Father and sons jailed for conning motorists

Mechanics made vehicles unroadworthy and quoted owners inflated prices for repair

Parts were removed from cars and dumped in the back of them when owners questioned overly inflated bills. Image: Bigstock.

A father and his three sons have been jailed for 11 years after defrauding hundreds of customers, Reading Crown Court has heard.

Paul Dockerill and his sons offered a ‘high quality engine remanufacturing service’ in Slough.

The family operated through fake companies between August 2013 and Jun 2015, removing components from cars to make them unroadworthy and then quoted owners hugely inflated prices.

Those who refused to pay were threatened and some found their dismantled engines left in the back of the car.

Some customers were told that their vehicles were beyond repair but were fixed and kept by the Dockerills.

Invoices show that the company made £2.8 million but only paid £800 VAT.

Paul Dockerill was found guilty with his three accomplices after a seven-and-a-half week trial on two counts of conspiracy to defraud and was handed a four-and-a-half year prison sentence.

Martin and Harry Dockerill were each given three-and-a-half year prison sentences.

Jack Dockerill was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 18 months, and told to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Robert Mellor of Thames Valley Police said: “This was extremely well organised criminality which used sham companies to systematically defraud its customers.

“They used the front of a highly polished website and initial customer contact which appeared professional and engaging to gain their customers’ trust and seize control of their vehicles.

“Once that happened customers were trapped and were ruthlessly exploited.

“I hope the sentences of these organised criminals offers some measure of justice to the many victims.”

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

Win a Spitfire Flight and other amazing flying experiences!

Be a high flyer with The Parts Alliance!

This May, if you buy a steering and suspension part from The Parts Alliance, we’ll enter you into the draw for some fabulous flying prizes, including the chance to fly in a Spitfire! That’s all you have to do to have a chance. We’ll let you know if you’re a winner, and contact you to arrange it all!

For the first time in UK history, experience the unique thrill of a breath-taking passenger flight in a two-seat version of the Spitfire. Hear the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine roar into life as you prepare to take to the skies for a 20 minute round trip over the coast of the English Channel, the location of so many wartime airborne fights.

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Remember, the more shock absorbers, wishbones, coil springs and suspension bushes you buy from us between 2nd-31st May, the more chance you will have of winning one of these amazing flying experiences!


Polybush parts resolve issue in Fiat Ducato ambulances

West Midlands Ambulance Service was finding that the suspension bushes in its fleet of Fiat Ducato ambulances were suffering from premature wear. Given the importance of these vehicles being available and on the road, it was vital that repairs did not incur too much workshop time.

As the suspension bushes were not available separately, WMAS was suffering from lower vehicle capacity and downtime. Because the original fix involved replacing the full anti-roll bar and spring on a regular basis, the issue was also incurring high costs.

By designing specific bushes for the vehicles’ leaf springs and anti-roll bars, Polybush provided a cost-effective solution that kept these emergency vehicles on the road, and reduced repair costs by over £700 per vehicle on parts alone.

As a result of this successful fix, WMAS is now commissioning Polybush to provide new bushes for its fleet.

Servicesure Autocentres sponsor darts superstar Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright

Servicesure Autocentres, the UK’s fastest growing network of garages, has hit the bullseye by making its first venture into big-time darts.

The garage programme of The Parts Alliance and committed to maintaining high standards covering car service and repair, Servicesure will play a major part in the UK’s fastest growing sport by sponsoring world number three Peter Wright.

The 47-year-old Scot, a World Championship finalist in 2014, won his first major title – the UK Open – earlier this month and is currently flying high in the Premier League.

The 12-month partnership was launched with a special event at The Parts Alliance head office in Solihull.

Wright, one of the sport’s most colourful characters and known as Snakebite to his legion of fans, said: “2017 has got off to a brilliant start for me by winning the UK Open and I’m hoping to keep that success going for the rest of the year.

“I’m playing the best darts of my life at the moment and I’m thrilled to have the backing of Servicesure for what I hope will be an exciting period of my career.

“The Servicesure programme has a fantastic reputation in hundreds of garages across the UK and I’m very proud to be joining forces with such a successful brand.”

Wright will wear a Servicesure Autocentres logo on his shirt and become a brand ambassador, making personal appearances over the next year.

Paul Dineen, head of the Servicesure programme said: “Peter is one of the best and most popular darts players in the world and we are thrilled to be supporting him.

“Darts has seen a huge surge in popularity and millions of people in the UK either attend tournaments or watch them on Sky Sports, BBC or ITV every year.

“We pride our Servicesure programme on quality so we wanted a darts ambassador who fitted the same bill – and Peter certainly does that.”

The Servicesure programme currently has 420 garage members, up from 258 less than three years ago, and there are significant plans for further growth.

Offering more than 30 business services, Servicesure is committed to helping its garages deliver an exceptional standard of car care to motorists.

All Servicesure Autocentres are subject to a strict code of conduct, reinforced by The Motor Ombudsman, while motorists also benefit from an exclusive National Warranty which guarantees against parts and labour defects for 12 months or 12,000 miles at any Servicesure Autocentre in the UK.

VW’s dieselgate ‘technical fix’ has damaged engines, owners claim

The recall has left many VW drivers with poor fuel consumption and slow acceleration

Volkswagen owners have said the technical fix to correct the so-called “defeat devices”, used by the VM to cheat air emissions tests, has left them with unreliable cars.Owners claim that the fix, which alters the software and involves modifying an air sensor, has resulted in poor fuel consumption, difficulties starting as well as reduced power and acceleration.

Some have voiced their concerns to the Common’s transport committee, which is investigating VW over the scandal.

The German car-maker has confirmed that it will investigate all complaints free of charge and insists that the cheat devices were not fitted to cars sold in the UK but said it is applying the “technical fix” to UK cars to give drivers “peace of mind”.

However, the transport committee believes it is “not credible” that VW would be prepared to recall more than one million cars at great expense if there was nothing wrong with them.

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

Spring Edition of Garage Essentials Launched

The spring issue of Garage Essentials, the industry leading tools and equipment brochure from The Parts Alliance, is available now to view online.

Printed copies of the 76 page quarterly garage equipment brochure will be arriving at of The Parts Alliance members Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, GMF, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors and Waterloo.

With warmer weather and longer days, thoughts can turn to summer with this edition’s time-savers, revenue-generators and workshop must-haves.

Highlights include a strengthened 2017 air con programme; at the entry level just £1,599 + VAT can see garages take delivery of a fully automatic Kheos Plus R134a service unit, supplied with database and printer. This even includes onsite commissioning, training and an F-Gas licence, making it The Parts Alliance’s lowest ever package price.

At the premium end, there’s a choice between three fully automatic units from Bosch or Waeco’s award-winning automatic German-made ASC units, which carry a multitude of vehicle manufacturer approvals for added peace of mind.

“We’re finding that working together across The Parts Alliance is helping us to develop more exclusive offers to benefit both our members and the garages buying them,” said John Wright, Head of Garage Equipment and Customer Development at GSF Car Parts. “And the growth in business for our suppliers completes a win-win-win!”

Examples include all the ZM Heaters and Angry Jester ranges, which are fully exclusive to The Parts Alliance. So too, and new for this issue, is the superfast GE-Tec diagnostic unit. For under £800 + VAT, the tablet with EOBD and Bluetooth connectivity brings vast vehicle coverage and powerful specialist test functions, with live data graphing and module coding capabilities.

There’s exceptional value on the cover, which features an EAE electro hydraulic two post 4T lift at only £1899 and the SIP Hot Steam commercial pressure Washer & Valet pack for only £1295, again both exclusively available through Garage Essentials and The Parts Alliance.

Service to garages has never been better. GSF Car Parts head office based sales team has combined with The Parts Alliance’s five Technical Sales Managers to offer the ‘best of both worlds’ by combining the experienced field and phone teams seamlessly.

Don’t forget to contact your local branch of The Parts Alliance to pick up the spring issue of Garage Essentials.

New Comma Eco-LLP 0W-20 meets the latest VW 508 509 specification

Eco-LLP 0W-20 Performance Motor Oil

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  • Only suitable for modern engines
  • Not backwardly compatible with VW 504 00/507 00
  • Recommended for 2.0 TFSI 140 kW and 3.0 TDI CR 160 kW VW/Audi engines
  • Suitable for extended drain (Longlife) applications
  • Compatible with the most recent after-treatment devices meeting the high fuel economy requirements of the’ VW Blue Oil’
  • Special oil colour (blue) and chemical marker technology to ensure use of correct and authentic product


Call your local Parts Alliance branch to order

Nissan faces pressure to recall Navara after dozens snap in half

Nissan faces pressure to recall Navara after dozens snap in half

Rust weakening to the chassis is so severe that dozens have snapped in two.

Worried Navara owners are left in the dark as up to 35,000 UK Navaras could be affected by chassis rust

Nissan Navara owners are urging Nissan to recall the UK’s best-selling 4 x 4 pick-up with claims that rust is seriously weakening the chassis and has caused a large number to snap in half.

Dozens have made complaints about the chassis rust and have accused Nissan of keeping the problem “under-wraps”.

The issue is reported to affect the Navara D40 model and some Pathfinder R51s, the seven-seater model but the Japanese car-maker is yet to make an official recall.

James Patterson of Bury, Manchester has a 2007 Pathfinder model with 85,000 miles on the clock.

He told GW: “I was made aware of the corrosion on the Navara chassis about two months ago but was told that it didn’t affect the pathfinder series.

“Apparently it does, so I looked underneath yesterday and the chassis crumbled in my hands.

“Now they’re (Nissan) saying that unless I have a full service history from Nissan, they will not pay out.”

Many other owners are also calling for answers.  The rust is so severe that the chassis has been known to fail altogether. Image: Facebook.

The rust is so severe that the chassis has been known to fail altogether. Image: Facebook.

‘Absolute disgrace’

Navara owner, Richy Holmes was towing a caravan with his wife and four-year-old daughter inside the car when the car snapped.

He told The Sun: “I was only going a few miles an hour.

“I dread to think what could’ve happened if I’d been going faster.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that these vehicles are still on the roads.”

The issue is to be raised in a Transport Select Committee meeting.

Committee member and Tory MP, Huw Merriman told The Sun: “To reassure the public, Nissan would be well advised to recall all affected vehicles.

“If, as they say, there are only a small amount impacted then it shouldn’t be a costly exercise in ensuring that these vehicles really are safe to be on the road.”Attwood Solicitors, a firm working on behalf of hundreds of owners in the UK, say up to 35,000 Navaras are affected in the UK and 193,500 worldwide.

However, Nissan has said the number of affected models is much smaller.

A Nissan statement to the MailOnline said: “We’re aware of the issue in a relatively small number of previous generation Navara’s (D40) and have taken action.

“We’ve put measures in place to quickly resolve the concerns of any customers who have contacted us about this.

“Nissan is backing customers even though the affected vehicles are up to 12-years-old.

“Depending on the age of the vehicle, these measures include a free and independent inspection of the vehicle where appropriate on older vehicles, if that inspection shows there’s an issue, we’ll do the right thing by the customer under our warranty and customer service policies.”

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

Questions & Answers With Matt Neal – 3 Times BTCC Champion

Q Any new names to look out for this season?
A There are a fair few new names. There’s been a big ‘musical chairs’ session over the winter with existing names going to new cars and new teams and also new guys coming in, some champions of Ginettas and Clios, etc so they know how to win. The only problem they’re going to encounter is the whole grid is full of alpha males in British Touring Cars, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they pan out. But with the nature of the regulations we’re going to see new guys at the front. We’ve just got to try and make sure it’s one of our cars, and preferably me, who’s up front the most at the end of the season!

Q What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming BTCC season?
A People ask if I still have the motivation. I’m probably not as excited as I was when I started my career in British Touring Cars, but I still look forward to it just as much and I’m looking forward to driving the cars and being on the limit again and seeing where the competition is going to come from. To drive one of these things fast, you’re not just driving it fast; you’re trying to make the car dance. You’re on the edge and so that takes something very special and you have to look inwardly a lot and work very closely with your engineer and the guys in the team, but also your team mate. I’ve got a great relationship with ‘Flash’, my team mate. Although maybe not that great because he’s beaten me for the last couple of years but I’m aiming on reversing that this season!

Q Have you been keeping busy during the off season?
A In the off season they say we have a nice rest, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was flat out with just a few days off at Christmas to relax. We’ve been working hard with development on the car and there’s been a lot of motorsport shows. I’ve been to Indianapolis, Cologne and then an auto sports show at the NEC to kick off the season in January.

We were also testing in the third week of February and doing a little circuit in Spain right near Barcelona, which is one of McLaren’s favourites for testing their GT cars.

Q Do you have a dream car?
A Obviously in the Honda family it’s got to be a Type R which I use in the races. And Honda recently loaned me an NSX for a few weeks which was lovely! I was a little bit timid in it at first, but I soon lost those nerves and opened it up. It’s very special, you don’t even have to drive fast in it, you can just park at the garage and people want to take pictures of you which can be a good or a bad thing!

Q How do you prepare for a race?
A I try to stay relaxed, and I’m annoyingly superstitious – I even annoy myself! I have to eat the right things at the right times, get dressed the right way, in the right things, but it works for me. Flash, my team mate, wasn’t superstitious when he arrived but I’ve worked on him for the last eight years and he’s now got lucky boots, lucky tops and lucky pants!

Q Where do you think your biggest challenge will come from this season?
A Obviously Flash – he’s been champ in the last two years. I thought I’d got him pegged last year and got the edge on him, but my luck ran out with two rounds to go and then again at the last race. But it was great for the team and for him to bring the trophy home for us again! Flash is a bit of a class act these days – he’s ultrafast over one lap so I really have to lay it on the line to try and stay with him let alone get in front of him!
As for the rest of the grid, it seems to be the rear wheel drives at the moment who are the most threatening; Subaru and BMW. BMW should have won it last year but we nicked it off them right at the death, so I think BMW should be the danger ones, especially with Colin Turkington there, plus they’ve got Andy Jordan. It will be a real tough act for us to beat, and obviously Subaru. They started slowly last year with a few problems and now they’re going to hit the ground running, so it’s going to be really tough.

BBC airs aftermarket’s fears over gov’s 4-1-1 MOT proposals

Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation warns BBC listeners about the dangers of an MOT extension

The Independent automotive aftermarket federation’s (IAAF) chief executive, Wendy Williamson has told BBC Radio 4 that proposals to extend the MOT test from three years to four for newer vehicles are fraught with danger.

In an interview for the BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, she said: “It’s a consultation that’s not wanted, it hasn’t been asked for.

“Over 20 per cent of vehicles fail the first MOT.

“If that’s moved to four years, then inevitably, those failures are going to rise.”

The government is promoting the move in a positive light, claiming motorists could save up to £100m a year, but the IAAF is arguing that this could lead to an increase in road accidents and fatalities as there will be no formal inspection of a vehicle’s road worthiness for a further 12 months.

By extending the test frequency there will be more non-roadworthy vehicles on the road for a further year with no official mileage or emissions recorded until after four years.

The IAAF is working alongside other industry bodies to combat the unwelcome legislation and protect the safety of all road users and the future of the automotive aftermarket.

Wendy said: “In recent years, the MOT testing frequency has been subject to much debate.

“The IAAF’s stance has always been that DVSA’s regulation of the MOT process and current testing frequency of 3-1-1 helps to make the UK’s roads the safest in Europe and we will fight any detrimental changes vigorously.”

Listen to the interview on BBC iPlayer Radio here or follow the ‘more details’ link below for further information about the IAAF.

Anyone can reply to the government’s proposals through the official survey, or by emailing MOT411consultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk.

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