Archive | Garage News

DVSA BOSS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNT FROM MOT CHANGES

DVSA BOSS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNT FROM MOT CHANGES

In a blog post, Neil Barlow, DVSA’s Head of MOT Policy has reflected on the changes to the test, implemented in May.

Writing for authorised examiners, he noted: “Before 20 May, the training environment we set up to help you get used to the changes was used by over 12,000 testers. Your feedback showed that most of you found this useful, so we’ll look at providing a similar training environment again for any large changes in the future.”

Barlow observed that testers were taking longer to record defects, though this was ‘hardly surprising’ given the new structure. He also noted that the wording, which had been criticised by a number of testers for being technically or grammatically ambiguous, was being updated.

On a slightly different subject, Barlow wrote how the Agency was reviewing the ‘risk rating’ for testing centres. This will look at a number of factors and the station will be logged under a ‘traffic light’ scheme accordingly. “We’ll do some calculations based around testers and this will be pulled together to form an overall score for the garage. We’re working hard to make sure that this information is clear and open to those that need it” concluded Barlow.

Mixed responses for 4-1-1 proposition

Read Barlow’s full blog post here

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SPARTAN OPENS ADDITIONAL BRANCHES

SPARTAN OPENS ADDITIONAL BRANCHES

South Wales-based Spartan Motor Factors has opened two new branches in Blackwood and Swansea.

The Blackwood branch measures 4000 sq ft, has five  drivers and three counter staff while the Swansea branch is 5,500 sq ft, and has two counter staff and three drivers.

These opening are in addition to  a branch in Pontypridd in April and a cooling division specialising in air conditioning and radiator repairs in Abercarn that opened in May.

Director Lee Gratton said: “This takes the total number of branches to 10 with the head office still based in Cardiff. We are actively looking to expand the Spartan network further into England through either acquisitions or branch openings if the right individuals approach us , we have depots in Avonmouth and Weston Super Mare at present”.

New Spartan in Swansea

 

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CUSTOMER DETAILS COMPROMISED AFTER SNAP-ON HACK

CUSTOMER DETAILS COMPROMISED AFTER SNAP-ON HACK

Tool and equipment supplier Snap-on has been admitted to having it’s sales website hacked and UK customer data compromised.

Names and email addresses of registered customers were taken from the buy1.snapon site. Credit card or other payment details remain secure as these are processed by a secure third party and are not on Snap-on’s database.

The firm learnt of the breach with the assistance of a cybersecurity company and immediately informed the FBI. Affected customers then received a letter from the company explaining the situation.

Countries affected by the incident include the UK as well as New Zealand, Australia and Canada. Although the company is U.S based, the online platform has not been used domestically since 2013.

At Snap-on, we understand the importance of our customer’s information and we are working continually to strengthen our security systems and protect our customers’ data” the company said in a statement after confirming the facts of the breach.  At the time of writing, the affected site remains offline.

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ASA RAP FOR CAR DATA CHECK COMPANY

ASA RAP FOR CAR DATA CHECK COMPANY

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld two complaints against Cazana, a vehicle data checking company. Both complainants alleged that the firm didn’t sell checks for the advertised price, and one believed that a claim that the company offered ‘UK’s most comprehensive car check’ was misleading and couldn’t be substantiated.

In response Cazana said that a “car check” typically referred to provenance checks against standard database content from the DVLA, DVSA, police and insurers. Cazana maintained that, in addition to those checks, theirs were the only checks that showed the previous sales history and images of vehicles and a retail valuation sourced from the details of vehicles that were currently for sale.

 

However, the advertising body didn’t agree. The ASA considered consumers would interpret the claim to mean that the vehicle check undertaken by Cazana covered more aspects of the vehicle and its history and provided more information than checks undertaken by other providers. It said: “To substantiate the claim, we expected Cazana to hold information that compared Cazana’s checks with those provided by their competitors and which showed that Cazana’s checks covered more aspects and provided more information. Because Cazana did not hold that information, we concluded that the claim was misleading”.

The ASA also agreed with the complainants on the issue of pricing. “We understood from one complainant, however, that the check advertised for £1.79 in ad (b) did not include the finance check that the ad referred to, and from the second complainant that the “Total” or “Complete” checks offered for £3.99 in ads (a) and (c) respectively did not provide a number of additional checks that were included in the “gold check” offered by Cazana for £9.99″ said the ASA in its adjudication. “Because the advertised checks were not available for the prices shown in the ads, we concluded that the ads were misleading”.

The ads must not appear again in the current form. The ASA also told Cazana not to make claims about the extent of their checks in comparison with those of their competitors unless they held adequate evidence, and to ensure that, if ads suggested that a check was available at a particular price, that was the correct price for that check.

 

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PEOPLE NEWS: SUKHBIR KAPOOR APPOINTED CEO OF DIGRAPH

PEOPLE NEWS: SUKHBIR KAPOOR APPOINTED CEO OF DIGRAPH

CV factor Digraph, has announced the appointment of Sukhbir Kapoor as Chief Executive Officer.

Kapoor brings with him a wealth of industry experience. He helped expand the Euro Car Parts network to over 300 branches, having held several senior management positions within product and marketing, logistics, supply chain and branch operations.  Prior to moving to the UK, Sukhbir’s career started at Gabriel, ArvinMeritor and latterly Federal Mogul Corporation based in India, Singapore and the USA.

Chairman of Digraph, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, said: “Sukhbir is a key appointment in the future growth of Digraph. As a business, Digraph is renowned for its outstanding customer service and willingness to go the extra mile for customers. We are working hard to maintain this ethos while growing the business through existing industry connections and resource.

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HALFORDS’ TV ADVERT BANNED BY ASA

HALFORDS’ TV ADVERT BANNED BY ASA

A TV advert for retail giant Halfords has been found to break the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code.

The advert, seen in January, promoted the chain’s battery fitting service. The ad featured a sped-up view from the vehicle’s windscreen of a snow-covered road which suggested the vehicle was being driven at high speed around several curves and bends in the road, accompanied with engine sounds. On-screen text stated, “Ready for quick getaways? ‘WeFit’ batteries from £15.

Two complainants, who believed the advert encouraged unsafe driving practices in snowy conditions, challenged whether it was irresponsible.

HalfordsHalfords said that neither they nor their advertising agency believed that the TV ad showed dangerous driving. That was because the footage had been sped up to such an extent that it was clearly not real and therefore did not show unsafe driving practices.

However, the ASA disagreed: “Because we considered that speed was the main message of the ad and the sped-up footage gave the impression that the vehicle was being driven in a dangerous manner, we concluded the ad encouraged irresponsible driving” it said in a statement. As a result, the advert can’t be shown again in current form and Halfords has had its knuckles wrapped, having been told to ‘ensure that future ads did not portray speed or driving behaviour in a way that might encourage irresponsible driving’.

 

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GOVERNMENT PROBE INTO HAND CAR WASHES

GOVERNMENT PROBE INTO HAND CAR WASHES

Investigation into hand car washes begins

A parliamentary committee is to look into how damaging hand car washes are to the environment.

The Environmental Audit Committee will examine how the impact of hand car washes differs from automatic ones. It will look at how effective regulation is and what steps central government might take to ensure that these businesses are operated sustainably.

Although the focus of the Committee’s inquiry will be on environmental issues, another body, the Independent Anti- Slavery Commission has produced a list of indications of exploitation at hand car washes, which the Committee will also seek answers for.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Our inquiry will look at the environmental impact of hand car washes and ask how effective the regulations that govern them are. It will also ask the Government how it is meeting its commitments under the UN Sustainable Development Goals to reduce human exploitation.”

Reacting to the news, Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association commented: “The PRA is pleased to see the Committee is holding the Government to account on an industry that is in breach of several regulations.”

“We have been lobbying DEFRA repeatedly over the lack of enforcement regarding the estimated 6,500 cubic metres of chemical trade effluent produced by hand car washes, which pollutes local water courses. We have also met with officials from both the Home Office and the Treasury Select Committee to discuss breaches of the Modern Slavery Act and the millions of pounds lost in tax revenues,” he concluded.

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ZAFIRA FIRES: VAUXHALL FACE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

ZAFIRA FIRES: VAUXHALL FACE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

A criminal investigation into the Vauxhall Zafira fire scandal has been launched by DVSA.

The government agency is working with officers from Luton Trading Standards to investigate Vauxhall.

In a written statement, Andy Rice, DVSA head of counter-fraud & investigations, said:: “DVSAs priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles”.

“We have made it clear to manufacturers that to protect consumers, they should swiftly rectify problems and meet their obligations under the code of practice”.

“DVSA will take the necessary action against any manufacturers who fail to comply with their obligations.”

The long-running saga of the people carriers catching fire dates back to 2009, when the then GM-owned carmaker first had reports of blazes.

Six years later, and following reports of over a hundred more fires, the VM attempted to point the finger at the aftermarket, blaming ‘unauthorised repairs’ to the thermal resistor cut-off on the heater blower, a recall was offered. The repair was unsuccessful in fixing the problem and another recall with a more extensive repair was made.

Following this, Vauxhall bosses were called into a Select Committee hearing and faced questions from MPs.

Although a majority of the 160 recorded fires have resulted in the total destruction of the vehicle, to date there have been no reports of serious injuries.

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WRS MOTOR FACTORS JOINS A1 BUYING GROUP

WRS MOTOR FACTORS JOINS A1 BUYING GROUP

Somerset-based WRS Motor Factors Ltd has joined buying group A1.

New brands will arrive at WRS

Weston Recovery Services (WRS) was established in Weston-Super-Mare by Robert and Lynn Hopkins in 1983. Today, it has an around the clock breakdown and recovery service.

WRS Motor Factors Ltd was subsequently incorporated in 2006 after some years trading under the Weston Recovery Services umbrella. Operating out of four branches across the Somerset area; Weston-Super-Mare, Shepton Mallet, Wellington and Bridgwater, it supplies many brands such as NGK, Lucas, Mahle and Britpart, as well as stocking a full range of Motaquip products.

Martin Tier of WRS, said: “It’s very important that we have a voice and aren’t just a number and after speaking with them, we feel A1 offer the right environment for us.

“Communication is a key part of this group,” says Simon Salloway, Head of Operations at A1. “We’re all working together. Everyone’s feedback and input is valued, and our combined knowledge and purchasing power form the foundations of our collective success. By listening to each other and working together, we can get a stronger hold in this increasingly competitive industry.”

The businesses trade as WRS Motaquip and this won’t change as the company will continue to buy hard parts from Motaquip. However, the move will widen the factor’s access to brands.

The A1 Motor Factor Group has added a number of well- known names to its network of suppliers in recent months. These include Hella-Hengst, Federal-Mogul and National Auto Parts.

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EPIC ACCESSORIES GETS TRICO VAN

EPIC ACCESSORIES GETS TRICO VAN

New sporty van for Epic Accessories

Wiper blade brand Trico has presented Epic Accessories with a Trico liveried Ford Fiesta van, after the latter achieved its target during the former’s three-month promotion last year.

The vehicle was handed over to Epic Accessories owner Samantha Gutteridge at the A1 buying group’s spring trade show, which took place at the Whittlebury Hall in Towcester last month.

Speaking of her firm’s new addition, Gutteridge said: “The new vehicle will help us on both a promotional and practical level in getting the message out to potential customers that we fit wiper blades in our designated fitting bay at the rear of our store, so a huge thanks to Trico.”

Sam Robinson, Product Manager at Trico, added: “The show was a great success for us, in particular our promotional offer on Neoform retro-fit beam blades, which was well received with a number of members who placed orders for a merchandise box on the day. We also agreed plans with various members to help boost their sales, including supply of in-store signage, as well as training days to educate and support their staff on selling and fitting Trico blades.”

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