The BAR Gets Another Shop

22 Midas Shops finally settle lawsuit with the Bureau of Automotive Repair

I discussed this case earlier in this post and was very interested in the result.

A result has been reached.

There’s one reaction and one reaction only. These attorney’s who represented Glad were gutless.

Absolutely gutless.

Having seen a lot of the reports following the case, where the Bureau sent in painted up rotors and dirtied up calipers with grease squeezing out of seals (not actually from the caliper, but from the Bureau’s fine crasftmanship) – and having had cases with the same type of undercover cars, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.

The right move here was to fight – and fight like hell.

There’s nothing misleading about bringing in an uncomplicated pad slapping break job on the cheap – it is cheap.

Usually two 8 or 10mm bolts, slide the calipers off, send the piston back down, new pads, and you’re done.

The problem is, most customers don’t get regular brake checks – they grind those bad boys until the squeal indicator is howling – then try and fit a brake inspection in 3 months later when you’ve chewed through the rotors.

A customer gets a coupon in the Val-Pak and thinks to themselves:

“I should use this coupon for that brake noise I hear!”

So they bring it in and wonder why they need new rotors, the piston gets overextended and now needs to be rebuilt since the seal is busting out, and you’re wheel sounds like a chainsaw while turning because you busted out your wheel bearings. Also, those ball joints are really happy about the chatter for two months.

So when the Bureau sends in a car with pads shaved to metal, grooves put in rotors, and grease squeezing out of pistons. Of course the shop is going to recommend more that a pad slap job – doing otherwise would put the health and safety of your customers at risk.

So how do you fight?

You put an expert on the stand. You have him review the car, the photographs, the measurements of the rotors, and acceptable trade standards of practice. Take out the ASE books – educate the judge about how the process works for recommending services when you see the things the bureau sets up, you cross examine the hell out of the Bureau’s “experts” when they claim they “wouldn’t have recommended such services.”

If I’ve heard the Bureau’s experts say more than once, I’ve heard it twice – selective amnesia as to proper automotive principles is amazing until you see service manuals backing up the shop

It’s not a bait and switch – it’s quality automotive service.

So you fight – you fight like hell – you don’t support the notion that shops are crooks. You vindicate yourself. You spend years building your shop, years building a customer base, years making a name for yourself.

You don’t throw it all away by pleading guilty to everything, turning over 1.8 million dollars, and getting kicked out of the profession you love.

What a bunch of gutless attorney’s scared of a fight.

– William Ferreira


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