Halfords sacks National Tyres technician caught speeding in customer’s car

By Staff
3 Min Read

A National Tyres and Autocare technician has been fired, and the firm has offered to pay for a service at a Seat dealership, after a customer’s car was logged at 18mph above the speed limit during the technician’s test-drive. 

The foolish technician was caught by the Seat Ibiza’s dash cam and, after owner Gareth Lanka complained, Halfords, which owns National Tyres and Autocare, investigated and fired him.

The dash cam recorded a 13-minute drive with the technician changing the radio station to “dancey” music, reaching 78mph in a 60mph speed limit zone, exiting a roundabout at speed and overtaking a van.

Lanka had booked the car in to the Bishops Aukland branch of National Tyres and Autocare for a routine service and four new tyres.

He claimed that when he picked it up afterwards the car had developed a vibration. “I could feel it and passengers could feel it as well,” he told the Northern Echo, which has published the footage. “I was gobsmacked with what I have seen on the footage.”

The car repair group said: “Halfords acknowledges a recent incident involving an employee who breached company policy by exceeding the national speed limit during a routine test drive, resulting in their dismissal. We have committed to re-assessing the vehicle under the supervision of a senior technician, and we are pleased to confirm that the customer has agreed to have the car checked.” 

The company has supplied four new Pirelli tyres, replaced the brake pads and shoes, and offered to cover the cost of a service at a Seat franchised dealer.

In 2023 Halfords began a marketing campaign tagged ‘Dealer or No Dealer’ aimed at encouraging motorists to snub franchised dealers and go to Halfords-owned workshops for cheaper repairs and services. It pointed out the price differences between OEM-approved workshops and its own, and also reminded consumers that their OEM warranty does not preclude them from appropriate vehicle servicing outside the franchised network.

It prompted a backlash from the head of one franchised dealer group, who blasted the ‘Dealer or No Dealer’ campaign as “nonsense”, adding that “going cheap is often a false economy”.

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