CCPC issues compliance notices to Dublin car dealer

August 10, 2022

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has taken enforcement action against John McLoughlin, trading at Mac Autos, Raheny, Dublin 5, for engaging in misleading commercial practices and providing misleading information to consumers. This follows complaints from consumers who purchased vehicles from Mac Autos in 2018 and 2020.

Following complaints from consumers, Mr McLoughlin was visited by Authorised Officers from the CCPC. One complainant reported they had purchased a Citroen C1 for €3,300 in 2018 but had not been informed that the car had previously been damaged and was classified as a ‘category C’ write-off in the United Kingdom. The car had been advertised on as “in mint / showroom condition inside and out”.

A second complainant reported that they had purchased a Ford Focus from Mac Autos in 2020. Before purchasing the vehicle, the complainant repeatedly asked Mr McLoughlin if the car had been previously crashed and they were informed that it had not been crashed. The complainant then purchased the car for €4,000. However, the car had previously been written off in the first quarter of 2017.

In both cases, Authorised Officers from the CCPC established that the complainants would not have purchased the vehicles in question if they had been informed that the cars had been previously damaged.

While it is not illegal to sell a clocked or crashed car, this information must be shared with the consumer before they make the purchase. It is an offence for traders to give false, misleading or deceptive information about the history of a car, such as whether the car was previously involved in a car crash, was recorded as an insurance ‘write off’, or displays the wrong mileage.

Following engagement with the CCPC, compliance notices, issued under section 75 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007, have been served on the trader. The compliance notices require Mr McLoughlin to complete history checks on all cars sold in future and where the car’s odometer does not match what is currently on it, or where the car was crashed or damaged, the consumer must be informed. The compliance notices also require the trader to refund the consumers in question.

Although consumer protection legislation places requirements on traders, the CCPC recommends that consumers should independently check a car’s history and use the CCPC’s Car Buyers Checklist when buying a used car. The CCPC also encourages any consumers who suspect they may have been misled by a trader to make a report to the CCPC.

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