We all know how painful it can be when a car needs repairs. If you get your car back and the problem only gets worse, it can be terrifying, which is why a San Diegan contacted NBC 7 Responds for help.
“She was having trouble with the parking brake,” Justen Richmond said.
He says there was a squealing sound in the back of his Kia and the parking brake was clicking. So they took the car to Pep Boys in February.
“They offered us $1,200 to get the whole thing fixed with new tires,” Richmond said.
The next day they said they got the car back, but were told a part needed to be ordered to fix the problem. But when he called back a few days later, Richmond said he had been told he hadn’t even been ordered.
Over the next two months, Richmond said the problem began to worsen, with the brakes even locking up randomly.
“I couldn’t get past 60 [mph] without fear of losing control of the vehicle,” Richmond said.
He says he called back to see if they had the part.
“They said they didn’t have it,” Richmond said. “We said we’d take it to the dealership instead and they’d do it.”
So in May, they dropped off the car.
“After doing the diagnosis, they informed me that the Pep Boys had assembled the parking brake incorrectly,” Richmond said.
This comment did not appear on the repair order given to NBC 7, which showed a long list of repairs.
Richmond said the car was fixed quickly, but the real issue was paying. He said he used up the $1,200 he paid for the tires and the first repair, but now needed another $2,500 from the dealership. He said he called Pep Boys to see if they would help defray the costs.
“Two of the store managers said they would be able to pay,” Richmond said.
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But he says that check didn’t show up, as he kept getting calls saying his car needed to be picked up. He and his wife began to worry.
“If the car sits there for a very long time without you paying for it, they can sell the car,” Richmond said.
This is part of the process called mechanic privilege. It was not threatened, but was a serious concern for the owners. It allows the lien holder, an auto shop in this case, to sell the car if what you owe isn’t paid off.
So in July, Richmond contacted NBC 7 Responds and we contacted Pep Boys.
“Almost as soon as you contacted Pep Boys, they called us asking where we wanted the check sent,” Richmond said.
In a statement to NBC 7, Pep Boys said: “Pep Boys have worked with our client … to resolve the issue that resulted in payment for the work performed. We are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver on our service commitment and to solve the problem. to the customer’s satisfaction.”
“It was a big relief because I finally had some answers and I had some answers to give to the dealership,” Richmond said.
Finally, Richmond got the car back, all the issues were fixed.
“Honestly the car is running like a dream at this point,” Richmond said.
If you’re dealing with a costly repair, review the quote carefully and discuss payment terms with the mechanic. If you’re having trouble paying for surprise repairs, it never hurts to ask the shop or auto dealership if they offer auto repair financing or payment plans.