National car sales firm in court after wheel fell off car on the A11
11 July 2019
National used car retailer Car Shops Limited, who trade as CarShop, have today been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £8713.08 by magistrates in Norwich for selling an unroadworthy vehicle.
On 14 November 2018 the CarShop store in Norwich supplied a 2016 Renault Clio to a customer. The following day, as the vehicle was being driven at 60mph along the A11 in Norfolk one of the front wheels fell off the car.
Norfolk County Council Trading Standards were contacted by the police after the incident as it became clear that the wheel nuts had not been correctly tightened.
Luckily no one was hurt in the incident as the customer was able to safely bring the vehicle to a stop, helped by a quick-thinking HGV driver who was able to slow his vehicle and position it to shield the customer’s car from traffic behind. Even though the customer was unhurt she was understandably shocked and shaken.
Sophie Leney, Head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, said “Trading standards laws exist so that people can be confident that the products they buy are safe. Businesses should only supply safe products and must be able to demonstrate that they operate diligently to ensure this happens. The lack of diligence in this case led to the supply of an unroadworthy car and could have had fatal consequences. Thankfully nobody was injured, but it was important that Car Shops Limited was held to account.”
Police officers attended the scene from Norfolk Constabulary’s Serious Collision Investigation Team. An officer checked the torque settings on each of the four wheel-nuts on the remaining tyres and found wheel-bolts had not been correctly tightened. In one case, two wheel-nuts on one wheel were only tightened to two-thirds of the level they should have been.
CarShop was alerted and arranged for an independent inspection of the vehicle. The engineer conducting the inspection concluded that “the loss of the left front wheel is a direct result of the wheel bolts being inadequately tightened when last refitted allowing subsequent use to cause the bolts to work loose eventually allowing the wheel to detach from the hub”.