My vehicle's body and steering wheel were damaged during maintenance at ****** **** Automotive. They have been confrontational and refused to pay.
My vehicle's body and steering wheel were damaged while I was having two new tires installed and alignment performed at ****** **** Automotive (GHA) on July 31, 2015. When the damage occurred, I was told to take the car to a local body shop, and tell the body shop that GHA would take care of the bill. On August 5, 2015 I took my vehicle to *** **** **** ***** and obtained an estimate. The estimate was for $1,101.92, which includes $831.53 to replace the damaged steering wheel and $270.39 for the body work. I decided to get the steering wheel replaced at the dealership I bought the car from (new) on August 8, 2015 because it was $705.00, which is less than the estimate from the body shop. On August 10, 2015 I returned to GHA with the receipt from the dealership and requested that I be reimbursed for my out of pocket expense to replace the steering wheel. The receptionist told me the owners of the business weren't available, but they would contact me.
After 3 hours I called them back and spoke with ******* ****, who informed me that they would not pay for the steering wheel to be replaced, only repaired. I informed her that the local body shop, *** **** **** ****** had told me at the time I received the estimate that the steering wheel could not be repaired. She disagreed with me, saying that she contacted them and that they were able to repair it, and that she was "being very generous to even offer to do that." When I attempted to explain that I had the steering wheel replaced at the dealership I bought the vehicle from because it was less expensive to do there, she told me "Your car has 37,000 miles on it and I'm not buying you a new car." I told her that I didn't appreciate the way she was talking to me and that I'd prefer to come down there and talk with both her and ****** **** (the other owner), at which point she said to me "If you bring your *** down here it's not going to end up good for you." I replied with "excuse me?" and she said "yeah, that's right!!" and hung up on me.
A couple hours later I was able to contact ****** **** by phone, who immediately told me that I was trying to commit insurance fraud. He wouldn't let me speak at all, instead going on a 2 minute rant without letting me get in a word edgewise. He said that they weren't "going to cut me a check for $1,101.92 so I can pocket the money," and that now they weren't going to take care of the repairs at all. After explaining to him that I was not trying to get reimbursed for $1,101.92, but rather just for the steering wheel replacement done at the dealership he continued to tell me that I was trying to commit insurance fraud, and that I was lying to him because I never got an estimate done. I attempted to explain to him that I got the steering wheel replaced at the dealership based on the estimate that I received from the body shop, but he really didn't seem to be paying attention to me, he simply continued to accuse me of lying and attempting to commit insurance fraud. At the end of the call I was told that if I took my car back to and auto body shop that they would still pay for the damage to the body, but only for repair of the steering wheel.
I am outraged that during service at GHA my vehicle was damaged, I was told by one of the owners of the business that they're being generous to even repair the damage that occurred due to negligence of their staff, that I was threatened, and then accused of trying to commit a serious crime because I took my vehicle to a dealership to have a repair done and expected to be reimbursed for my expenses.
I have detailed pictures of the damage which were taken at the time the damage occurred and are geotagged, and also have audio recordings of the owners admitting that the damage to the body and steering wheel occurred at their business during the initial tire replacement and wheel alignment. I would also like to add that I the alignment GHA performed was not done correctly. I have paperwork to support
I would like George Hauk Automotive to reimburse me for $705.00 for my out of pocket expense to replace the steering wheel, and honor their agreement to cover the charges for a body shop to repair the body damage. I would also like to be reimbursed to the $79.99 that I paid to have the alignment performed at George Hauk Automotive, since it was determined by the dealership to be done incorrectly.
Contact Name and Title: ****** **** (owner)
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
In response to Mr. xxxxxxx concerns, his story is part true but not completely true. ****'s LLC dba ****** ****'s Automotive, hereafter referred to as "GHA" or "us" or "we", on 7/31/15 did work on Mr. xxxxxxx car and we did damage the quarter panel on the left side of his car with our lift. We agreed with him to take it to a body shop of his choice and get an estimate for the repair. He left for a short time but then returned stating we damaged his steering wheel as well. We could not disprove that we had caused this damage so we told him to have the body shop look at it and add it to the estimate.
On 8/04/15 Mr. xxxxxxx ordered a steering wheel on his own (we have copy of invoice with date for BBB review) and immediately called us to be reimbursed for it. We asked him if he'd taken it to a body shop yet to which he responded "no". On 8/06/15 Mr. xxxxxxx went to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and got an estimate for repairs (we have copy of estimate as well with date). He requested steering wheel to be replaced and added to estimate.
On 8/10/15 at 7am, Mr. xxxxxxx came to GHA and presented our staff with the estimate from xxxxxxx as well as the invoice where he, on his own decision, purchased the steering wheel. Our staff advised him to leave the paperwork with us for us to give to our insurance and attorney to review. Within a short time he called xxxxxxx **** (part owner GHA) again demanding reimbursement. She explained to him that we would only pay for a completed repair and would need documentation to that effect. He explained to her that it was not his intention to have it repaired, he only wanted the money at this time.
Unsatisfied with her response, Mr. xxxxxxx called ****** **** (other part owner of GHA) a few hours later. I (****** ****) was probably not too nice because I do not believe in dishonesty. I explained to him that if we were to reimburse him for repairs to his vehicle that were not completed, he would be committing the equivalence of insurance fraud. Mr. xxxxxxx is not the sole owner of the vehicle in question, he confirmed that his credit union held the title to it. I explained to him that the only way we could take care of his complaint where there were no legal repercussions in the future for any party involved was to have it professionally repaired at a body shop of his choosing and we pay the bill to the body shop or his credit union.
I am assuming Mr. xxxxxxx did not like this explanation either so he chose to file this complaint on us. He's changed his story so many times now in regards to this matter, we don't trust anything he says. We are still offering to take care of his complaint, but it must follow legal channels. Incidentally, the steering wheel that we may or may not have damaged can be repaired for less than 50% of the cost of a new steering wheel. Considering the car has over 37,000 miles on it, any insurance company involved would only authorize repairing the steering wheel, not replacing it. If he were to insist on new, he would have to pay the difference out of his own pocket.
In regards to the alignment issue, I'm not sure why he would even want to take it to get rechecked other than to add fuel to a fire. We warranty our work for 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever comes first. To determine if we would agree to refund the money for the alignment, we would need to be provided a receipt for the alignment from the other facility as well as the print-out of the before and after readings from their alignment equipment.
We would like BBB to give us their feedback on how GHA has handled this matter.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The response by GHA is not acceptable to me.
GHA states "He explained to her that it was not his intention to have it repaired, he only wanted the money at this time" which is not true at all. I have paperwork which I will attach that verifies the new steering wheel had already been installed at the dealership where I bought my car before this conversation with xxxxx occurred on 8/10/2015. At the time I informed xxxxxxx **** that I had already had the steering wheel replaced, and I had it replaced based on the estimate I received from xxxxxx whom at the time told me they couldn't repair the steering wheel only replace it. I have since gone to xxxxxxxxxxxx who also told me that they couldn't repair the steering wheel, only replace. I have obtained this in writing and will attach it as well. I did purchase the steering wheel from xxxxxxxxxx before receiving the estimate from xxxxxx because I wanted the parts on order ASAP and there was only a minimal re-stocking fee if it ended up that a body shop could've repaired it. I'd like to add that GHA never bothers to address the fact that xxxxxxxx **** proceeded to threaten me on the phone, then hang up on me when I tried to explain to her the situation.
****** **** goes on to justify him being "probably not too nice because I do not believe in dishonesty." I haven't at any point been dishonest in any way. I was simply trying to get reimbursed for the replacement steering wheel that I had already had replaced; they just wouldn't listen to me because they had obviously already made up their mind what the situation was and wouldn't let me talk.
I'm not sure why GHA insists that they need to pay the repair costs to my credit union because my car is financed. I spoke to a representative at my credit union in great detail about this incident, and she was very clear that they didn't need to be involved in any way. Her recommendation was to hire an attorney and have the attorney issue GHA a notice that I intended to recover the money I spent to fix the damage GHA caused, as well as the charge for the improperly performed alignment.
GHA goes on to assert that I've "changed his story so many times now in regards to this matter, we don't trust anything he says." I have never changed anything I have told them at any point, and I have never been dishonest in any way; I'm simply trying to get my car repaired to the condition it was in before I brought it to GHA. I also don't accept their argument that somehow my car loses its value at an arbitrary mileage, apparently 37,000mi. My car was in excellent condition when I brought it in, and I would expect any business to take pride in what they do and return my car in the same condition that it was when I brought it there.
In regards to having the alignment re-checked at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, my car was not handling properly. I have a report from xxxxxx which shows that the alignment of the rear wheel was out of spec on 8/8/2015 when I brought it there, about one week after an alignment was performed at GHA. The attachment also includes the receipt for the alignment, as well as proof that the steering wheel was installed on 8/8/2015, two days before xxxxx alleges that I told her I hadn't had the steering wheel replaced and that I just wanted money.
I'd like to reiterate that I had the steering wheel replaced on 8/8/2015 based on the estimate I received from xxxxxxx on 8/6/2015. I have since obtained an estimate from another local body shop which again would not repair the steering wheel, only replace it, which this time I made sure they specifically stated on the estimate. I feel that two estimates that recommend replacing the steering wheel is sufficient to warrant that being done. I have already paid to have this done, and I need to be reimbursed for this; my credit union absolutely does not need to have payment made to them. Since I have had such a difficult time obtaining a reimbursement for the steering wheel I have not yet had the body work done. Hopefully GHA provides a courteous and prompt reimbursement for this, at which time I will feel more comfortable spending more out of pocket money to get the body work done. I'd also like to make it very clear that I have at no point asked to be paid for repairs that have not yet been completed. Any assertion of this by GHA is completely false.
Final Business Response
We would like to congratulate Mr. xxxxxx on the purchase of his new steering wheel and the re-alignment of his car. We are sure both of these investments meant a lot to him. However, ****'s LLC dba ****** ****'s Automotive (here to referred to as GHA or we) will not be reimbursing him for either of these expenses.
GHA does agree that we damaged the paint on his quarter panel of his car which we will reimburse him for, however we did not damage the steering wheel on his vehicle. Mr. xxxxxx as particular as he is, left our facility only complaining of the paint damage. He returned later to complain about the steering wheel damage. We suspect it was damaged after it left our facility otherwise he would have made it a point to bring it to our attention before his departure.
By having the steering wheel replaced at a different facility other than GHA, he voided his warranty with GHA on his alignment and other repairs completed by GHA, which is clearly stated in the terms on his receipt. Therefore we only owe him for the damage we agreed we caused to his paint.
Upon completion of the repair to his paint, we will reimburse him for that and nothing else. If he has any further correspondence or questions he can direct them to our attorney, xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxX. Or at www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Any additional documentation we have related to this case will be forwarded to Mr. xxxxxxx and we will not be having any further correspondence with the BBB or Mr. xxxxxxx directly.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I obviously don't accept GHA's proposed solution. They have repeatedly accused me of trying to get money for repairs that weren't performed. When presented with facts that contradict what they're saying, they respond with a sarcastic "We would like to congratulate Mr. xxxxx on the purchase of his new steering wheel and the re-alignment of his car." Not only will they not take care of the damage that occurred to my car while at their facility, they won't honor their word. I would like to add that I strongly feel that the only reason they are offering to take care of the body damage to the car is that ****** **** saw me taking pictures of the car while it was sitting on the hydraulic lift improperly, which is what caused the damage. I feel that if he wasn't aware that I had photographic evidence of the damage occurring at their facility, GHA would have claimed that didn't occur. What ****** **** may not be aware of, is that I have an audio recording of him and his wife xxxxx admitting that the damage to the steering wheel most likely occurred while my car was being serviced at GHA, and that they would take care of the damage. But apparently when presented with the estimates from two body shops that they recommended, they decided that it was too much money and that they didn't want to pay for it. If they had felt so strongly that GHA was not responsible for the damage to the steering wheel they should never had admitted that it most likely happened there, nor should they have told me to get estimates for repairing it and they would take care of it.
Since GHA has clearly stated they have no intention of taking care of the damage that occurred to my car or the alignment that they performed incorrectly it looks as though I will have to pursue legal action to remedy the situation they caused, using clearly documented facts, not vague accusations. I'm very disappointed and frustrated that it has to come to this.