SLO mechanic wrecks customer’s car, charges client
May 9, 2016
A few hours after a San Luis Obispo couple dropped off their Porsche for an oil change, a mechanic called back and told the couple the car needed a new clutch and its bumper repaired. The mechanic failed, however, to tell the customers he had crashed their Porsche while taking it for a joyride.
On Jan. 30, Jim and Carol Hall took their low mileage 2004 Porsche 911 car to SGS Independent Porsche in San Luis Obispo, just seeking an oil change. The mechanic then drove the Porsche onto Highway 101, stepped on the gas, the car spun out and flew about 150 feet off the roadway, according to a California Highway Patrol report. [KCOY]
That afternoon, the mechanic called the couple and asked if he could keep the car for an extra day because the shop’s workers had mistakenly nicked the bumper.
A few days later, the mechanic informed the couple that the car’s clutch was out, and if they wanted it fixed, it would cost them an additional $1,400.
Five weeks later, Caltrans sent the couple a bill for a sprinkler head that was damaged during the accident. After the mechanic drove the car off the highway, he damaged a sprinkler head about 150 feet north of Santa Rosa Street in San Luis Obispo.
When the Halls received the bill from Caltrans, they noticed the date of the sprinkler repair was the day they took in the Porsche for the oil change. Caltrans said the Porsche was in an accident, and the Halls determined the clutch was damaged in the crash. They could not believe the shop charged them for the clutch repair, the Halls said.
The Halls obtained the CHP report on the accident, which listed the mechanic as the driver of the Porsche. The owners of the Porsche then confronted Guy, the manager at SGS.
Guy admitted that he should have been more forthright. Then Guy said he needed to go home because he was having a bad day, Carol Hall said.
Nevertheless, SGS still refused to refund the $1,400 cost of the clutch repair. The shop also refused to compensate the Halls for the damage to the Porsche. Instead, the auto shop manager told the Halls to deal with their insurance guy.
Eventually, SGS agreed to purchase the car for about $26,900, of which the insurance company paid $8,000. The Halls say they are happy they got their money back, but they are not happy their once-loved Porsche is gone, and the shop might sell the car for a profit.
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