CAR REPAIR AND PARTS CHAIN TO PAY OVER $1.4 MILLION IN CONSUMER PROTECTION SETTLEMENT FOR SELLING UNNECESSARY AND FAULTY PART

Case # 30-2016-00879477-CU-BT-CXC

Date: October 7, 2016

CAR REPAIR AND PARTS CHAIN TO PAY OVER $1.4 MILLION IN CONSUMER PROTECTION SETTLEMENT FOR SELLING UNNECESSARY AND FAULTY PARTS AND SERVICES

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) has obtained an over $1.4 million consumer protection settlement against an automotive repair chain for unfair business practices and false and misleading advertising. The suit alleged that Certified Tire and Services Center, Inc. (Certified Tire) and owner Jeffrey Darrow cheated customers and violated the terms of a 2008 injunction by selling unnecessary parts and services and charging for services that were never performed. The settlement, filed yesterday, Oct. 6, 2016, is awaiting approval by a Superior Court Judge.

Certified Tire is an automotive repair chain with 41 locations in California, primarily in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Their stores perform automotive maintenance and repair work and sell tires and other automotive parts. The OCDA worked collaboratively with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) in the investigation of the company after renewed complaints of unfair business practices following the 2008 injunction.

The BAR, assisted by OCDA Investigators, conducted numerous undercover car repair runs in Orange and Riverside Counties to uncover a renewed pattern of unfair business practices. In these undercover runs, investigators driving specially prepared cars not needing repairs went to Certified Tire stores for small services. Nearly all of the undercover runs resulted in recommendations for additional unnecessary repairs or included charges for services not performed. Certified Tire also deceptively advertised special discounts only available for customers with a Goodyear credit card. The company never admitted liability.

Certified Tire has agreed to pay over $1.4 million in civil penalties, plus restitution to victims, in the settlement. The judgment also includes strict injunctive terms barring Certified Tire from engaging in unfair or deceptive sales and service practices going forward, mandatory complaint processing mechanisms, and mandatory training for Certified Tire employees. Consumers who filed complaints with the BAR or Certified Tire between 2011 and Sept. 30, 2016, who have not already received restitution are eligible for restitution for faulty repairs or deceptive practices as a part of this settlement.

Deputy District Attorney Tracy Hughes of the Consumer Protection Unit prosecuted this case.