SLO mechanic wrecks customer’s car, charges client

May 9, 2016

porshe 2A 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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The manager was a former business owner – so it’s pretty shocking that he would do this. This is a small town, so it’s pretty awful to do something like this and keep your reputation in tact. There are other high end sports car repair places in town, which I would be very tempted to use given this story.


It’s going to be difficult for Smith Volvo who now owns SGS Independent Porsche to keep their reputation intact.


This article leaves a whole lot of questions like why did the insurance pay 8000? Sure the shop should have been honest from the get-go, but if the car was repaired correctly what was the claim for? Hurt feelings? And why did the owners agree to a clutch replacement? That kind of thing doesn’t just go unnoticed, did they mention that the clutch was acting up when they dropped off the car? No? then why did they agree? Someone needs to get ahold of the original signed repair order.

And then the shop buys the car? Again, why did they sell? This makes no sense at all.


Another thing, how did the Hall’s determine the clutch was damaged in the accident? Sounds very fishy to me.


Ferris Buellar’s Day off? More here than meets the eye. Thanks Ringo


$1400 for a new clutch is a steal!!


you obviously have owned one. why are all Porsche on the used car lot at 60m miles?


Yes, I just checked the average flat rate cost for this and 1400 is very low, This article has too many problems with it to figure out exactly what happened.


Fishy indeed. I don’t know what a clutch has to do with a spin out and going off the road. Body, undercarriage and possibly motor/trans damage. But clutch!? Then, a clutch replacement requires engine removal in a 996. That in itself is the better part of a grand. The parts are the better part of another grand. Realistically, $3-4K is a clutch replacement.

Second. The 996 has a very high rate of engine failure due to a bearing problem in a shaft 8% and growing. Ergo, it is a relatively cheap car to pick up on the secondary market as it is quite an unloved model. $26K is kind of high for this year and model as that’s more like a retail price. So that’s weird too.

I still don’t understand the $8K insurance payoff. Was this loss of value?

Jorge Estrada

This is why they’re SGS instead of GYN.


Small claims court would have been the solution…


Not the first step. Consumer Affairs is first.


I would have immediately filed with small claims. Then I would have looked into consumer affairs.


Seems like everyone involved has an IQ of under 80….at least we know the name of the shop and can avoid it.


I’m trying to understand why they would sell their loved and low-mileage Porsche insteading of fighting for what was ethical. The least they could have done was contacted Consumer’s Affair and filed a complaint and once it was investigated, SGS would have a “ding” on their record. I would have thought Small Claims Court would have been another option. This just doesn’t make sense to me.


There are probably criminal charges that the DA could file, too.


Yeah, I am pretty confused, too. Is there some HORRIBLE legalese in that contract one signs / initials when dropping a car off that totally protects this despicable behavior or something? Why would they sell the car, if it was so beloved?


It’s a girls car…


as opposed to this….


That’s what I’m saying!!

I would be LIVID about getting a bill from Caltrans saying some douche broke my car and THEN had the audacity to freaking bill me for the repairs that THEY caused. WTF!!!


SGS = Subterfuge Graft and Secrets.

Welp, they are off my radar permanently. Yelp, sue and berate.

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