Car Repair Scams: Warranty Fraud, Maintenance Hook Schemes…
Car repair problems make up a major part of consumer complaints. According to NHTSA consumers spend billions of dollars per year due to unnecessary or false auto repairs. While a major part of repair shops are truthful dishonest auto shops and mechanics which practice warranty fraud, maintenance hook schemes, the tire switch and many others can be found all over the country.
An average car owner knows little about his vehicle, so it`s not very difficult for a fraudulent mechanic to convince him that needless repairs are obligatory. Consumers often even realize that they are ripped off, as car repair scam is not ease to detect. Below are some of the most frequently used car repair scams you should watch for to reduce your chance of falling victim to a fraudulent auto mechanics.
Special Offer or Maintenance Hook Scheme
Auto repair shops hook advertisements like preventive maintenance or check-ups free of charge or at low price may sound enticing to car owners. But for unethical shops this special offer is bait which unsuspecting customers are likely to swallow. A simple tire rotation or oil change can turn to high priced unneeded repairs. As the matter of fact it`s not a fraud, but a form of hook marketing. But some mechanics go further; they intentionally cause damage to the auto and then claim that they have found another car repair need. It`s a scam by all means aimed at enhancing shop`s income.
Another lesser-known car repair scam known as warranty fraud occurs when repair shop con driver into paying extortionate dealership labor rates by assuring him that his warranty will be void if he takes his car to an independent auto mechanic or repair shop.
Counterfeit or Used Parts
Some dishonest repair shops cut expenses by installing counterfeit or used car parts but charge vehicle owners for expensive high-quality new parts. This practice can put the driver and his passengers at risk as low-quality or worn parts may give out when the car is on the road. If a car owner suspects that the mechanic deceived him and placed counterfeit car parts instead of quality ones he should report the scam to the state`s attorney general or local department of Better Business Bureau.