California Shop Costs Customer Engine

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Feb. 12, 2019—A customer was faced with $16,000 in damage after taking her vehicle to an auto repair shop for an oil change. According to a report by NBC Bay Area, Kayne Doumani, took her vehicle to Midas in Napa, Calif., in Aug. of 2018 for an oil change, but later found her vehicle without power after exiting the shop. 

"I got to the on-ramp to I-80, and the car lost all power," Doumani said to NBC Bay Area.

After her vehicle was towed to a nearby dealership, the issue with her vehicle was revealed.

"The oil filter assembly was installed incorrectly, with a piece missing," Doumani said to NBC Bay Area. "No oil had gotten to the top of the engine, and it seized."

She was informed that she needed a new engine that would cost $16,000, NBC Bay Area reports. Doumani knew the damage occurred at the Midas shop, and later found out that the shop had been under investigation by the State of California since 2015 after receiving complaints, NBC Bay Area reports. 

According to the publication, Timothy Bowden, program manager of California Bureau of Automotive Repair, was overseeing the investigation which involved sending undercover agents with cars to the auto repair shop and two others in the Napa company. NBC Bay Area reports that the investigation included seven visits from 2015 to 2016. 

"Of those seven undercover vehicles, 26 serious violations of law occurred," Bowden said to NBC Bay Area. "We couldn't even get one single legal repair transaction. They were 0-for-7."

The Bureau completed a 33-page acquisition regarding their findings, NBC Bay Area reports. 

"They committed fraud," Bowden said to NBC Bay Area. "They made false and misleading statements, and in one case, committed gross negligence."

The shop has stayed open, NBC Bay Area reports. According to the station, the Napa location is owned individually and operated through the franchise. The owner told NBC Bay area that he recently sold the franchise, declined an on-camera, and reportedly took calls at the location.

In addition, the owner denies wrongdoing, NBC Bay Area reports. A hearing is scheduled in May for the matter. 



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