A man who bought a car from Trade Centre Wales last September claims it broke down six times in as many months and has been off the road for repairs for more than half that time.
Lee Tutton, from Newport, called into the Cardiff North branch of the used car dealership in Abercynon last September because he needed a vehicle to get him to and from his construction job in Bristol.
But, after forking out four thousand pounds for a 2011 Vauxhall Astra which had 95k on the clock, the 22-year-old says he’s only actually been able to use the car for five weeks in total, with a string of problems occurring not long after he drove it from the forecourt.
“Within two weeks I had to get new battery and then, just a fortnight after that, I was told by the RAC recovery team that I’d need a whole new cooling system,” says Lee, adding that the Astra had supposedly greenlit its way through an MOT only a few months before.
“Then, the day after I’d picked up the car from the garage, there was a problem with the turbo injection which resulted in the loss of power – that was the third breakdown.”
He adds that in December he then began experiencing engine trouble and, after having the car checked out yet again, was informed that numerous things would need fixing or replacing.
“There was the head gasket, the bearings, valves, the oil filter – all manner of stuff. Altogether the parts and labour came to £1,156.82,” says Lee.
“What is more, the mechanic said that there’s no way any of the problems could have occurred overnight, more likely originating before I’d bought the car.
“However, other than a ‘good will gesture’ of £200, Trade Centre Wales couldn’t accept how any of the grief I’d experienced was their responsibilty.”
Luckily though, Lee had taken out a warranty with the RAC which ended up meeting the bulk of the breakdown costs – but he says that doesn’t cover the inconvenience he’s suffered as a result, including the loss of earnings.
“I initially had to take a couple of weeks off work because I just couldn’t get there.
“Then a new guy who lived nearby started with the company and I managed to do a lift-share with him for a little while. But after that I had to rely on public transport which isn’t practical because of the hours I work and the miles I have to cover as part of my job.
“The car’s still at a garage in Newport awaiting repair as we speak, so as far as I’m concerned it couldn’t have been fit for purpose at point of sale.
“I just want Trade Centre Wales to acknowledge that.”
A spokesperson for TCW said: “Our team has been in contact with Mr Tutton today to resolve the matter.
“To date any mechanical repairs have been handled by a third party garage chosen by him. The garage concerned do not appear to have been able to rectify the issues and Mr Tutton has now agreed to allow us to fix the car.”