Video: Garage owner launches legal action against Google over ‘fake’ reviews

Search engine refuses to remove series of malicious reviews despite evidence, business owner says

The owner of a car sales business in Essex is taking legal action against Google over a series of fake and damaging online reviews, the BBC has reported.

A number of one-star reviews about the garage appeared on Google Maps.

One reads: “Absolutely the poorest service I’ve ever been unfortunate enough to experience.”

The multinational technology company refused to remove what Richard Boatwright claims are malicious reviews left by anonymous users.

He said: “We’ve provided them with firm information that shows these reviews are completely fabricated but they’re not interested.”

“They’re anonymous, behind fake names, so you don’t really know what to do.

“You feel helpless.”

Watch the video here:

Some 20 million business reviews are posted everyday on Google.

In a statement, the tech giant said: “The vast majority of reviews are helpful, relevant and authentic.

“We monitor closely for content that violates our policies 24/7.”

Mr Boatwright added: “We’re not taking it lying down.

“We’re trying to fight back but, for a small company to take on the mighty Google, it’s not going to be easy”.

Adam French of consumer rights organisation Which? said: “Our research has found fake reviews are prevalent across different platforms and the kind of influence they have on our shopping decisions is huge.

“I think there’s more that companies like Google could do to shut down these fake reviews.

“They can be quite passive, relying on people to report them.”

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GS Yuasa Academy gets IMI accreditation

More than 20 online battery training courses with video content and downloadable support material

GS Yuasa Academy has become the first battery training program to partner with The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Featuring over 20 detailed training courses, GS Yuasa Academy covers every step of a battery’s ‘journey’ – from leaving the shelf, through ongoing maintenance, to end of service life.

Once users have successfully completed all GS Yuasa Academy courses, they will be eligible to apply for IMI certification and membership through the platform.

If they decide to do so they will then receive a printed certificate, membership pack and a range of benefits.

Ian Newham, training manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK Ltd said: “We’ve seen incredible engagement since the launch of GS Yuasa Academy – workshops, technicians, distributors and individuals have all rallied behind it.

“We know they love the broad range of content and the dynamic way in which it’s delivered.

“Each module only takes a few minutes to complete and can be completed at your own pace.

“The fact that users can simply leave the site and then pick up where they left off is a real bonus for technicians and workshop owners with a busy work schedule too.”

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) was founded in 1920, with the goal to establish new skills and knowledge benchmarks for the emerging automotive industry.

You can find out more about GS Yuasa Academy here.

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Servicesure extends warranty programme with ‘Oilsure’ in conjunction with Comma

National garage chain Servicesure has launched Oilsure, an industry-leading oil warranty programme in partnership with global lubricants and chemicals specialist Comma.

Oilsure now gives Servicesure members the chance to extend their national warranty to Comma oil.

Comma Sales and Marketing Director Mike Bewsey said: “With advancing vehicle technologies and the costly implications of ‘getting it wrong’, it’s more critical than ever for workshop technicians to fit the correct oils. That’s why this program is so exciting and one we wanted to be partnered with.

“The key is to fit by application. Garages can have complete faith in the products they’re using, which is why Servicesure have extended their warranty programme to cover Comma’s Performance Motor Oil when fitting in conjunction with”

By signing up to Oilsure, Servicesure members receive expert product training from Comma specialists, marketing materials to promote the programme and access to a bespoke stock pack, tailored to their local car parc, supplied by The Parts Alliance.

Head of Servicesure Garage Programmes Paul Dineen said: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with a fantastic supplier like Comma to offer Servicesure customers total peace of mind for their oil through the Oilsure programme.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Servicesure members to grow business with new and existing customers by raising awareness of the importance of using quality oil in all vehicle types and offering national warranty.

“Our Servicesure network is driven by quality parts and products that are fitted by expert professionals in welcoming garage environments. Oilsure supports our aim to help customers drive away from any Servicesure garage with total confidence in their vehicle and their transaction.”

Servicesure operates a network comprising 554 independent garages across England, Scotland and Wales, with all member garages adhering to strict levels of quality and service.

It is owned and operated by leading motor factor, The Parts Alliance, which supplies aftermarket parts to thousands of garages across the UK via its network of more than 170 branches.

Any customer visiting a Servicesure garage benefits from the national warranty on every repair with quality parts fitted by a team of dedicated, passionate professionals.

You can find out more about the benefits of becoming a Servicesure garage here.

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New ADAS kit expands Delphi Technologies’ diagnostic capabilities

Modular kit adds static and dynamic calibration of ADAS to Delphi Technologies’ existing suite of automotive diagnostic tools

BorgWarner has added a new ADAS diagnostic solution to its Delphi Technologies Aftermarket portfolio.

Alex Bertoli, senior director for diagnostic and workshop solutions at Delphi Technologies Aftermarket said: “From 2020 onwards, more than 40 per cent of new vehicles will be fitted as standard with at least two types of ADAS, and this number is likely to grow.

“With an increasing number of cars equipped with this advanced technology, ADAS calibration represents a great opportunity for garages to offer safety-critical services for their customers and grow their business.”

To support the growing market, the new ADAS program includes an easy to use modular kit which works seamlessly with the existing DS Diagnostic tablet and software.

The basic kit – main support, adjustment bar with lasers, claws on rims, graduated supports and mirrors – as well as a range of accessories in option, such as target panels for the calibration of front cameras of popular brands like Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Peugeot, Citron, Toyota, and Mazda.

Boasting an initial provision for 284 models with camera calibration and 146 models with radar calibration, the coverage of 31 vehicle brands will expand as part of our continuous software development programs.

Functions requiring ADAS calibration include rear view camera adjustment, driver and passenger side front camera calibration as well as radar calibration for a vast range of essential safety detection features.

It can be used in dynamic calibration mode or with targets and vehicle manufacturer equipment in the workshop.

It also includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions built into the software for quick and accurate calibration.

Alex added: “We recognize that ADAS represents an additional financial investment for garages.

“Thanks to our modular design, workshops will have the possibility to select the functionalities of their choice and as their ADAS activity develops, they will be able to increase their capacities by relying on a flexible product offer and an efficient ADAS service.”

To find out more about the Delphi range, please click here.

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Schaeffler launches FAG steering and suspension programme

Complete repair solution includes all necessary nuts, bolts, washers and clips

Original equipment (OE) component and system manufacturer, Schaeffler has introduced a comprehensive steering and suspension programme under its FAG brand.

It hopes to provide the aftermarket with an alternative to other OE quality products by incorporating unique technical features and offering unrivalled service.

The new FAG range consistently delivers advanced quality standards and is backed up by Schaeffler’s market leading REPXPERT workshop support system.

As a technical partner of vehicle manufacturers around the world, as well as a leading innovator with more than 130 years of chassis expertise, FAG has an uncompromising approach to quality.

As a result, all components in the new range has been approved by Schaeffler’s own engineers using the most stringent testing standards, right down to the last nut, bolt and washer.

This unwavering attention to detail should inspire garage owners and mechanics to have complete confidence in the quality of every part.

Designed for all key applications in the European car parc, the market-oriented range naturally follows Schaeffler’s philosophy of providing installers with a complete repair solution in just one box.

This means that as well as being manufactured to the company’s OE quality standards, every component comes complete with all ancillaries – nuts, bolts, washers and clips etc. – so technicians can complete a safe and professional repair with no hunting round for extras.

The FAG chassis component range has been developed from the ground up to benefit from the company’s intelligent repair solution ethos, with Schaeffler’s product engineers demanding the highest material standards and manufacturing specifications to ensure consistent quality.

Ball pins are nitride treated to maximise longevity, whilst all exterior surfaces have market leading zinc flake coating technology to resist corrosion.

They are further protected by clear thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) boots with a micro-sealing lip design that adapts perfectly to the ball contour.

As well as being unique to the UK market, they are also highly resistant to liquids and mechanical loading, whilst the transparent material allows the mechanic to see the quality and quantity of the grease inside.

Schaeffler UK’s managing director, Nigel Morgan, said: “Everything we do is geared towards helping professionals carry out the best possible repairs using the highest quality components.

“The addition of the FAG steering & suspension range is therefore a significant development, allowing us to provide workshops with a viable alternative from a trusted supplier, along with the market leading workshop support that we offer with every Schaeffler product.”

Information on Schaeffler products and systems, fitting instructions, labour times and much more can be found on the REPXPERT workshop portal or by using the REPXPERT app, which is a free download for all iOS and Android devices.

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ZF Aftermarket expands online training courses

New training portal makes participation even more convenient

ZF Aftermarket is significantly expanding its online offering with a new training platform and an extended range of content.

New training topics expected to be added in the coming weeks includes chassis technology and dual-mass flywheel.

Participants no longer have a log-in for the ZF Aftermarket portal.

Participation in the online training courses is free of charge.

Registration on the ZF Aftermarket portal is only required for additional functions such as creating a certificate or viewing the recording.

On-demand access to the video recordings of the training courses is only available to partners of the workshop concept ZF pro [Tech].

A spokesperson for ZF Aftermarket said: “Due to corona-related contact restrictions this year, many face-to-face training sessions had to be cancelled.

“Video conferences and online training was often the only way to communicate with customers and partners safely, but still face-to-face.

“ZF Aftermarket is committed to sustainable customer loyalty and has maintained that commitment this year by delivering more than 50 online training courses.

“In addition to infection prevention, the other advantages of digital education formats have also gained attention: Participants not only save on travel and thus reduce costs and absence times for their companies, but they also have more flexibility in terms of scheduling because many events are recorded and can be accessed on demand.”

ZF Aftermarket expects that the popularity of on-screen training will increase in the future – at least for teaching basic theoretical knowledge as well as for product demonstrations and repair tips.

Further information on the new topics, booking dates and the contents of the individual training courses can be found online.

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‘Garage speak’ baffling majority of customers, RAC says

Garages encouraged to explain repair-work in laymans terms to vehicle owners

More than half of car owners say they have been left confused and unsure about a vehicle fault following a visit to a garage with 56 per cent misunderstanding ‘garage jargon’.

The survey, by the RAC, suggests many drivers feel as though they have been overcharged because the workshop used confusing language.

One in ten revealed that a garage had carried out work they had not agreed to because they did not realise what the garage meant.

A quarter of drivers (26 per cent) felt the cost of repairs they ended up paying turned out to be far higher than they were quoted, while nearly a fifth (18 per cent) said the garage could not repair their vehicle for them at all.

Nearly half (46 per cent) said they would be uneasy dealing with garages they didn’t know

Acronyms such as a DPF and TPMS often add to the confusion for customers.

RAC Consumer roadside managing director Andy Baker said failing to understand what mechanics were saying could be “frustrating” for road users.

He added: “These figures show there’s a sizeable gulf between what garages say, and what the average driver actually understands.

“At best, this can be frustrating for drivers who need their vehicles repaired, but at worst it could mean they get a raw deal – with baffling language making it much more likely they approve any work, at any price they’re quoted.

“And at the end of the day, getting the right repairs at a fair price shouldn’t come down to how well drivers understand industry terms and acronyms.”

The RAC report found a quarter of road users felt the cost of repairs ended up being far higher than they had predicted.

One-fifth of motorists said the garage could not repair their vehicle with almost half admitting they felt uneasy using garages they didn’t know.

Owners are being encouraged to ask more questions when leaving their car with a garage and and approving work to be carried out.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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Number of DVLA-registered ‘historic vehicles’ on the rise

Niche represents 3.4 per cent of all UK registered vehicles, latest national historic vehicle survey results show

The number of historic vehicles being driven on UK roads is rising, according to the latest figures from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.

Some 1.5 million historic vehicles – including cars, buses, lorries, motorcycles, agricultural, military and steam vehicles – are currently registered with the DVLA.

The segment represents 3.4 per cent of all registered vehicles in the UK.

The data has been published following by the federation following its 2020 national historic vehicle survey.

David Whale, chairman of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs said: “There are more enthusiasts than ever who are immersing themselves in our community and that is really positive for the future.”

The value of individual vehicles is widely spread, with 51 per cent having a market value of less than £10,000.

The survey revealed that increasingly, historic vehicles are not used for daily transport.

The average mileage covered during the course of a year is just 1,200 miles, which equates to all the historic vehicles on the road accounting for less than 0.2 per cent of the total miles driven on UK roads each year.

The historic vehicle sector contributes £7.2 billion to the UK economy, according to the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.

The revenue is generated from the nearly 4,000 businesses that support the movement employing over 34,000 people.

A more detailed reported is expected to be released next month.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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OSRAM bulb Christmas stocking fillers

Wide range offers something for everyone

Bright lights are arguably what Christmas is all about and although lights may not be the obvious stocking filler, a bulb upgrade can brighten up that number one car fan’s Christmas.

Night Breaker Laser

These award-winning next generation of automotive upgrade halogen bulbs from OSRAM include innovative laser ablation technology – and they are arguably bright enough to light up Santa’s sleigh.

The highly engineered filament enables the bulbs to shine up to 150 per cent brighter, while providing up to a 150-metre long beam and 20 per cent whiter light compared to the minimum legal standard.

Specially designed to provide more light and significantly improve visibility, they help drivers to identify and react to traffic hazards more quickly, which is particularly important during the darker winter months.

Cool Blue intense

These high-tech halogen bulbs combine power with style, for those who are all about the aesthetics.

With its powerful and bright bluish-white light up to 4,200 Kelvin, whose cool beam makes it look very much like a xenon bulb, it gives real design fans their money’s worth.

This automotive bulb also provides a high-contrast light similar to daylight, which makes it easier on the eyes than the light from standard bulbs.

In comparison to standard halogen bulbs, the OSRAM Cool BLue Intense range is up to 20 per cent brighter.

The modern design with silver cap (H4/H7/H11/HB4) is ideal for use in clear-glass headlights.

LEDriving HL

With a colour temperature of 6,000 K (Kelvin), the OSRAM LEDriving HL retrofit LED bulbs provide an easy solution to upgrade car headlights with cool white LED light – providing a stylish look as well as superior brightness.

These LED bulbs are for use in high and low beam applications and are the perfect replacement upgrade for conventional halogen bulbs.

With the latest LED technology and a compact design, these new bulbs allow a high compatibility and easy installation for an even wider range of car models.

LEDriving HL bulbs are 12V and 24V compatible and a pair of bulbs comes with a five-year OSRAM guarantee and a long service life.

You can read more here.

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MOT demand peaks with test stations now facing a fall in volume

Latest DVSA forecast predicts 3.8 million tests will be undertaken in November and 2.9 million in December

Some 5.6 million MOTs are expected to be carried out during November and December, DVSA figures obtained by Garage Wire show.

In October, 3,787,488 tests were carried out, up from 2,674,465 in 2019.

Similar numbers are forecast for November before a slight reduction in testing volume in December, when 2.9 million MOTs are expected to expire – up from 1.7 million in 2019.

The DVSA’s ‘beat the rush’ campaign has helped reduce the demand to some extent, encouraging more than one million vehicle owners to bring their test forward.

DVSA figures on expiry dates of all vehicles granted extensions and the number of remaining extensions.

However, garage owners now face a substantial reduction in testing volumes come March/April/May and with some fearing the crisis will extend for many years ahead.

Commenting on the GW forum recently, Paul said: “This wasn’t an offer to give you 6 months extra on your MOT for free, it was an offer to take the stress off getting a test done during a national crisis.

“People have abused it, or at least taken unnecessary advantage of it, and now we, the garages and staff, have to deal with the fall out from it all.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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