A MAN said he was left in tears after being told the deposit he put down on a car – which he describes as a “corroded death trap” – was non-refundable.

Simon Boyson, from Sunderland, had recently been made redundant and was looking to downsize the family car when he came across a 2009 Mazda CX-7 for sale at Motor Mania on Higher Audley Street, Blackburn, on AutoTrader.

Unable to make the lengthy journey to East Lancashire due to chronic arthritis and after paying £580 to have the car taken off the forecourt, Mr Boyson paid ClickMechanic £132 to carry out a thorough 143-point pre-purchase inspection of the vehicle, which revealed several serious issues.

The individual who carried out the inspection for ClickMechanic told the Lancashire Telegraph that the Mazda had "holes everywhere" and that it was "certainly a dangerous vehicle".

The vehicle failed an MOT with three 'dangerous' faults linked to corrosion on March 10 - confirming the vehicle was not fit for the road. However, its previous MOT runs until June and the dealer maintains the vehicle is not dangerous to drive.

Lancashire Telegraph: FAIL: The Mazda failed its MOT on March 10FAIL: The Mazda failed its MOT on March 10

The Mazda, which has 103,000 miles on the clock, was listed for sale at £3,580 – which has now been reduced to £3,495 and remains up for sale on AutoTrader.

Mr Boyson said: “I was looking for a safe and reliable family car for my wife when I saw the Mazda CX-7 for sale at Motor Mania in Blackburn.

“I checked the AutoTrader reviews and they seemed okay. However, I wish I had checked Google, as there is a big difference in those reviews to the ones on AutoTrader.

Lancashire Telegraph: DANGER: The vehicle showed significant corrosion underneath which an independent mechanic described as "a wreck"DANGER: The vehicle showed significant corrosion underneath which an independent mechanic described as "a wreck"

“I spoke to Tariq, a salesman at the company, and agreed a price of £3,580, including delivery.

“I was asked to put a deposit down to remove it from social media. I was at no point informed this was non-refundable in any communication or text messages with Tariq and I was not presented with any terms and conditions.

“As I could not come over to Blackburn, partly because of my disability, I arranged for a mechanic to have the car checked over before it was delivered.

“That report showed that the car is not fit to drive. I would not put my wife in this, it looks like a corroded death trap.”

Lancashire Telegraph: DAMAGED: The exterior of the vehicle also appeared to be suffering from corrosionDAMAGED: The exterior of the vehicle also appeared to be suffering from corrosion

Mr Boyson, who lost three family members to coronavirus, added: “I am absolutely in tears. I have contacted Trading Standards, who said Motor Mania are in breach of contract as I have not been to the dealership and have 14 days to return the vehicle. I never received the vehicle, as I told them I wanted my deposit back when the report came back.

“I'm at a loss as to what to do now as there is no response from the dealership.”

Tariq, the Motor Mania salesman who dealt with Mr Boyson, said “it doesn’t matter what it is - a house, a car, anything, you don’t get deposits back”.

Lancashire Telegraph: REPORT: The ClickMechanic report shows corrosion presentREPORT: The ClickMechanic report shows corrosion present

He said: “He [Mr Boyson] rang up and asked about the car so I gave him the description but told him there were a few people interested in it so he’d have to be quick.

“To cut a long story short, I honoured him the deal and taken it off the market when he paid the deposit and we even paid in advance for delivery to his home.

“His independent mechanic came out and looked at the car and nowhere in his report does it say it’s not fit for the road. It’s not a dangerous car, it is not unsafe.

“The mechanic even said that the corrosion on the vehicle is common. When Mr Boyson came back I thought do you know what, I’ll look after you and take less money for peace of mind, I even offered to put a brand new MOT on it.

Lancashire Telegraph: REPORT: Additional notes from the mechanic REPORT: Additional notes from the mechanic

“No, he says, he wants his money back. Then he started with the threatening messages, saying he would tarnish our reputation.

“We try hard here, we’re hard-working people. It’s not nice to be spoken to in this way. When he set off like that, what did he expect? If he’d have come and spoken to me properly, maybe I’d have dealt with it properly.

“All around our premises it says that deposits are non-refundable. Generally in life, when you put a deposit down on anything, you never get it back. That’s just facts.

“I will send that car tomorrow, no problem. I will honour the sale even though I could have got a better deal if I hadn’t let them check it. I let them check it because I have nothing to hide.

“Most traders in Blackburn would never have let them check it. People love you when you’re high and doing well, but when something goes wrong their true colours come out.

“I’d have met him halfway if he hadn’t been so threatening. I’d have said ‘yes, this geezer is coming across alright’.

“It was when I told him the procedure he started with the threatening emails and messaging my personal phone. It’s not nice. I have a family and I want to just relax when I get home from work.”

Mr Boyson remains committed to getting his deposit back and says that he is expecting a formal note from Trading Standards to advise him on the next step.

He added: "As per Trading Standards, sending a deposit without receiving any written terms and conditions while not yet in receipt of the car, means they are by rights in breach of control for not refunding it.

"They have claimed that this is normal for a Mazda of this era, which may be so, but when seeing the pictures, would you want your family in this car?"