X marks the mot

The MoT on my 2003 Jaguar X-Type 3.0l Sport Manual expired on Wednesday. Last week I booked it into an MoT centre in Bath and took it there on Monday. I was very confident that it would sail through - it's maintained irrespective of cost by Swallows Jaguar of Rooksbridge, Somerset and I've got complete confidence in them. It had a comprehensive service at 50k miles just a few weeks ago. So, when I collected my car and was told that it had failed by the spotty yoof behind the counter, I was somewhat taken aback. He then went on to explain that the discs on the front wheels were seriously pitted and a fail, the rear discs were almost as seriously pitted and needed to be replaced, that the rear tyres were near the limit and that it had an oil leak from "somewhere near the cambelt" that needed urgent investigation. So I turned up at Swallows at 8.30am this morning and had a quick chat with the workshop manager. Cutting a long story short, it transpired that the front discs were a little worn, not pitted at all and well within service limits. The back discs were barely worn at all and there is no oil leak. There remains 4mm of tread on the rear tyres. As the car had failed an MoT Swallows decided to change the front discs and gave me the old discs back and a letter explaining that the discs were within serviceable limits, that the car should not have failed the MoT, and there were no problems with the rear discs, oil leaks and tyre tread depth. I went back to the MoT centre and asked to see the proprietor to be told he wasn't in for the day. The service manage agreed the discs were not pitted. But he spoke to the proprietor who instructed that the car was not to be released to me until I paid the £20 retest fee. What can I do?

Asked on 17 July 2010 by MC. via email

Answered by Honest John
Trading Standards, police (attempted fraud for which you have the evidence of a fail certificate and discs that should not have been failed), small claims track of the county court for your loss, and get onto the VOSA by phone. Unlike a lot of people who complain, you have indisputable evidence of the attempted fraud.
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