Firm ordered to pay family for car with ‘faulty brakes’

PUBLISHED: 11:45 24 June 2012

Archant

A FAMILY of four were lucky to escape serious injury or death after being sold a second-hand car with faulty brakes by a Weston business.

That is the view of Somerset mother-of-two Francesca Dillon, after her car suffered a brake failure within days of her buying it from Boss Vehicle Solutions (BVS) - despite the company’s assurance it had been fixed.

The pair pursued the company through the courts and BVS was this month ordered to pay about £2,000 to the family by Weston County Court.

But when bailiffs approached the Sunnyside Road North business on Friday, they were told the firm had been bought out and its new owners were not liable.

The old BVS ceased trading on April 1 - two months after Ms Dillon and her partner Tony Reed bought the faulty 10-year-old Ford Focus in February.

Although a new firm has begun trading under the same name, it is not linked to the old one, and is not legally liable to pay the compensation ordered by the court.

The hearing heard how the couple first spotted the faulty brakes on a test drive, but were assured they would be fixed.

Ms Dillon said she was staggered the company would sell a car, which an independent garage later told her had brake parts from a different model, and let her leave with children aged two and four in the back.

She said: “We took it on a test drive and my partner said he thought the brakes felt a little odd. The salesman said they would fix them, so we bought it.”

After collecting the vehicle a week later, Mr Reed drove it on the M5 to their Taunton home.

But within days Mr Reed suffered an accident after smoke started billowing from the brakes.

Ms Dillon added: “It’s terrifying to think what might have happened. Thankfully Tony was only going at about 30mph when the brakes failed and he was unhurt.

“I have a lot of friends with kids and they question how those responsible could wave us off with children in the back of the car, knowing it was unsafe.”

Ms Dillon said they could ill-afford not to get the money from the £2,045 warrant which the firm is required to pay. She said: “It may not seem like a lot, but for a young family it is.”

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