Faulty car sold to NHS worker now needs entire engine replacing

Marina and Jason Patchett. Photo: Jason Patchett

Marina and Jason Patchett. Photo: Jason Patchett - Credit: Archant

A garage which stepped forward to repair an NHS worker’s Mini for free has found the car has so many faults its entire engine needs replacing.

Marina Patchett, 41, a healthcare assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, bought the car for £3,000 from Bonds Car Sales on Ber Street in February.

When she took it home she found the engine was stuttering and despite an attempt by Bonds to fix it, she had to spend £1,600 with another garage on repairs, including a new clutch, gearbox and exhaust.

But even that did not fix the problems and Marina and husband Jason, from Tunstead, complained to Bonds and Norfolk County Council Trading Standards.

After reading about their plight in this newspaper two weeks ago, several local garages stepped forward, offering to repair it for free.

Darren Jenkins from TLC Attleborough picks up Marina Patchett's broken Mini for a free repair. Photo

Darren Jenkins from TLC Attleborough picks up Marina Patchett's broken Mini for a free repair. Photo: Jason Patchett - Credit: Archant


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Last week, The Little Car Clinic in Attleborough, picked up the 2009 Mini and gave the Patchetts a courtesy car.

But they have now found the engine is beyond repair.

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Darren Jenkins, director of The Little Car Clinic, said the engine had not been serviced enough over its lifetime or had enough oil changes, meaning it would eventually need completely replacing.

“There is no point trying to rescue it,” he said. “We are trying to organise a replacement engine for them this week, but we are finding it difficult to get what we need because of the circumstances.”

The Mini Marina Patchett bought from Bonds. Photo: Jason Patchett

The Mini Marina Patchett bought from Bonds. Photo: Jason Patchett - Credit: Archant

He added: “When I read the article in the EDP I just though this shouldn’t happen. She needs a reliable vehicle to get to work.”

Mr Patchett, 51, said the response to the article had restored his faith in the car industry.

“It is reassuring for us that there are people out there like Darren,” he said.

James Snelling, director of Bonds Car Sales, previously apologised to the Patchetts and said he would cover the cost of repairs.

Darren Jenkins from TLC Attleborough picks up Marina Patchett's broken Mini for a free repair. Photo

Darren Jenkins from TLC Attleborough picks up Marina Patchett's broken Mini for a free repair. Photo: Jason Patchett - Credit: Archant

He said previously: “I do apologise to them but I am not in a position where I can give them the money.”

The Patchetts said they are waiting for a response from Trading Standards to their complaint.

•Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer for advice

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