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Magazine Says ‘Garages Don’t Care’

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Five months after the introduction of Automotive Kitemark system, there are only three accredited workshops for consumers to choose from.

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So far the British Standards Institute says it has received fewer than 100 applications from the U.K.’s 25,000 garages.

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According to What Car, numerous mystery shop reports have all shown motorists are routinely overcharged, told they need unnecessary work or left with cars in a dangerous, un-roadworthy condition.

Steve Fowler, group editor of What Car? said: “Enough is enough. With just three out of 25,000 workshops getting approval from the BSI in five months, and fewer than 0.5% even bothering to apply, it’s clear that servicing and repair workshops are treating motorists with arrogant disdain.

“There seems to be no appetite to change the industry and little effort from workshops to put their shoddy, second-rate and, at times, dangerous past behind them.”

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The National Consumer Council (NCC) last summer set a deadline of the end of March this year for lead trade association the Retail Motor Industry Federation to win approval for a code of conduct from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Since the Retail Motor Industry Federation has already abandoned one code and made clear that it will not submit another to the OFT, the NCC says it is now looking to the BSI Kitemark, and another programme being developed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, to drive up standards.

The NCC has the power to lodge a “super complaint” with the OFT, which could help to force regulation through, but is likely to extend its deadline to give the Kitemark and SMMT schemes a chance to win support.

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