April 27, 1990 |
The case was extreme but not unusual. When their car sputtered and died recently, a couple had it towed to a reputable repair shop. The carburetor was cleaned; still it sputtered on the drive home and died. Over the next two weeks, a broken hose was replaced, the gas tank cleaned out and a new fuel pump put in, twice. Each time, they'd either drive off and have to call a tow when it died, or come in to pick it up, supposedly fixed, and be unable to drive it away.
February 23, 1986 |
The girl discreetly slipped a white blouse from the bag and showed it to a prospective buyer in the crowd. The English label meant a high price, but it also meant high quality. However, the clandestine sale at the Moskva Univermag department store never took place. A plainclothes policeman stepped from the milling crowd of shoppers, grabbed the merchandise and escorted both buyer and seller away. In the Soviet Union, selling is the business of the state, not individuals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 1991 |
Douglas Johnston knew he had a problem when he pushed down the accelerator of his 1976 Mercedes convertible one day about a month ago. "It's like half the cylinders weren't working," said Johnston, a Hermosa Beach resident. "The Fourth of July weekend was shot, because I was afraid to take it anywhere." At about the same time, Greg Wilson found that his high-performance 1989 Ford Taurus was losing power during his daily commute from his home in Huntington Beach to his job in Manhattan Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 1995 |
Ignorance is rarely blissful when it's time to fix the family car. In an automotive world where on-board computers, intercooled turbochargers and anti-lock brakes are the norm, the average car owner can easily fall victim to crooked mechanics. Enter Feliciano Sanchez, an 11-year veteran of the war on shady garages.
November 14, 2006 |
State regulators said they would propose measures today that would help motorists fully recover their repair costs when their vehicles are damaged in accidents. Consumer groups have long complained that insurance companies won't pay labor costs that exceed limits set by the insurers themselves. The proposed regulation would set a new formula for determining the limits, which would be based on surveys of auto collision repair shops in the same geographic area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1994 |
It is a lonely beat that Zefferino Lopez pounds, a singular life that other cops might regard as . . . well . . . funny. But if you repair appliances or electronic gizmos, you're not laughing when Lopez walks through the door of your shop. You give him the grudging respect you would a Columbo or a Kojak. Because Lopez is a police officer of sorts.
February 1, 1996 |
A head-on collision between Volvo Cars of North America and a local garage that repairs the Swedish-built luxury cars has been averted after hundreds of the repair shop's customers launched a letter-writing campaign. Dr. Volvo Independent Service, the Fountain Valley garage that has battled Volvo for nearly five years to keep its identity, has agreed to modify its name and relegate the auto brand to small print. The new name will be The Dr.: Volvo Specialist.
February 26, 1993 |
The tales of corruption and greed that abound these days make it clear that we need more and more watchdog services to protect us from either incompetence or just plain fraud. Most of us have a couple of horror stories about auto repair rip-offs. I've certainly been had a couple of times. The last incident prompted me to investigate areas where I could get some kind of protection, since, like most women (and a lot of men), I know absolutely nothing about cars.
September 21, 1989 |
I was slowing down for a red light the other day on Pacific Coast Highway when I heard this weird screeching noise, only slightly less irritating than the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. My first inclination was to turn up the radio to blot out the offending sound. Instead, I turned the volume down and looked around to see if I could figure out which nearby car might be the source. But the noise had stopped--until I pressed the brake again.