VOSA - the government body who determine vehicle standards in the UK - has accidentally upset chauffeur magazine TheChauffeur.com after taking angle grinders to a trio of limousines.

The stretched vehicles - a Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne and Hummer H2 - were taken apart by a team from the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, who wasted no time in destroying the Prom-night specials with their cutting equipment.

The exercise was, says VOSA, set up to reinforce the consequences of running illegal limousine operations. TheChauffeur.com however, is not convinced.

"For whom the message was for is unclear, but what was clear is that the authorities have failed in directing a message at anyone in particular", said the website - including a self-produced cinematic video of the destruction.

Legislation officer for the National Limousine and Chauffer Association, Bill Bowling, felt equally victimised. "This is yet another character assassination attempt on limousines by VOSA" he said.

"If you look at the figures, limousine travel is safer than any other form of road transport in the number of people carried per accident [...] but, as per usual, we are the target."

The destruction follows a similar stunt last year, involving the crushing of a stretched Ford Excursion seized under similar pretences. Paul Gibson, editor of TheChauffer.com, was angered by the fact that it was repeated.

"I would like to see some different tactics in future months rather than cheap publicity stunts, which is exactly how this looks." said Gibson in a column on the website.

Neil Barlow, Head of Enforcement at VOSA, explained that the event took place to demonstrate the 'dangers to the public' that unlicensed limousines posed.

"We don't feel any great need to prove anything here, and I think this demonstration shows there are some issues in terms of getting passengers out of the vehicle." he explained.

"It's also about getting the message back to the industry that if they're going to operate limousines, they need to operate within the law because I'm sure they don't want to see this happening to their vehicles."