A PRANK in which a bat-wielding motorist threatened car wash staff after the paint on his Mercedes was ruined has badly backfired.
A dramatic video shows the wrecked car and its furious owner, who forces a worker inside the car wash before turning it on.
Passers-by thought they were watching a real-life drama unfold at the IMO car wash in Bridgend, south Wales.
But the manager of the car wash has admitted it was a ill-judged prank that could cost him his business after head office failed to see the funny side.
The clip was filmed yesterday (tues) and posted on social media by Amy Fern Vargas, who wrote: “I genuinely can’t believe what I’ve just witnessed.
“We are sat in KFC, minding our own business, when we look over and see that car wash has stripped the paintwork off someone’s Mercedes.
“The boy whose car it was has gone mental, he has a bat, and he’s even turned the car wash on with the man who ruined his car inside of it!”
The video has attracted one million views since it was posted but the franchisee, known only as Peter, today admitted it was a joke.
Peter, said: “It was a prank provided by Ben Phillips and Elliot Giles.
“They are regular customers so asked if they could do it and put it on their website so I agreed.”
He added: “Looking back, it was a lack of judgement as I’ve probably lost my business over it.
“Some people are taking it out of context and head office doesn’t find it funny.”
Most of the hundreds of people who left comments on the video did so before it emerged as prank.
Marie Noble wondered why the Mercedes had been allowed to get in such a bad state by car wash staff, asking: “Omg why did they not stop straight away.”
Others had a go at the supposed angry driver with Luke Turner writing: “Tracksuit w****r” and Brian Dixon commenting: “What an absolute d***”.
Gary Yuen speculated about the cause of the damage, writing: “I wondered if the paint job on the Mercedes was doggy to start with. That’s the other side of the coin.”
He presciently added: “Never know as it could be a scam but we can’t judge from this video.”
After the video was revealed to be a prank, Barry Evans wrote: “People believe everything on Facebook – if it was coming off it would be down to primer or bare metal.”
Irene Hodgson wrote: “Are you lot really that thick to believe this crap … gullible or what.”
And Alex Tringle said: “Good publicity.”
IMO, founded in Germany in 1965, probably disagree. They have 320 sites in Germany and 260 in the UK, and describe themselves as the “world’s number one carwash”.