ONLY one out of eight garages tested by West Sussex Trading Standards carried out all the required work on a test car.
A new report said the garages were being checked to see if they had actually done the work they claimed, whether they had made any false or misleading claims about further work required, or done extra work without authorisation.
The garages were targeted following complaints from members of the public.
A car was checked beforehand by Trading Standards and then taken to each garage for a service and pre MOT check.
Serious problems found included an oil filter which was not changed in a service, despite being charged for. A tyre was said to be damaged, and part of an exhaust needed replacing when neither was faulty. Other problems found included an engine overfilled with oil, extra work done and charged for without permission, and tyre pressures which were not checked.
Formal action is now being considered by Trading Standards against four of the garages.
Christine Field, county council cabinet member for public protection, said: “Motorists need to be able to trust their garages won’t exploit them, as most people are unlikely to be able to check the claims for themselves. In the present economic climate, people are feeling the pinch, and need to be able to rely on work being done competently.”
Anyone looking for a garage they can trust can use the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or use the searchbar on the West Sussex County Council home page on www.westsussex.gov.uk/.
If you have a problem with a garage, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.