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BUSINESS
September 2, 1992 | DENISE GELLENE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sears, Roebuck & Co. is expected to announce today that it will reimburse unhappy customers under a settlement of charges that it systematically ripped off consumers at its 70 auto repair centers in California, The Times has learned. The agreement is expected to allow Sears to remain in the auto repair business in California, where it is the largest single operator of repair shops.
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NATIONAL
November 1, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
Rachel Poole was at home in Texas this week, nine months pregnant and talking on the phone with her husband, Justin, who was thousands of miles away, deployed overseas with the U.S. Army. But neither knew that a man armed with a knife had broken into their east El Paso home. The intruder stabbed Rachel Poole multiple times in the face and body. Poole screamed as her husband listened helplessly, police said. After the attacker fled, Rachel Poole called 911 and was taken to a local hospital, where police said she was in critical condition Thursday.
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AUTOS
April 4, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
Alan Mulally, who became Ford Motor Co. chief executive six months ago, says the company's products are the best in its history. Mulally is probably right, given how much the quality of Ford products has improved over the years. But that doesn't mean every Ford product is flawless or even adequate. Take the case of Belinda Bullock, whose 2002 Ford Mustang GT has only 33,000 miles on the odometer but has needed its rack-and-pinion steering system replaced three times.
BUSINESS
February 2, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that it has a repair to stop one cause of unintended acceleration that has led to a recall of eight of its most popular vehicles. The Japanese automaker has briefly stopped selling and manufacturing the vehicles and has recalled more than 4 million worldwide to fix the gas pedal problem. Toyota has also recalled cars because of a floor mat issue. Here's what owners of the affected autos need to know. When can I expect to receive instructions on how I can get my gas pedal fixed?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 1991 | ERIC MALNIC, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Improperly adjusted brakes and the driver's failure to use a low enough gear apparently were major factors in the July crash of a chartered school bus near Palm Springs that killed four teen-age Girl Scouts and three adults, a California Highway Patrol officer said Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 1987 | ASHLEY DUNN, Times Staff Writer
In an age of disposable diapers and razors, Albert Klein has clung to his beat-up, off-white 1963 Volkswagen with a devotion that puts most marriages to shame. The car's fenders are dented, its upholstery is torn, its paint is chipped and faded. But the one thing you can say for this humble Beetle is that it runs--and runs and runs.
NATIONAL
November 1, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
Rachel Poole was at home in Texas this week, nine months pregnant and talking on the phone with her husband, Justin, who was thousands of miles away, deployed overseas with the U.S. Army. But neither knew that a man armed with a knife had broken into their east El Paso home. The intruder stabbed Rachel Poole multiple times in the face and body. Poole screamed as her husband listened helplessly, police said. After the attacker fled, Rachel Poole called 911 and was taken to a local hospital, where police said she was in critical condition Thursday.
NEWS
September 3, 1996 | MARLA CONE, TIMES ENVIRONMENTAL WRITER
Nabbed by smog-busters and labeled "gross polluters," many California motorists are rebelling against the expense and inconvenience of the state's newly revamped Smog Check program. Kyoko Pleet, for one, feels she's paid her fair share--in time and money--to help clean Southern California's dirty air. After spending $500 to repair her 1987 Nissan Sentra's faulty carburetor, Pleet repeatedly called the jammed Smog Check phone lines to book an appointment at a newly created referee station.
NEWS
May 21, 1988 | CARL INGRAM, Times Staff Writer
In an attempt to comply with federal clean air standards, the state Senate on Friday unanimously approved the first major shake-up of the 4-year-old California vehicle smog check program, including stiff increases in what mechanics can charge to make exhaust emission repairs. Without debate or a murmur of dissent, the upper chamber sent the wide-ranging legislation by Sen. Robert B. Presley (D-Riverside) to the Assembly on a 32-0 vote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 1989 | TRACY WOOD, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County officials admit they erred in drawing up a key section of their biggest-ever privatization contract, a mistake that could lead to loss of control over costs on the $50-million motor vehicle repair contract, The Times has learned. The cost-control section that was to have set limits on repair costs was inadvertently omitted from the contract awarded last July to Holmes and Narver Services Inc. of Orange, officials said.
AUTOS
April 4, 2007 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
Alan Mulally, who became Ford Motor Co. chief executive six months ago, says the company's products are the best in its history. Mulally is probably right, given how much the quality of Ford products has improved over the years. But that doesn't mean every Ford product is flawless or even adequate. Take the case of Belinda Bullock, whose 2002 Ford Mustang GT has only 33,000 miles on the odometer but has needed its rack-and-pinion steering system replaced three times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2006 | From Times Staff Reports
A 45-year-old man was crushed to death when a catering truck he was working under fell on him after the jack holding it collapsed, authorities said Sunday. His name was not released. "Despite our efforts, he sustained massive crushing trauma" and was declared dead at the scene, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
AUTOS
March 22, 2006 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
In the universe of auto accidents, there are high-speed crashes and rollovers at one end of the scale. And at the other end, you have the slow-motion bump. Bumps of anywhere from 0.5 to 3 mph happen with remarkable frequency. Often, there is no visible damage to either car, and then the question becomes: Was it even an accident? Is it worth checking for hidden damage? Should you demand repairs for paint smudges? And how much slack should you cut a total stranger?
AUTOS
October 19, 2005 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
If you hear talk about things such as rivets, epoxy adhesives and aluminum structures, you might guess the subject involves airplanes. But in this case, we are talking about the front ends of recent BMW Series 5 and Series 6 cars, which are constructed with many of the same techniques you might find at the Northrop Grumman F-18 assembly plant in El Segundo.
AUTOS
October 5, 2005 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
If your new car warranty has expired, a common belief is that you can save money on repairs and maintenance by finding a good independent mechanic, avoiding the dealership service department. Though often true, that common belief sometimes has its faults. A simple example involves special extended warranty programs offered by car manufacturers to cover defective parts. Dealerships know all about these goodwill programs, but independent shops sometimes do not.
AUTOS
December 15, 2004 | Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writer
Lisa Spilker has a shiny white 2001 Chrysler Concorde parked in her driveway, but it isn't going anywhere. The car's 2.7-liter engine was destroyed by oil sludge several months ago and now Spilker can't afford the $6,500 cost of a new engine. Chrysler officials told the woman, who lives in Medical Lake, Wash., near Spokane, that the failure was caused by neglected maintenance, though she insists she changed the oil monthly and tried to take good care of the vehicle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 1989 | TRACY WOOD, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County authorities say they will levy fines on the holder of a $50-million vehicle repair and maintenance contract, the biggest ever awarded by the county in its program of turning government work over to private enterprise. Only five months into the five-year contract, officials say county services have been disrupted by long delays in repairing and maintaining the county's huge fleet of cars, trucks and prisoner buses. The contractor, Holmes and Narver Services Inc.
BUSINESS
October 3, 1995 | From Associated Press
State Farm has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the company cheated more than 2 million California customers by using inferior parts to repair their cars. The lawsuit filed more than five years ago accused the state's largest car insurer of using the imitation parts in repairs without telling customers their policies restricted the use of more-expensive factory parts. Under the settlement announced Monday, about 2.3 million customers with policies between Feb. 1, 1987, and Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2004 | Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer
Mechanic Fernando Soto shakes his head when he talks about driving his tow truck on freeways in southeastern Los Angeles County. "The suspension -- the roads destroy that," said the 42-year-old Wilmington resident, who was visiting an auto parts store off the Del Amo exit of the Long Beach Freeway. "Right here on the freeways, you can see a lot of broken parts and blown-out tires." Soto said he fixed more than 10 cars a day, many damaged by gashes or holes in the pavement.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp. recalled about 783,000 of its 2000 and 2001 model Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac Grand Am and Oldsmobile Alero sedans because their turn signals might not work. The recall comes after more than 700 owner complaints of inoperative turn signals. It affects vehicles sold mainly in the U.S. and Canada. A General Motors spokesman said the defect, which affects some cars in Mexico, had not resulted in any accidents or injuries. The repairs will be made at no charge to vehicle owners.
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