Auto repair fraud make up a large group of consumer complaints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that victims lose tens of billions of dollars each year due to faulty or unnecessary car repairs. While most repair shops are honest, undercover car repair surveillance find dishonest auto technicians and shops in most areas of the country.
It’s easy for an unethical auto technician to convince car owners that unnecessary repairs are needed because the average person doesn’t know much about their cars. People often have no idea they’ve been scammed. This makes proving auto repair fraud difficult. Even those that suspect they’ve been scammed don’t know what to do in order to make their case.
Private Investigator OK
This is where a private investigator can help you when it happens in Oklahoma City. I have extensive experience in the area of auto repair procedures, how to detect fraud, and auto repair scams. My experience includes:
Engine Repair Investigations
Transmission Repair Investigations
Electrical System Repair Investigations
Interior Trim Repair Investigations
Drive Train Repair Investigations
Maintenance Padding Investigations
A/C Repair Investigations
Cooling System Repair Investigations
Brake Repair Investigations
Exhaust System Repair Investigations
A Private Investigator Can Help You Uncover Auto Repair Fraud
I have witnessed a lot of scams working in the automotive industry and know what the signs of fraud, misrepresentation, and when repairs aren’t performed, but you are charged for them. The common scams are:
Part Replacement Scams
A lot of dishonest auto technicians have charged customers for parts that weren’t used. In addition, the technician will charge you for the labor required to install the non-existent replacement. The used part scam is another common cart part scam. Used parts are an option for many repairs, however, some technicians charge customers for new parts after installing sub-standard or used car parts. Always ask for your original part back after it’s been replaced. There are some cases where this will cost you money though, such as tires and batteries. There is a disposal/core charge you will have to pay to get the old parts.
Open Repair Estimate Scam
Customers who don’t get written repair estimates can suffer the consequences when they pick up their cars. This problem occurs when a shop provides a very reasonable quote when the car is dropped off, but at the end of the day, the customer finds that the shop has raised the final bill considerably from the verbal quote. This may seem to be perfectly legal; since many technicians find additional problems with a vehicle once work begins.
Routine Maintenance Scams
Repair shops will advertise preventive maintenance service at reasonable rates. Unethical shops will use these maintenance specials to to create more business. A simple oil change and lubrication process can turn into expensive and unneeded repairs. Some technicians will even cause damage during an inspection to enhance their income by “discovering” new car repair needs. If it’s a new vehicle a technician will even go as far as performing unneeded work under the factory warranty to make money.
Substandard or Counterfeit Part Scams
To save money, some repair shop owners cut costs by using counterfeit car parts instead of factory replacement parts. The difference in price can be significant but you won’t see any of the savings. You’ll be billed the full price for the parts and won’t be told. This practice can actually put you in danger because counterfeit auto parts are often of inferior quality. Counterfeit parts generally wear out sooner than factory parts. Detecting counterfeit auto parts is difficult because the counterfeiters often duplicate trademarks or alter them so slightly that it takes an experienced eye to notice the difference. This particular scam happens a lot in body shops.
If you suspect your repair shop has scammed you with one of the above scams, contact Oklahoma City Private Investigator Joe Sullivan at: 405-796-6548. 1 to 1 Risk Control & Investigations – Private Investigator OK.