A Dublin car trader, Mr. Timmy Keane has been given a six month suspended sentence by Judge John Brennan of Dublin District Court, for providing a consumer with false information in relation to the mileage of a car. The sentence, suspended for 12 months, follows an investigation by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
Mr Keane was found guilty of providing false information in relation to a vehicle’s previous history which is an offence under the Consumer Protection Act 2007. The offence related to a false odometer reading. Today’s sentence is in addition to the €5,000 compensation Mr Keane was required to pay to the affected consumer following an application by the CCPC on behalf of the consumer for a compensation order.
Isolde Goggin, Chairperson of the CCPC said, “We welcome today’s sentencing. Misleading a consumer in the sale of a car is not only costly but critically it could be dangerous. If a consumer doesn’t know what the true mileage of a car is, then they can’t accurately judge the true condition or value of the car. Also, parts which should be in good working order might actually be at the point where they are about to fail.
Traders who sell cars to consumers are responsible for any false or misleading information they provide. And in this regard, anyone who sells cars should take note that if they mislead consumers about the vehicles they are selling or if they sell defective vehicles, they are breaking the law.
As demonstrated today we will use our powers to challenge and take enforcement action against traders who we find breaking the law. Misleading a consumer in this manner is a serious offence, indeed in February a car trader was jailed for three months. For most consumers the purchase of a car is the second biggest purchase that they will make. The motor sector is an enforcement priority for the CCPC and in April we announced the commencement of unannounced inspections of motor garages across the country.”
The CCPC encourages any consumer to contact their helpline on 1890 432 432 if they have details about a trader who they believe has provided false information about a car’s condition or mileage. Information to help consumers make informed purchases and to avoid potential pitfalls when buying a second-hand car is also available on ccpc.ie.