Halfords has issued an apology to Benjamin Lean, whose van caught fire and was almost completely destroyed when a so-called ‘expert fitter’ from one of its retail shops installed a new battery onto his van.
Mr Lean originally went to Halfords Autocentre after his van failed to start but, without any inspection, was told to go to the retail side of the business to have a new battery fitted.
Mr Lean said: “Upon fitting, the retail member of staff tells me to start my engine, which I do and it turns over first time, he then tells me to turn it off quick as there is smoke coming from the engine
“The alternator in my vehicle had caught fire and was starting to grow.
“The retail member of staff then runs into his shop in a panic and comes out with a less than adequate fire extinguisher which didn’t put out the fire.”
Mr Lean, who also works on the same retail park, then ran to his place of work for a suitable extinguisher and successfully put out the fire.
Halfords staff told him to remain with the vehicle to ensure it didn’t reignite before returning to the shop and was later told by the Autocentre that there was nothing they could do and that they were booked up for weeks.
“I feel I received very poor customer service from Halfords initially, the fact my vehicle wasn’t even inspected and they’ve just assumed I needed a new battery which caused a fire.
“But also after the incident with blank refusal to even book my vehicle in for repairs and just giving me a number for a tow company.
“It’s a very public car park, a full blown vehicle fire would have been very dangerous in this area.”
A Halfords spokesperson has said: “Our expert fitters at Halfords and technicians at Halfords Autocentres fit thousands of car batteries every year.
“Unfortunately on this occasion there was an underlying issue with the vehicle’s alternator, unrelated to the battery fitting.
“We have offered to reimburse Mr Lean for his car battery and fitting and also to bring his vehicle into the local Autocentre at his earliest convenience for an independent inspection so we can resolve to his total satisfaction.”
The news follows a spate of recent national fast fit bloopers, just last week a Kwik Fit customer shared the horrifying moment a car fell on its roof.