Xtreme Automotive, Kerry Lippold Draw Repair Complaints, BBB Says

  
     
July 29, 2014

Jasmine Rhodes, a customer of Xtreme Automotive
Jasmine Rhodes says she has been waiting five months to get her car back from Xtreme Automotive.

St. Louis, Mo., July 29, 2014Xtreme Automotive, a car repair shop in south St. Louis County, is facing complaints from consumers about substandard work, long delays completing repairs and poor customer service, Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns.

A consumer from Hazelwood said she has been trying to get her 2007 Pontiac back from the business for more than five months. She paid Xtreme Automotive $3,200 for repairs. “I haven’t seen my car since February,” she said.

Kerry Lee Lippold of Imperial, Mo., is listed as owner of Xtreme Automotive, 3807 Lemay Ferry Road. Nearly 30 complaints have been filed against the company. Nine of them are unanswered. Xtreme Automotive has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible.

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said the number and severity of complaints raise serious concerns about the shop.  “Before this business can do a good job of fixing other people’s cars, it needs to fix its own problems,” she said.

Kerry Lee Lippold

Lippold

In late May, Lippold promised in a telephone conversation to respond to several outstanding consumer complaints to BBB, but has yet to do so. On June 11, BBB notified Lippold of a pattern of complaints involving his shop and asked again whether he intended to answer and resolve them. He has not replied.

Most complainants claim that repairs or service work either was ineffective or was not done at all. Several said they waited weeks or months for the work to be completed. Some said Lippold stalled them repeatedly when they attempted to recover their vehicles.

The owner of the 2007 Pontiac said she first took her car to Xtreme last August to replace the transmission. She said she paid Lippold $2,000 to do the job, but the work was not completed for two months. Shortly after the car was returned, it broke down again, and she returned it to the shop, believing that the newly replaced transmission had gone bad.

At that time, Lippold told her he needed to replace the engine. He said she would need to pay another $2,100 for that work. She said she made a $1,200 partial payment in December for him to start the job, but a month later nothing had been done. Frustrated, she tried to have her car towed from the shop but Lippold stopped her, demanding another $1,100 in tow and storage fees.

She said she notified police, but they told her it was a civil matter. She recently filed suit in an attempt to recover the vehicle.

Lippold told BBB in May that he would give her the car if she pays the $1,100. He said he was compelled to charge the storage fees because she delayed making the first payment for two months.

Xtreme Automotive
Xtreme Automotive's shop on Lemay Ferry Road in St. Louis County, Mo.

A woman from St. Louis said she paid Lippold more than $2,500 last October to repair the transmission on her 1998 Ford Windstar, but he still has not returned the vehicle. She said he initially promised to have the job done in three days. “He is not corresponding with me whatsoever,” she said.

Another customer from St. Louis said she paid Xtreme nearly $900 last year for replacements parts that a second shop later discovered had never been installed. The complainant said she has been unable to get Xtreme to install the parts or issue a refund. Lippold has not responded to that BBB complaint.

BBB offers the following tips to consumers looking for a reliable vehicle repair business:

  • Check your warranty. If you have a problem with your vehicle while it is still under warranty, follow the manufacturer's instructions, which may require that repairs be made at an authorized dealership.
  • Look for shops that display certification.  For major work, such as brakes, transmission or engine repair, you should look for a business specializing in that work.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. Ask that the shop call you to talk about repair issues, a course of action and the cost of the job so you can authorize the work before it begins.
  • Check with friends and relatives for recommendations. Research the business and owner or owners carefully before making a purchase. Check out the company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.
  • Be sure you understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, storage fees, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.
  • Get everything in writing, including an explanation of all work completed, a breakdown of costs and any guarantees.
  • Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge later.

Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle L. Corey, President and CEO, (314) 645-0606, mcorey@stlouisbbb.org; Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), communications@stlouisbbb.org; or Bill Smith, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, tpc1@stlouisbbb.org

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.  Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.