Auto Service World
News   August 28, 2003   by Auto Service World

U.S. News: California Gets Tough on Bodyshop Fraud


A California agency has taken action to shut down three chronically misbehaving bodyshops.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair (DCA/BAR) has taken legal action to revoke or suspend the Automotive Repair Dealer registrations of three Southern California auto body repair shops. <br>
Caliber Collision Centers operates the shops in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Marcos. The three new Accusations bring to ten (10) the number of actions brought against Caliber Collision Centers by BAR and the California Attorney General.<br>
“Auto repair fraud is a major consumer problem in California today and I am pleased to partner with BAR on this and other cases that root out illegal activities,” Attorney General Bill Lockyer said. “My office will continue to be vigilant in the battle to protect consumers from fraud.” <br>
BAR and the California Attorney General are charging these shops with numerous violations of the Automotive Repair Act, including charging for parts and services that were not provided, making false or misleading statements, gross negligence, and departure from accepted trade standards. <br>
The three shops charged more than $4,500 in repair work that was never provided. <br>
“This is not the first time Caliber Collision Centers have demonstrated a pattern of consumer abuse,” says BAR Chief Patrick Dorais. “In the past five months, BAR has served accusations against seven (7) other Caliber facilities for similar offenses. The dollar amount for services charged for but not provided totalled nearly $25,000 for those shops. Caliber has failed to change the way it does business and we will continue to crack down against illegal activities.” <br>
BAR’s investigation began in October 2002 as a result of information that was reported to BAR by the California Department of Insurance.


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