Leeds couple’s bike rack car smash

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A Leeds couple were left shaken after a badly-fitted bike rack shattered their car window on a motorway.

Now Andrew Thomas and Elizabeth Cooper, of Farnley, are seeking compensation from Halfords, who fitted it.

The shock smash happened just 10 minutes after the pair drove away from the shop on York Road.

Somehow the rack that had been carrying two brand new bikes slipped and crashed through the back window of their Fiat Punto, pulling off the car’s rear spoiler and throwing the bikes in a heap on to the ground.

It not only left the couple in shock on the hard shoulder of the A58 (M) Inner Ring Road, but in a financial and logistical nightmare.

Andrew, 30, and Elizabeth, 37, who spent £740 at Halfords – sponsors of ITV4’s Tour de France coverage – on the Carrera bikes and rack with free fitting, say they are being blamed for what went wrong. Elizabeth, a bank worker, said:

“[Halfords] blame us and the bike rack manufacturer, but are not taking responsibility themselves.


“This could have caused a really serious accident. It’s costing us more and more each day in calls and repairs and they won’t take responsibility.”

The couple say that Halfords have insinuated that they tampered with the rack after it was fitted.

At the time the couple say they were asked to pass a couple of hours while staff assembled the bikes.

They drove to Burger King and on their return were shown how to secure the bikes to the rack.

They have since read the bike rack manual and learned that the rack was not suitable for a car with a spoiler – and that the staff had not fixed it in place as recommended.

It has cost them £170 to repair the rear window and reattach the spoiler.

Halfords had offered the couple £100 as a “goodwill gesture” towards the window repair bill but have now said they will pay for the repairs, refund the car rack and replace it with an alternative rack for free, while discounting the bikes.

Andrew said: “We had bought these bikes for each other for our birthdays. We were supposed to be away this weekend in Devon on a cycling trip, but that’s not going to happen now.”

Peter McNestry, chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust

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