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Bowen Hills motor dealer fined $6,500

18 October 2018

A Brisbane motor dealer was ordered to pay almost $7,800 yesterday (17 October 2018) after charges were brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for making false representations when selling motor vehicles.

Stephen George Tarr, owner of George Motor Dealers in Bowen Hills, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to four charges of making false and misleading representations about the sale of a motor vehicle.

Mr Tarr was fined $6,500 and ordered to pay a total of $1,278.56 in costs to witnesses and the OFT.

The court heard Mr Tarr advertised a motor vehicle for sale online in May 2016. An interested consumer from Victoria contacted Mr Tarr to discuss the specifications of the motor vehicle.

The consumer viewed the vehicle via video chat before reaching an agreement with Mr Tarr to buy the vehicle for $19,990 which was paid in full and included delivery.

When the consumer received the vehicle, he noted the car had a four cylinder engine instead of six, the odometer read 68,796kms instead of 64,312kms and the year model was 2012, not a 2013 model as advertised.

The consumer requested a refund and for Mr Tarr to collect the vehicle, but Mr Tarr refused.

In September 2016, a consumer bought a Dodge Calibre motor vehicle that was listed for sale in a Gumtree advertisement published by Mr Tarr.

When the registration was transferred, the consumer found the build year of the vehicle was 2007, not 2009 as Mr Tarr stated in the contract.

In sentencing, the court took into consideration Mr Tarr’s late guilty plea and careless behaviour.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said motor dealers advertising false details of vehicles would not be tolerated.

“Consumers are entitled to the truth about goods and services, and are encouraged to make a complaint if they are lied to,” Mr Bauer said.

“We recommend consumers who are buying online or from a business they haven’t previously dealt with, to offer to pay only a deposit until they can inspect the goods in person.”

More information on the legal requirements for motor vehicle transactions is available from www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).