A FAMILY claim their lives were endangered after buying a car from a dealership which they say turned out to be faulty and had an unregistered licence plate.
Dad of two Mike Aplin bought the BMW from a Southampton car dealership at the centre of a deluge of complaints by disgruntled motorists, claiming to have been sold cars not fit to drive.
After spotting the car online the 31-year-old ground maintenance worker travelled from Weymouth to buy it.
But then Mr Aplin noticed the licence plates were not the same as advertised by Woolston Car Supermarket, which shut a fortnight ago amid mounting fury over faulty cars and bouncing refund cheques. After the car’s log book, MoT and registration, failed to be posted as promised, Mr Aplin and his partner made their own inquiries.
Mr Aplin said: “It was then we found out that these plates were not registered anywhere on the DVLA database. I was beyond fuming.
“I just kept thinking they had seen me drive away in an unlicensed car with my family in it.”
Mr Aplin was forced to fit and register his own plate, but his family were then left terrified after the car lost power on a busy road just before Christmas.
They say that problems found by a garage included corroded metal brake pipes, a broken catalytic converter and a split tyre.
Mr Aplin claims Woolston Car Supermarket’s director Stan Rudgley, now operating a dealership on the Fort Wallington Industrial Estate, had last week promised a settlement by Friday.
But Mr Aplin has not heard from him since.
As reported in the Daily Echo, Mr Rudgley has repeatedly broken promises to customers to make amends.
Our journalists accompanied some of them to Mr Rudgley’s new dealership on Friday after they were promised a resolution.
Mr Rudgley kept them waiting for five hours only to briefly turn up to deliver a short statement distancing himself from responsibility.
Mr Aplin is intending to take legal action for a full refund and extra costs incurred.
When contacted last week Mr Rudgley said he was willing to reimburse the cost of the new licence plate.
But he claims the car’s plates were DVLA registered when it was driven off his forecourt.
He told the Echo: “He (Mr Aplin) knew that the licence plate needed to be transferred as it was a private number plate that had been on it.
“We put the cars original plates on it and the paperwork would need to be updated from the DVLA.”
Mr Rudgley said he was unaware of any issues with the car but that if the family sent him the paperwork he would investigate, adding he had not received any letters or legal documents from his former firm in connection with the car.
The unregistered licence plate matter has been reported to Hampshire police who said the matter would most likely be dealt with by Trading Standards.
Trading Standards are investigating. The DVLA were unable to provide a comment.