Press Council upholds complaint

Last updated 13:51 08/04/2014

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The Press Council has upheld a complaint against The Press in relation to an article about a Christchurch second-hand car dealer.

The Press published an article which also appeared online on stuff.co.nz. The online version carried the headline: "Costly lesson after buying car without WOF" and the sub-heading "$3000 repairs needed on second-hand car".

The article reported that William Lentjes, a registered car dealer, had sold a car to a Christchurch woman. It said the car had no warrant of fitness and although Lentjes had said it required only a wheel alignment, when she took it for a warrant it required "more repairs than promised".

The woman was reported as saying there was actually "a list of things that needed repairing" and that when she spoke to Lentjes about the repairs, he said "It's not my problem, get over it".

Lentjes complains that there was no effort to reflect his view. He said the sub-heading implied that $3000 was the cost of bringing the car up to warrantable standard, when in fact the cost was closer to $150.

The Press Council found the article in question was substantially accurate.

However there was a breach of Principle 5 in that the headline did not fairly convey the substance of the report. Principle 5 states headlines, sub-headings, and captions should accurately and fairly convey the substance or a key element of the report they are designed to cover.

To that extent the Press Council upheld the complaint.

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