OWNERS of a York garage have been fined £2,000 and must pay £1,450 compensation to customers.

ALX 1 Ltd, trading as Alexander Snee Ltd in Holgate Road, beside the Iron Bridge, was prosecuted after an investigation by City of York Council's trading standards team.

At court in Leeds on Thursday, the business pleaded guilty for not providing an adequate aftersales service regarding an Audi A3 it sold in March 2015. It was fined £750 and ordered to pay £750 compensation.

York Press:

It also admitted breach of a safety suspension notice regarding a Vauxhall Corsa, for which it was fined £1,250. The business was also ordered to pay £700 compensation to the buyer of a Saab.

The company told The Press the Corsa offence was administrative rather than mechanical, and related to not notifying the council once the required work had been done.

City of York Council said it had received an increasing number of complaints about the business after April 2014, alleging sales of faulty or misdescribed cars and poor service after sales.

Trading standards officers visited the garage, accompanied by an independent vehicle examiner. The garage has since changed hands.

A council spokeswoman said on Thursday: "The first visit on October 27, 2014 found four cars with faults rendering them unsafe.

"A safety notice was issued on each suspending them from sale until the identified faults had been rectified.

"Verbal and written advice was provided to the business to help it understand its legal obligations. The business also signed an assurance confirming it would meet its legal obligations under Trading Standards laws."

A second visit was made in April 2015, after further complaints.

The spokeswoman said: "Two more cars were found to be unsafe and so two further safety notices were issued suspending those vehicles from sale.

"In February 2015 the business sold a Saab car and in March 2015 sold an Audi car.

"The buyers complained that both cars were faulty and that the business had failed to put matters right. An inspection by the independent vehicle examiner confirmed that both cars were unsafe and unroadworthy."

The council said that when questioned, the business failed to tell Trading Standards where one of the six cars that had been issued with a safety notice was, or prove that repairs had been carried out.

Ross Alexander, the sole director of ALX 1 Ltd, was formally interviewed by trading standards officers.

The council spokeswoman said: "He acknowledged the help and support which had been provided to him by the council and accepted he could have done more regarding the matters discovered.

"He said the business had repaired four of the suspended cars and scrapped the fifth, but saidhe had given the sixth vehicle to his sister.

"However, Trading Standards officers were able to prove that the business sold it to a customer while it was still suspended from supply under the safety notice."