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VALLEY FOCUS | East Valley

Auto Center Agrees to Injunction Terms

April 01, 1998|TOM BECKER

A North Hollywood-based auto center that operates three Midas Muffler shops in North Hollywood, Burbank and Panorama City has agreed to a civil injunction prohibiting it from performing unnecessary vehicle repairs.

The agreement comes after an undercover operation by the state Bureau of Automotive Repair in which investigators were told to make purchases and were later charged for unnecessary services and parts, Deputy Dist. Atty. Dana Aratani said.

"The Bureau of Automotive Repair began investigating the business after some complaints came into their office a few years ago," Aratani said. "No charges were filed. This was a completely civil case."

The injunction requires Mim Auto Center Inc. of North Hollywood, which runs the Midas shops on Laurel Canyon, Burbank and Roscoe boulevards, to pay $10,950 in civil penalties and $7,800 in legal and investigative costs, Aratani said.

While Mim agreed to pay, company officials did not admit any wrongdoing.

"These aren't the bad guys," said Gerald Krupp,Mim's attorney. "They've run a nice family business for more than 15 years and never had a problem before."

Krupp said Mim agreed to pay the money because it is substantially less than what it would have cost to fight the case in court.

Both Aratani and Krupp said the case was one of the more minor ones handled by the BAR.

"Sometimes, an overzealous employee might violate a policy, but it's the employer who must be held responsible," Krupp said.

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