Alabama woman claims mechanic took car for 200 mile joyride

Published: May. 30, 2018 at 2:23 PM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2018 at 4:57 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - When you d rop your car off to get serviced, you expect it to get it back the way you brought it in.

One north Alabama woman says her car was returned with an extra 200 miles attached. As a new grandmother, Cynthia Squire is ready to slow things down, which is why she and her husband decided to sell one of their sports cars

A 2007 Mercedes Benz convertible SLK 280.

"We decided to get rid of one since I have grandbabies we'd get a larger car," said Cynthia Squire.

She posted her car on Craigslist in excellent condition with 98,750 miles.

She decided to d rop off the car for routine transmission maintenance before it was sold but when she picked it up, she says something was off.

"Immediately noticed my odometer reading was now at 99,001 which was over 200 miles in addition to what I knew it was when I brought it in," added Cynthia Squire.

Remember, Squire was keeping a close eye on the mileage.

"I probably would not have paid attention to the mileage had I not been ready to sell it. Someone took my car and used it for their personal use, they

went on an excursion, a joyride for 200 miles," explained Squire.

Squire said her further proof was the fuel gauge, she said it was close to empty when she d ropped it off but was near a half tank when she picked it up and her trip gauge had changed.

This is not the first time a car owner has reported extra miles on their car after service.

Tons of videos posted to YouTube show mechanics, some even caught on dashcams taking cars for joyrides.

When Squire brought her complaint up to a service rep, she says she was given multiple excuses.

The first, it must be a typo. From there she was told at least they didn't roll back her odometer and that they have millions of cars on their lot, why would they drive hers?

That was enough to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

After a little back and forth, the dealership agreed to refund her half her service fee of $286.

Squire ended up selling the car and has moved on but wants other car owners to watch out.

"Be aware of the miles on your car when you take it into service because who knows, I'm sure I was not the first one but I really do hope that I am the last," said Squire.

The Better Business Bureau is offering up some tips:

  • Do your research: ask friends and family for mechanics they trust. If you need major repairs, you may want to find a dealer or repair shop specializing in that type of repair.
  • Make sure the shop has the proper license.
  • Get a written estimate. Get a detailed estimated including repairs, labor, parts and expected time to complete the repairs before signing to have the work done.
  • Pay attention when you pick up your car. Ask the service manager to go over the written summary and explain all the work they did.
  • Get all guarantees in writing. If the shop guarantees its work, get the guarantee in writing.

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