Did that get your attention people? Think you can flag a Craig’s Listing post and have it simply “disappear”? Think again! Once on the web, it’s there forever. And here, for the rest of you who might have missed out:
Accurate Auto – beware (Chico)
Date: 2010-08-07, 10:18PM PDT
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
This is a warning for everyone in the Chico area. Accurate Auto at 2246 Esplanade, Suite A, Chico, CA 95926 (the old Big O tire store) is not the customer oriented auto repair shop they advertise and jeopardized my sons’ and my life due to their negligence. Don’t risk your life by entrusting the care of your car to them.
On March 19, 2010 I took my 2005 Hyundai Sonata in for the manufacturer’s recommended 60K mile service. They were fast and efficient – or so I thought.
Fast forward to Saturday, June 19, 2010 when I was on a road trip with my sons down in Death Valley. We were due back late that evening, but as we came up over the pass, 5000 feet above sea level, the check engine light came on and the car stalled. Knowing that being stranded in temps exceeding 116° that day, our lives were at risk. Coasting several miles down to sea level at speeds that exceeded 80 mph at points, I coasted into the Stovepipe Wells General Store and Fueling station parking lot. We spent several hours on the pay phone outside the lodge across the street before we could make arrangements for a tow the following morning.
On Sunday (Father’s Day, which we missed out on celebrating with my husband, sadly), my sons and I were towed down to Harbor Hyundai in Long Beach, the only location I could find where the service shop would be able to get us in first thing Monday morning.
Shortly after 9 am Monday, July 21, I spoke to the Harbor Hyundai service advisor who said that the crank shaft motor sensor had gone out. Thankfully it was covered by the extended warranty I had the foresight to purchase and they would have the car fixed by early afternoon. Shortly after lunch, the service advisor called back saying that the timing belt assembly needed to be replaced. That was what should have been done when the car was serviced back in March when Accurate Auto serviced the car. He went on to say that the balance shaft belt (shown below), one with rubber teeth on it, had deteriorated, some of the teeth falling off, which caused the sensor to malfunction. While the sensor was covered, the timing belt replacement was not. He felt that I might be able to make it back, but it would have to be replaced soon. Since it was labor intensive job, it would cost even more to do it later than if they were to do it while the area was open for the sensor replacement. I authorized the repairs and picked the car up at the close of business.
Since it was rush hour, I waited it out until the roads weren’t gridlocked with commute traffic and several hours after dawn Tuesday morning, arrived home.
On Thursday, July 8, 2010 armed with my owner’s manual, the invoices from when Accurate Auto serviced the car in March and Harbor’s invoice from a few weeks prior, the towing invoice (over $1300 as the tow was over 280 miles – the towing company was kind enough not to charge me for both ways), and the parts that were replaced by Harbor Hyundai, I went in to Accurate Auto and talked to the service manager, Chuck Albert. I didn’t have to introduce myself, he remembered me from when they serviced my car back in March. I showed him their (Accurate Auto’s) invoice where it said that the timing belt assembly was checked and that the belts were listed separately beneath as “ok”, then pointed to the page in my manual under the 60K mile service section and showed him where it showed the belts were to have been replaced. He excused himself and went to check with the shop’s All Data database which he explained most mechanics refer to. Sure enough, All Data showed the belts should have been replaced at that time, too. I then showed him the cracked v-rib belt (shown below) that was checked off as “ok” and he admitted that even if the belt was “ok” back in March, the cracks seen in the belt (see below) could not have been as numerous in the period between March and when Harbor replaced them in June. I also showed him the deteriorated balance shaft belt with some of the teeth still intact, others frayed and at the bottom of the bag Harbor put the parts into. I relayed what the service advisor at Harbor Hyundai told me, that if the timing assembly belts had been replaced, that balance belt would have been replaced, too, and the breakdown I experienced in the desert would have never happened. Mr. Albert agreed, admitting that they were responsible for the problems I experienced and additional expenses.
I had provided him with an itemized invoice for all additional expenses I incurred as a direct result of the breakdown. They were not unreasonable, I did not include loss of wages or emotional distress, simply the towing bill, lodging, and the additional expense of dining out over what I normally spend for groceries, as well as the additional miles I had to drive because of the repairs. He took copies of the paperwork and said that he would give everything to the owner, Rob Jeffries, within the next day. The following afternoon, Friday, June 9, 2010, Mr. Albert called to inform me that he had taken the paperwork and information to Mr. Jeffries who also expressed concern Thursday evening and that Mr. Jeffries would be in contact with me anywhere from within the hour to a week.
On Friday, July 16, 2010 I had not heard anything and called the shop. Mr. Albert was surprised to hear Mr. Jeffries had not contacted me and stated he would again relay my message to have Mr. Jeffries contact me immediately.
The following Friday, June 23, 2010 I called the shop and asked for Mr. Jeffries. The service employee that answered the phone asked for my name and then put me on hold. A few minutes later he came back on the line and said that Mr. Jeffries was no longer there. I then asked to speak with Mr. Albert. When Mr. Albert came to the phone, he claimed he had not seen Mr. Jeffries for “a few days”. I happen to know for a fact that on both counts, this information was a fat lie. Regardless, I informed Mr. Albert that since Mr. Jeffries had failed to make any attempt to resolve this issue, that I would have no choice but to pursue legal action.
Immediately after the call, I sent a formal letter of demand and a second copy of the initial invoice requesting reimbursement for expenses. In the letter, I gave Mr. Jeffries until the close of business Friday, July 30, 2010 to contact me and make arrangements to settle this matter or would be filing a law suit.
On Friday, August 6, 2010 the USPS website showed that the certified letter had been refused by the addressee at 12:10 pm that day and was being returned to the sender. As a result, the Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR, the California licensing agency), NAPA Auto Parts and AutoCare of which Accurate Auto is an affiliate, and numerous online websites of similar nature have been contacted and formal complaints filed.
Side note: On July 23 after 3 in the afternoon, I posted a negative review on the Accurate Auto Facebook page. As of August 6, the feedback section of their business page on Facebook was hidden. However, the page is still on the internet, copies of it are posted in a number of areas, including my blog located at http://ejourn.net/journal under the entry for August 7, 2010 where further updates on this matter will be posted until it is settled.
I was referred to Mr. Jeffries years ago when I was having problems with an imploding gas tank on my Camry which has since been donated to an automotive repair program. He was referred by a former mechanic for a very large auto dealership in the area who said that Mr. Jeffries was the “last honest mechanic in town.” Sadly this no longer seems to be the case. Whether this is because Mr. Jeffries has since taken a step back from the day-to-day operations which are now handled by his brother-in-law, Mr. Chuck Albert, or he has turned the ownership over to his wife, Michelle Jeffries (who is shown as the current owner), I don’t know. What I can tell you though is that this negligence is potentially dangerous to you, fellow motorists, and your family. If Mr. Jeffries and his staff are sincere about their commitment to customer service as they state on their website and listing on the Napa AutoCare Center’s site, then why have they not taken the steps to settle this matter satisfactorily?
- Location: Chico
- it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests