been written-off by insurers as beyond economic repair. Mark Healy had told the consumer at the time of purchase that the car had never been crashed. A subsequent assessment of the car concluded that it had sustained severe crushing impact damage and was unfit for use to due to the poor standard of repairs.
The CCPC’s investigation sought to determine whether Mr. Healy had engaged in a misleading commercial practice by deceiving or misleading the consumer as to the history of the car, which is a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 2007.
Commenting, Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the CCPC said: “As recognised by Judge Deirdre Gearty in her sentencing today, misleading a consumer about the history of a car is a very serious offence. Not only can it be costly but critically, it can be dangerous.
“Consumers need to be able to rely on accurate information from car dealers in relation to a vehicle’s roadworthiness and its history, particularly any damage history. Mr. Healy’s conviction is a reminder to all car traders that if you mislead consumers or provide consumers with false information about the history of a car, you are liable to a criminal prosecution.
“In 2018, investigations by the CCPC resulted in eight enforcement actions against traders who were in breach of consumer law. The CCPC will continue to conduct further unannounced inspections around Ireland and will use our powers to challenge and take enforcement action against traders found to be misleading consumers.”