Advertising for a Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI Style car on Carzone by Baldonnell Motor Company included the following:
“Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI Style. Full History €9,950”
Engine: 1.6 Diesel
Body Type: Hatchback
Additional Info: Immaculate 1 Owner, Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI 5Dr with low mileage & a full service history…”
The complainant viewed the advertisement and considered it was misleading as he was aware that the car had at least two owners and not only one as stated in the advertisement.
The advertisers’ stated that the reason they had displayed the car as having one previous owner was due to the process involved in inputting an advertisement onto the Carzone website. They stated that the car registration was entered onto the Carzone site which then automatically brought up the information registered with the Department of the Environment. The information supplied by the database was that the car had had one previous owner in Ireland.
They stated that the complainant was aware that the car had also had one previous owner in the UK prior to placing a deposit on the car as he had examined the car’s service history.
They stated that there had never been any intention to mislead anyone.
The advertisers subsequently confirmed that in this particular case the car only had one owner who originally resided in the UK but then had the car registered in her name when she moved to Ireland with her employment
Complaint not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted the information provided by the advertisers that the website used information from the Department of the Environment which only detailed the number of owners since a car’s Irish registration. They considered however, that the number of previous owners was an important consideration for many car purchasers and as such, where such claims were made, they should be accurate and relate to the total number of previous owners. In this case, however, they accepted that the car had one actual owner who was obliged to reregister her ownership on a change of residence. The Committee therefore considered that the advertisement was not in breach of the Code.
No further action required.