A SECRET undercover exercise by Solihull Council has been checking the standards of local garages.
Officers from Trading Standards took four vehicles with various problems to be serviced at four different garages.
All vehicles were subjected to a pre-service inspection by a vehicle specialist, as well as a post-service inspection to access the garage’s diagnoses quality.
Small faults were made on all the cars to see if they would be picked up during the service, including the removal of light bulbs; marking spark plugs, to see if they had been changed; and draining fluid, to see if it had been refilled.
Three out of the four garages missed at least one of these artificially introduced issues.
In addition three out of the four garages also diagnosed works to the vehicles that were unnecessary – two providing quotations for expensive work that the expert deemed unnecessary.
Coun Tony Dicicco, cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships, said: “These inspections provide us with vital information to help us protect consumers.
“It sends a message to local garages that we are targeting bad practice and will take the necessary steps to insure they are doing what is expected of them.
“The council will continue to monitor trading practices in Solihull and will take the necessary robust action against businesses that clearly breach the law, helping create a prosperous trading environment where consumers feel confident and safe in dealing with local businesses.”