Mechanic sacked after “ripping guts out” customer’s car on test drive

A mechanic has been sacked after a hidden dashcam caught him speeding in a customer’s car during a post-work test drive.

After collecting the car from a booked oil change with National Tyres and Autocare, Bishop Auckland, owner Gareth Lanka noticed his Seat Ibiza’s engine was “vibrating”.

He checked the dashcam footage – the camera had been hidden behind his rear-view mirror – and was “stunned” to see his Seat Ibiza “screaming” at 78mph in a 60mph zone.

“I couldn’t believe it”, Lanka told The Northern Echo. “[My car] is not designed to be driven that way”

The firm said it was taken on a test drive to ensure proper functioning following the work.

However, Lanka, an area manager who depends on his car, hit back: “He has changed the radio station and turned up the music. He has definitely put his foot down; it is not as if he is listening for faults.

“[The mechanic] has really ripped the guts out of it. I have never driven that way myself.”

Following the complaint, and after seeing the footage, Halfords, which owns National Tyres and Autocare, sacked the mechanic. It also offered to replace all four tyres and conduct a full service of the car.

The firm said it was taken on a test drive to ensure proper functioning following the work.

Lanka told the Echo he was angry, both that he would’ve been completely unaware if it were not for the dashcam, and that the driver could have put his licence at risk.

“I was gobsmacked with what I have seen on the footage,” he said. “He is doing almost 80mph in a 60 zone; by doing that he is putting my licence at risk. If he went through a speed camera those points would have come through my letter box, it could have been me losing my job.”

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