Someecards Logo
Man pays $72K upfront to auto shop, 6 months later he still can't get any answer.

Man pays $72K upfront to auto shop, 6 months later he still can't get any answer.


Auto shops are inherently intimidating to the layman.

Most people have had interactions with mechanics where they feel confused or unsure because of being uneducated regarding the trade. One man trusted his local auto shop to customize his car. He trusted them so muc that he gave them $72,000 upfront. Half a year later, his car remains untouched and he doesn't know how to get his money back.

'I paid a performance mechanic shop $72k to modify my car 6 months ago. I just found out that literally nothing has been done so far.'


I have a vehicle that I wanted modified. I contacted a reputable and well known performance shop to get the work done. I paid $4k in advance, dropped it off, got the car done in 1 day, no problem.

A month later I decided I wanted to go much further. I dropped off the car to them again and laid out a plan consisting of approximately $30k worth of work. We agreed on everything, signed the paperwork and I paid up front, per company policy on custom work. About half the amount is for parts, half labor.

Over the course of another 3 months, we would continue adding to the build and are currently at a total of $72k that I’ve paid them up front.

The parts for this build were supposed to be ordered immediately after making my payment each time. Most parts are not “on the shelf parts” and have a 3-12 week build time, per the manufacturers.

As the weeks went by, I would stay in contact with the shop, asking for updated on the parts to which I would always get the same answer, “we are waiting on parts”. A few months ago, I started to think that something seemed fishy, so I asked to make sure all parts were actually ordered and they said yes, of course.

Two months later, still no parts. I requested invoices to prove they’ve been ordered. At this point, it’s been 4 months on the parts that had a 3 month lead time. They told me the manufacturer is running behind and this is normal.

Last week, 6 months after the first batch of parts were supposed to be ordered, I woke up and felt that something was very wrong so I decided to call the parts vendor directly. Vendor said no one placed an order for parts from this shop.

So I called another vendor for other parts. They said the same thing. Now, these parts are rare, so I asked the vendor if anyone in the world has ordered these parts recently and they said no.

I called the shop and demanded proof. The general manager tells me over and over that the parts have been ordered and nothing to worry about. I drive to the shop, 3.5 hours away. I call corporate in advance and tell them what’s going on. Corporate calls the franchise owner direct and he emails me. I tell him I’m on the way, I want proof when I get there or I want a refund.

I get there, no owner. General manager tells me he can not pull up order records, only the accountant can and she can’t until next Monday, 5 days later. He assures me over and over that he personally ordered the parts. I called the vendor right in front of him and had the vendor tell us that no parts were ordered. GM refused to talk to the vendor and started getting annoyed.

I tell him I want a refund. He said they can’t refund because parts have been ordered. It’s too late. I email the owner and owner assured me that he will have all invoices for all parts ordered on Monday (in 5 days) and he will personally handle the situation from this point on.

There’s nothing I can do, so I reluctantly agree. Monday arrives and I get an email late in the day stating they are still looking into it. I ask for the invoices. Where are they?! He emails back stating that I was right, the ball was dropped and no parts have been ordered, but don’t worry, he will take care of me personally from here on out.

I send an email back stating that I don’t want to deal with them any longer and I want my money and car back. No answer.

I emailed the franchise manager explaining the updated situation. No answer.

I honestly believe they used my money and spent it on anything other than my parts and don’t have the money to refund me even if they wanted to. I don’t know what to do at this point and hoping to get advice. Thank you in advance.

Here were the top comments from readers:


If you have that amount of cash to drop on a car, hiring an attorney shouldn’t even be a question.. let alone a second thought. You need to do that now.


So, you have them in writing admitting that they've had a car in their shop for six months, a pre-paid contract worth $72k, and that they've done nothing? And they won't refund your money nor return your car?

With the amount of money in play here, and the information you've accumulated, you should contact the FBI. This shop has easily over $100k of your money and assets under false pretenses. There are multiple other crimes that they could also hit the shop depending on how they've handled the money.

The amount of money involved means it's almost certainly going to the Feds to investigate and prosecute. You could also contact the police department of the municipality the shop is located in just to cover your bases.

I'd also be contacting a lawyer in order to get your money and car back sooner than later, as the wheels of justice often turn very slowly. Sometimes civil actions move faster, but this is well beyond the scope of small claims, so a lawyer is a smart investment.


72k is attorney territory. Find one and let them handle this.


In California there is the Bureau of Automotive Repair. There may be a similar agency in your state. The license auto shops and administer the parts of the state code that apply to the repair of automobiles. They can get kind of nasty. They would at least suspend the shop's license. They have criminal authority. Nothing spurs action quite like the threat of prosecution.

I am not a lawyer but you have $72K plus the value of your car on the line. I assume that you are well into 6 figures. You need a badass lawyer, not just the friend of a friend. I would be going after not only the shop, but franchise corporate as well.


An attorney should be handling this from here on out. As someone who owns a business the performance automotive world, I can tell you, with a great deal.of certainty, that the shop you paid used the money to fund other builds. I spend a lot of time working on fixing/taking over builds for people in similar situations to what you're going through

Has anyone had a horrible auto shop experience like this? Was there anything you were able to do to make it right?

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content