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18/10/2021

Car dealerships in Limerick investigated for 'misleading' customers

Car dealerships in Limerick investigated for 'misleading' customers

A number of car dealerships in Limerick have been inspected by the CCPC

SEVERAL car dealerships in Limerick have been inspected recently after multiple complaints, about their activities, were received from customers.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has issued a warning to car dealers in Limerick reminding them of their legal obligation to give complete and correct information to consumers when they are selling a car.  

It is an offence for traders to give false, misleading or deceptive information about the history of a car, such as  the wrong mileage, if a vehicle was previously involved in a crash or if a car was recorded as an insurance ‘write off’.

The CCPC’s warning follows a series of inspections of garages and second-hand car dealerships in Limerick over the last month.

Authorised officers from the CCPC, assisted by officers from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, inspected vehicles for evidence that traders may have misled consumers about their history.

"All of the traders inspected had been subject to multiple complaints to the CCPC in 2021," said a spokesperson.

If a car dealer is prosecuted and convicted of such an offence, they may be liable for a fine of up to €3,000 and up to six months in prison.

“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," said Patrick Kenny, a member of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. 

"Consumers need to be able to rely on accurate information from car dealers about a vehicle’s roadworthiness and its history, particularly its mileage and any damage history. Last month’s inspections should act as a reminder to all car dealers that if you mislead consumers then you are liable to face criminal prosecution," he added.

The CCPC says it will continue to conduct unannounced inspections in Limerick and around Ireland and that it will its powers to take enforcement action against traders who are breaking the law.

In addition to complaints about potentially clocked or crashed cars, other issues reported by consumers this year includes traders withholding important information about a car’s history and disguised sellers. This is where car dealers act as private sellers to avoid having to fulfil their legal obligations.

Click here to download a car-buyers checklist

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