Woman gets needless charges for car repair

Woman gets needless charges for car repair

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by BILL MCGINTY / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:16 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Donna Decesare still fumes when she remembers the day when she says she was almost taken for $1,400.

Donna took her Toyota Solara to the Firestone Complete Auto Care in Ballantyne for her state inspection, which her car failed. The store told Donna her struts were leaking, her water pump was bad and they were recommending a transmission flush, all for $1,475.81.

“It just amazed me that all those things could go wrong in such a short amount of time,” she said.

Donna says she didn’t have any car problems, so she took it to the dealer where she bought it in Rock Hill. The Rock Hill Toyota inspected it and did some scheduled maintenance, but said her struts, water pump, and transmission were fine. Donna then took her car to a dealership in Charlotte without making the repairs Firestone suggested, and her car passed.

When the dust settled, Donna’s anger bloomed.

“Oh, it was infuriating, infuriating.”

Firestone sent NewsChannel 36 a response saying that on the day Donna brought her car in for inspection, her struts were leaking, and the repairs they suggested were just preventative maintenance. Firestone also says they “fulfilled their brand promise of caring” and that they treat all customers with “…honesty and respect”.

The state of North Carolina has 5,999 inspection stations and the Department of Motor Vehicles makes two yearly audits to each one. The Ballantyne Firestone has a clean audit record with the state of North Carolina. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office likewise has no complaints on this Firestone location except Donna’s, which will stay on file.

Fourteen months later, Donna’s car is still fine.  There are no leaking struts, the water pump is fine, and the transmission is humming.

Click here to read the entire press release from Firestone Complete Auto Care.
 

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