Ultra Tune executive chairman Sean Buckley with Charlie Sheen in Melbourne ahead of filming for Ultra Tune’s new TV ad now screening in prime time during breaks in the Australian Open coverage.
Ultra Tune executive chairman Sean Buckley with Charlie Sheen in Melbourne ahead of filming for Ultra Tune’s new TV ad now screening in prime time during breaks in the Australian Open coverage.

Ultra Tune boss: ‘This is a fiasco’

THE Gold Coast boss of Ultra Tune - facing a $2.6 million fine for franchise law breaches - is hiring independent counsel to internally probe claims company evidence was fabricated.

Ultra Tune executive chairman Sean Buckley said he had sacked two staff and actions of two more top brass would be scrutinised by a lawyer he is commissioning to review "the fiasco".

Speaking on it for the first time yesterday, Mr Buckley - vowing to appeal - said he wasn't involved "at all" personally and was living in Bahrain at the time of the 2015 deal.

But the now Surfers Paradise-based Mr Buckley admitted it was a "terrible look" after a judge accused Ultra Tune of trying to mislead the court.

Justice Bromwich said Ultra Tune - with 290 roadside assist and car repair franchisees - attempted to mislead court by relying on documents purportedly sent to a potential buyer interested in a Parramatta franchise in 2015.

Ultra Tune executive chairman Sean Buckley found filming with Charlie Sheen on the set of the company’s new celebrity ad hilarious — but he doesn’t feel the same about the prospect of Ultra Tune paying a $2.6m Federal Court fine. Pic Source: Supplied
Ultra Tune executive chairman Sean Buckley found filming with Charlie Sheen on the set of the company’s new celebrity ad hilarious — but he doesn’t feel the same about the prospect of Ultra Tune paying a $2.6m Federal Court fine. Pic Source: Supplied

"The cover up that Ultra Tune attempted reflects a significantly heightened need for deterrence," Justice Bromwich said.

The Federal Court ruled the company made false or misleading representations to the prospective franchisee, breaching Australian Consumer Law and Franchising Code of Conduct.

The false or misleading representations related to price, rent and claiming a $33,000 deposit was refundable when it wasn't, the Judgement said.

Sean Buckley with Ultra Tune ad mainstay Parnia Porsche: PICTURE: Instagram picture.
Sean Buckley with Ultra Tune ad mainstay Parnia Porsche: PICTURE: Instagram picture.

Mr Buckley called the fine "excessive" and questioned the timing just as Ultra Tune's new big bucks ad starring Charlie Sheen went to air.

"I'm embarrassed for the company. I'm feeling confused. Up until the court case I was told we would not lose, had a strong case and everything was fine.

"It's very upsetting. This has been going on since 2015 and I find it very interesting they drop it right in the middle of the Charlie Sheen thing."

Charlie Sheen is the latest big name to star in an advertisement for Ultra Tune. Also, from left, are the Gold Coast and Australian Rubber Girls Tyana Hansen, Laura Lydall, the ad director, Parnia Porsche and Imogen Lovell. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Sheen is the latest big name to star in an advertisement for Ultra Tune. Also, from left, are the Gold Coast and Australian Rubber Girls Tyana Hansen, Laura Lydall, the ad director, Parnia Porsche and Imogen Lovell. Picture: Supplied

The latest instalment of Ultra Tune's TV ads - which typically spark sexism complaints - cost $2.5m for Sheen's fee and screening during the Australian Open.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE GOLD COAST BULLETIN FOR JUST $5 A MONTH FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS

Mr Buckley said: "I wasn't called as a witness, wasn't involved in the case. I was briefed before it went to court and told we would probably win. That was the extent of my involvement - oh and I paid the bills.

"I have to get an independent person in to look at it all and go 'Right, who has screwed up here?'"

He anticipated his own review would cost six figures on top of the $2.6m fine.

"Can we pay (the fine)? Of course we can but that's not the point. I don't want to. We'll be appealing but you have to run by the umpire's decision on these sort of things."



WIN: Tickets to the Vodaphone Gold Coast 600

WIN: Tickets to the Vodaphone Gold Coast 600

It's time to party in paradise. Will you be there?

Coffs Coast home cook realises her dream of writing a book

premium_icon Coffs Coast home cook realises her dream of writing a book

SANDY Luhrs said she first fell in love with cooking as child.