Garage worker’s 90mph luxury car ‘test drive’ through Northamptonshire rumbled by tracking device

BMW Wollaston has apologised after a car was taken for a 90mph test-drive, shortly after being brougt in for a handbrake repair.
BMW Wollaston has apologised after a car was taken for a 90mph test-drive, shortly after being brougt in for a handbrake repair.

An engineer who took his £32,000 company car into a Northampton garage for repair said he was appalled when a tracking device revealed a contractor there had taken it out for a 90mph spin.

Andy Benford, 51, of West Hunsbury took the 2015 registered luxury saloon car into BMW Wollaston on Thursday, November 5, to get the handbrake fixed.

Field engineer Andy Benford was furious to find out a tyre fitter had "thrashed" his company BMW after he took it in for handbrake repair.

Field engineer Andy Benford was furious to find out a tyre fitter had "thrashed" his company BMW after he took it in for handbrake repair.

But at around 3pm that afternoon, he got a call from the managing director of his firm Copymark, questioning him why he had driven the sleek BMW 320D at speeds of over 90mph along the A45 in Northamptonshire.

A GPS tacking system fitted to all the company’s cars sends email warnings to company bosses whenever one of its employees breaks the speed limit.

Mr Benford told his boss it could not have been him, as the car was in the garage for repairs.

It later emerged a contractor working on behalf of BMW Wollaston had taken the car for a 15-mile test-drive following the handbrake repair and an additional tyre replacement - topping the 90mph mark on at least three occasions.

Mr Benford, said: “You don’t think this sort of thing will happen when you take a car into a dealership, let alone a top-of-the-range one like BMW.

“My managing director was under the assumption I was speeding in his vehicle, he went bananas.”

BMW Wollaston has apologised to Copymark and Mr Benford for the actions of the contractor, although a boss there claimed that it has not seen the evidence from the GPS tracker.

Dealer Principle at BMW Wollaston, David Glover, said: “We are aware of the issue and we have carried out an investigation into the situation.

“We have spoken to Mr Benford’s company about what happened and we have apologised in connection with that. They have accepted those apologies and we have moved on.

“I have never come across a situation like this before and we would treat any situation like this extremely seriously.

“What has happened is on the face of it, regrettable.”

Mr Benford, who was a field engineer for Hudderfield-based Copymark has since left the firm.

“I just don’t understand why the car was driven at that speed,” he added. “You are not going to be testing the handbrake at 90mph are you?”