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Car Repair Fraud

Serving Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino Counties and throughout California

Video -- What to do if Your Mechanic is Ignoring You or Fraudulently Repaired Your Vehicle

In this video, our attorney, Mr. Howard D. Silver, explains your legal options if you have taken your vehicle to a mechanic, but believe they haven't done what they said they would. A mechanic may make a claim that they are the foremost expert on transmissions and that you need to replace yours. However, they may be fraudulently representing themselves and recommending work simply to get money out of you. Or, possibly you've paid your mechanic, but they haven't completed the work and are holding your car. In this video, our attorney explains what you should do in either of these situations:

When you need help with your consumer fraud case, please contact our attorney today. He will evaluate your case for free and strive to get you the best possible settlement or cash award. Contact Mr. Silver today by calling (855) 341-2611. He serves clients in Los Angeles, San Bernardino County, Riverside, and all of California.

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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You Took Your Vehicle to a Mechanic, But They Didn't Repair Your Car. Now What?

You purchased a new vehicle just recently and in the first few months of owning it, you've already had to take it in to the mechanic multiple times for the same problem. Is your vehicle a lemon? Is your mechanic acting fraudulently by taking your money, but not fixing the car's problem?

Our Riverside lemon law attorney, Howard D. Silver, answers these questions and offers advice on how to proceed in the video below:

If your vehicle is being fraudulently working upon by a mechanic, you may have recourse to file a lawsuit. Furthermore, California law may stipulate that the mechanic would have to pay your attorney fees. Also, if it is discovered that your vehicle in indeed a lemon, then you would have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against its manufacturer with the help or our Los Angeles lemon law lawyer.

To schedule a free case review with Mr. Silver, please call us today at (855) 341-2611.

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
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Over 14,000 Car Repair Complaints Filed in 2011

The U.S. Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently released statistics showing that there were more than 14,500 complaints filed by consumers against auto mechanics in 2011. According to the BBB, the complaints were in addition to over 1.5 million inquiries concerning where to find a reliable automotive repair service. The sheer volume of complaints and inquiries illustrates car owners continual need for high-quality and honest repair work.

In order to ensure the best service possible and prevent any form of fraud or poor work being done on your car, the BBB offers the following tips to consumers:

  • Inspect your vehicle’s warranty to determine whether it must be brought to an authorized dealer for repairs or if it can be worked on by a third party.
  • When searching for a shop, ask friends for recommendations or use the BBB’s business list to find the best repair shop.
  • Only bring your car to mechanics that display certification and use specialists for major work like brakes and engines.
  • Get a written estimate for parts and labor before any work begins. Also, learn about the shop’s policies and methods before giving permission for repairs to begin.
  • Have everything that was done (repairs, parts etc.) documented in writing to prove that it took place and can be covered by any guarantee that was provided by the repair shop.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of any form of car repair fraud, it is important that you immediately obtain legal representation for your case. Howard D. Silver has years of experience as an auto repair fraud lawyer in Riverside and can help. For a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver at (866) 49-LEMON.

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What Are the Most Cost Effective Cars to Fix?

A recent study released by the automotive website CarMD has calculated which vehicles are the most and least expensive to repair. According to the report, based upon repair data culled from the site’s network of 3,000 U.S. car mechanics, the top five least costly car brands to fix are:

  1. Toyota
  2. Hyundai
  3. Honda
  4. Ford
  5. General Motors.

The brands in slots six to ten are Mitsubishi, Nissan, Kia, Volkswagen, and Chrysler.

This report differs from other surveys, in that it compares single models and companies overall, and combines the number of repairs with the repair charge to calculate the ranking. Although the report used data for vehicles from 2001 to 2011, the statistics are predominantly taken from 2011 through the first day of October. The study’s ratings of manufacturers were based on a sum of all their brands. For instance, the ranking for General Motors includes brands and models from Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC. Toyota’s ranking includes Lexus and Scion.

The highest rated model, or most cost effective to maintain and repair, was the 2009 Toyota Corolla, which not only had scarce visits to the repair shop but also a low median repair charge of $45.84. Other honorable mentions in the report were for the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Edge.

If you think your car is a lemon, contact Southern California lemon attorney Howard D. Silver at (866) 49-LEMON for a complimentary consultation.

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Car Repair Scammers Arrested in Maryland

Two Maryland men were recently arrested for running a bogus auto repair service out of a Home Depot parking lot. Police were alerted to the suspicious operation by a consumer and caught the two individuals performing incorrect and damaging alterations on a vehicle under the false guise of “professional repair.”

The men (ages 41 and 34) were allegedly posing as licensed mobile car service specialists, police told the Maryland Gazette. Before it was discovered, the fraudulent operation victimized at least two individuals, according to the police. After setting up the false shop in the Home Depot parking lot, they performed improper work on several cars, including one where they used a concrete mud mix (not for use on metal) to patch a vehicle, and another where they used cans of cheap spray paint to mask a problem.

In one instance, an individual paid the men $620 for what he thought would be a repair. What that victim ended up with was approximately $2,500 in damages to the car. The two men are facing charges for malicious destruction of property, and infraction violations from the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection. The men were let go on $5,000 bail.

Police cautioned consumers everywhere that if unknown individuals approach you in a commercial parking lot, they most likely are operating fraudulently and should be avoided. If you believe you’ve been the victim of car repair fraud, contact the California car repair fraud attorney Howard D. Silver at (866) 49-LEMON. Call today for a complimentary case review.

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Auto Repair Scam Uncovered in Kansas

A man who operated a fraudulent car repair shop in Wichita, Kansas using a fake name is facing allegations that he scammed over one dozen individuals, according to government officials and the Wichita Eagle newspaper.

Court records indicate 16 instances in which the defendant deceived individuals of over $11,000, plus vehicles. Officials claim they anticipate finding additional victims. The Eagle reported that after Wichita Police were alerted to a single complaint about the business, they unraveled what turned out to be a documented scheme of criminal activity. According to police, the majority of victims were poor, mainly Asian or Hispanic, and spoke little if any English. When victims brought vehicles to the shop for repair, the defendant would require payment upfront, but would never fix the vehicles. In some instances, he even falsely declared the vehicles as lost or stolen from his lot.

The police further reported that the defendant had been convicted for writing fraudulent checks 10 years prior, had been residing in the United States illegally and had been deported numerous times.

This story reminds us that consumers must do extensive research before buying a vehicle. If you think you’ve been the victim of car repair or used car fraud, contact San Bernardino fraud attorney Howard D. Silver at (866) 49-LEMON for a free consultation about your case.

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Are Vehicle Mechanical Defect and Safety Inspection Programs Effective?

While thinking about potential vehicle defects, design flaws, or mechanical problems can be a little daunting, it is important for motorists to be aware of possible risks associated with their vehicle and to stay on top of maintenance and repair.

According to a Patriot-News story, there has been a significant amount of debate throughout the United States over whether vehicle safety inspection programs are effective. New Jersey and Washington, D.C. have recently eliminated their vehicle safety inspection programs, citing claims that no conclusive evidence demonstrates the necessity for these tests. On the other hand, a 2009 Cambridge Systematics Inc. report commissioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states that without vehicle safety inspections, the number of Pennsylvania fatal car accidents could be expected to increase between approximately 127 and 169 accidents each year. The study also concludes that inspection programs “appear to be a significant factor in lowering fatal crashes” throughout the United States and that a reduction in deadly accidents is most prominent in vehicles that are over 3 years old.

Moreover, a study conducted in Missouri, which requires vehicle safety inspections, concluded from 2006-2008 fatal accident figures, that one in 120 fatal accidents in Missouri involved a vehicle defect, compared with one in 84 defective vehicle-related fatal crashes in states that do not require inspections or have restricted inspections.
Less than 20 states require car owners to get regular vehicle safety inspections. While some states that have cut inspection programs assert they will save millions annually, the question remains as to whether motorists in these states may be at heightened risk due to mechanical defects or other safety issues that are potentially overlooked or undetected in the absence of required inspections.

As a consumer, you have every right to assume that your vehicle’s use, value, or safety will not be affected by a defect or an otherwise irreparable problem. However, some vehicles do turn out to be lemons. Although encountering this issue poses many challenges, a California lemon law attorney can help you assess your options for obtaining a replacement vehicle or refund of your money. Call Howard D. Silver today at (855) 341-2611 for a free consultation.

 

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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Michigan Auto Repair Shop Investigated for Car Repair Fraud

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that an auto repair shop located in Battle Creek, Michigan, is currently under investigation by city, state, and federal investigators for potentially committing car repair fraud.

Boxes of paper records as well as business computers were seized after a search warrant was obtained by Battle Creek police, agents from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General and the General Services Administration. The business had been under investigation for over a year. Investigators allege the business charged the VA for car repairs that were not necessary, and in some cases, were not done at all. The business services approximately 100 vehicles from the VA every year. Detectives involved in the case state that no arrests have been made as of yet but expect to issue formal charges once the investigation is finished.

During the investigation, two vehicles were sent to the repair shop from the VA in July. Both vehicles had previously been inspected by mechanics with the Michigan Secretary of State. According to investigators, mechanics made repairs to the vehicles that were unnecessary and it is believed the business has been deliberately defrauding the government. Investigators will determine whether the car repair fraud was also committed against private citizens.

Car repair fraud poses many inconveniences and challenges to consumers throughout the United States. If you believe you have been a victim of car repair fraud in California, contact Howard D. Silver. Mr. Silver is a California car repair fraud lawyer and can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call Mr. Silver today at (855) 341-2611 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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Repair Shop Passes Off Faulty Vehicles as Safe

The intricate workings of an automobile are hardly common knowledge. Mechanics go through many hours of training, acquire certifications for a variety of automotive tasks, and strive towards understanding the intricate workings of automobiles so that we can rely on their good judgment when diagnosing vehicle problems. Unfortunately, dishonest auto mechanics can place consumers in the precarious position of operating vehicles that they think are safe when in fact they are not.

According to a bclocalnews.com article, an automobile service station was recently cited by police as providing inaccurate vehicle inspection results. Reportedly, the service station was passing vehicles, declaring them free of mechanical defects, when the vehicles were actually in states of disrepair. In some cases, the vehicles should not have been placed back on the road after inspection. Examples of mechanical defects disregarded during the police investigation included fluid leaks, malfunctioning headlights, defective seatbelts, failing tires, and other conditions that were considered detrimental towards protecting the well being of passengers and motorists.

As a consumer, it is important to know that auto repair shops are required to give you a detailed invoice for their work and be honest regarding the condition of your vehicle. Furthermore, mechanics and auto shops have an obligation to properly diagnose vehicle problems, and appropriately repair those problems when asked to do so. If this does not occur, consumers have the right to take legal action.

For more information on how to protect your rights as a consumer when it comes to auto repair fraud, please contact skilled Southern California car repair fraud attorney Howard D. Silver at the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver. Call (855) 341-2611 today for a free consultation.

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Car Owners Complain that Secret Warranties are Costing Money

In recent years, car manufacturers have been under attack for instituting what have come to be known as “secret warranties.” Officially called service bulletins by the industry, manufacturers will issue these bulletins when they discover a defect in one of their vehicles that isn’t safety related. Unlike a safety recall, service bulletins are not widely publicized. Consumers often are not provided notice of the bulletin. There is no automatic reimbursement for prior repairs, and they often include expiration dates.

According to a 9 News Now article, a common complaint among car owners is that they were never made aware of service bulletins and their entitlement to manufacturer-sponsored repairs. As a result, consumers may pay substantial amounts of money for repairs for something the manufacturer acknowledges is defective. Once consumers are made aware of the existence of a secret warranty, the company may agree only to pay for the most recent repair or may claim the warranty has already expired and refuse to pay for anything.

California Civil Code Sections 1795.90-1795.93 provide certain rights and protections to California car owners. Dealers or manufacturers may be required to disclose to buyers service bulletins that have been issued for their products.

If you have been denied your rights under the Warranty Law, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver will ensure that you receive the monetary compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation: (855) 341-2611.

 

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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