James Allen with the second-hand car he bought from disgraced former car dealer Glen David Mayer.
James Allen with the second-hand car he bought from disgraced former car dealer Glen David Mayer. Allan Reinikka ROK061218ajames1

Disqualified car dealer busted selling caravans

WHEN James Allen needed to pay off a debt a few years ago, he decided to downgrade his wheels and buy a low-cost second-hand car.

Unfortunately, that decision proved more trouble than it was worth.

Mr Allen was one of the victims of disgraced former car salesman Glen David Mayer, also known as David Mayer.

In the four years since Mr Allen bought a second-hand Volkswagen, he estimates repairs to keep it on the road have equalled the purchase price.

Last week the dealer who sold him the car, now living in Yeppoon, fronted Rockhampton Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered motor salesperson.

The court heard Mayer was employed by Caravan RV Central Queensland in Rockhampton, selling used motor homes and caravans.

In November 2017, two Office of Fair Trading inspectors were checking motor dealer licences at the business.

Mayer left the site during the inspection, prompting further database searches which revealed he did not have a current motor salesperson certificate.

However, he had been acting as a motor salesperson from July 3 to November 20, 2017.

This was also backed by witness statements from customers who had dealt with Mayer while buying caravans.

Mayer was fined $2000 and no conviction was recorded.

It's not the first time Mayer has been caught behaving badly though.

He was permanently disqualified from the motor industry by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal just a month earlier after numerous customer complaints.

The Office of Fair Trading investigation involved 31 complaints received between December 2013 and April 2016.

He was found by QCAT to have breached his obligations as a motor dealer on 83 separate occasions in 24 sales.

The breaches included selling cars without clear title, making false or misleading representations about the vehicles, failing to provide cooling-off periods, and statutory warranties.

The investigation and subsequent QCAT hearing also found Mayer had threatened customers and continued to deny the allegations despite evidence of their truth.

A Rockhampton real estate agent, Mr Allen was shocked to hear Mayer's name again in news headlines last week.

Although he has since found his feet financially, Mr Allen said the stress and anxiety of dealing with the car's multiple issues four years ago was unforgettable.

Although Mr Allen worried the deal was "too good to be true", the need to pay down debt convinced him to go ahead with the purchase.

Mr Allen said Mayer also portrayed himself as trustworthy, alleviating any doubts prior to the purchase.

Tracy Bowen also bought a vehicle from Mayer.

The Brisbane woman explained there were multiple mechanical issues with the dual cab ute, but the worst was a potentially deadly fault which saw the car slow from 100km/h to 60km/h in a matter of seconds on a motorway.

With a semi-trailer behind her, Ms Bowen is still amazed no one was killed.

"I can't even begin to tell you how terrifying it was," she said.

Mr Allen and Ms Bowen are among dozens of people who bought defective cars, with some still trying to recover financially.