A CAR dealer has been hit with a court bill of more than £13,000 after selling a car that had defective brakes and was so corroded that it was unlawful to use on the road.

Stephen Hickman, aged 60, of Seymour Road in Stourbridge who traded as Netherton Car Sales, admitted the supply of an unroadworthy car and admitted to misleading a consumer about the extent of corrosion on a car at Walsall Magistrates Court on March 14.

The court heard that two customers from Doncaster travelled to Netherton to view a Subaru Forester which had been advertised on Gumtree. They were told by the trader that the corrosion on the Subaru did not affect its structure and, on that basis, they bought the car for £3500.

The extent of the corrosion only came to light when the customer started wire brushing the rust off the underneath of the Subaru with the intention of spraying it with Waxoyl and found the rusted holes.

A vehicle expert later concluded that the “corrosion was very well established” and was “extremely severe near to the rear suspension top mountings, making the vehicle unroadworthy.”

The vehicle expert also found “the brakes to be defective in that the offside rear wheel cylinder was leaking” and commented that “All of the faults on this vehicle could have easily been identified by any careful and competent member of the motor trade prior to sale.”

The court imposed a total payment of £13,276.16, which included a full refund to the consumer and a fine of £1620.00.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “This prosecution sends out a clear message to car traders that they have a responsibility to check that the vehicles they sell are lawful and safe to use on the road and are described accurately.”