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51-Location Jiffy Lube Franchise Under Fraud Investigation

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June 10, 2-16—A 51-location Jiffy Lube franchise in the San Francisco area is under investigation by the state of California for allegedly selling unnecessary services, according to an ABC7 News report.

The California Bureau of Automotive Repair found 105 causes for discipline at the 41 of the Bay Area Jiffy Lubes, which are all owned by the same Southern California family.

The bureau said the incidents are a pattern for the entire Fanticola family's franchise. State investigators began an undercover operation three years ago and found that the shops were not only recommending services the cars did not need, but also services manufacturers do not recommend or even recommend avoiding. The investigation found that 26 locations did at least one unnecessary service with charges adding as much as $240 to the bill.

"In many instances, our operators are being told the fluid that we had just changed is in bad condition, and has debris in it, sludge, things like that—and we know for a fact that's not the case," said Bill Thomas of the Auto Repair Enforcement Division, according to the news report.

The bureau is asking to have the licenses for all 51 Jiffy Lubes owned by the Fanticolas revoked or suspended. A hearing is scheduled later this month.

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