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Sussex garages caught cheating their customers
Seven out of eight garages were found cheating customers in a council sting.
West Sussex trading standards investigators tested garages across the county to check mechanics were doing their jobs properly.
But just one of eight garages tested was found to have carried out work requested without making false or misleading claims.
The operation followed complaints from members of the public about a number of garages.
A car was checked by trading standards before being taken to each of the eight garages for a service and pre-MOT check.
One garage charged inspectors for an oil filter that had not been changed.
In another case a tyre and exhaust were reported damaged despite actually being in good condition.
The tests also found an engine over-filled with oil, tyre pressures which had not been properly checked and extra work which had been carried out without permission.
Trading standards is now considering taking formal action 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.”
A council spokesman said he was unable to reveal the location of the garages due to possible legal action.
Drivers looking to find a garage have been advised to use trading standards’ buy with confidence scheme by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk .