How Austin got its Austin Auto Repair
In a city with a population of about 20,000, it’s not uncommon to encounter a car dealership that has trouble finding the right mechanic to fix a broken rear-end, cracked windshield or a cracked bumper.
In some cases, a vehicle’s owner is not happy with the dealer’s response and will sue them.
The owner of an Austin-area dealership, for example, filed a lawsuit against the dealership in September 2017 alleging that the dealership did not fix his vehicle’s problem for less than $200.
The dealership agreed to pay $15,000 to the plaintiff, according to the complaint.
In December 2017, a woman named Lacy Mims filed a complaint against the same Austin-based dealership in federal court alleging that it had repeatedly failed to repair her vehicle’s rear-ended by-pass.
She also alleged that the vehicle’s owners had been charged with “reckless driving” and “recklessly damaging” her vehicle.
According to the federal complaint, the dealership told Mims that she had to have the rear-overhaul done by an independent contractor, not an auto shop, and that it would not pay for the repair.
The complaint also alleged the dealership charged her for “unpaid” labor to do the repair, even though the car’s owner was not even notified of the problem and Mims had already paid for the repairs.
When Mims contacted the Austin Police Department, she was told that there was no official record of her complaint.
However, police records obtained by the ABC News team show that in March 2018, an Austin police officer responded to the scene and found a “very significant injury” to Mims’ vehicle.
When she asked the officer what was wrong with her vehicle, the officer told her to call her husband.
When the Austin police sergeant contacted the dealership, she says the dealership said that the repairs were a “personal issue” and that she would have to pay the full amount to fix the problem.
Mims said she did not want to pay more than she needed to fix her vehicle and called police.
She called the police again and was told there was nothing they could do.
She called the Austin County Sheriff’s Office, who informed her that she needed a $2,000 bill to pay for her car’s repairs.
Mim also said the dealership was refusing to pay a $100 insurance claim.
The Austin Police Sergeant told Mim that the police department could not help her with her car problem and that the insurance company could not fix the damage.
Mims said that she called the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which has a state agency called the Environmental Integrity Unit, but they did not respond to her call.
The commission did not reply to multiple messages from the ABC news team.
Mim’s lawsuit also claims that the owner of the Austin-Area Auto Repair shop, Darnell Gaffney, a licensed insurance broker, told her that he could not “service” the car.
When Mims called him to find out why, Gaffneys told her he could fix the vehicle.
Gaffney also told Mimmers that he would be sending her an invoice and that he was “working on getting a copy of the contract” so she could send it to her insurance company.
When asked to confirm that he had the car repaired, Gafney told Mimi that he did not have a copy.
When contacted by the AP, Gaffeney’s attorney, John C. Furlong, said the attorney would have no comment.
Furlong said Gaffreys dealership has a “zero tolerance policy for fraud” and told the ABC that he has “been working with a lot of people” in the auto repair industry to “make sure they are getting the best prices.”
He also said that Gaffrey “takes great care of the people who work at the shop.”
Gaffrey did not immediately return a message left at his office phone number.
According the complaint, in December 2018, Mims told the Austin Fire Department that she “had a broken window on the windshield and the glass was shattered” after the vehicle hit a tree.
Mimi said the glass on the rear bumper had broken off and was still on the car, which she said was parked in her driveway.
She said she called 911 to report the accident, but she was turned away because her car had already been towed.
Mimi also said in the complaint that the front windshield was smashed.
She went to the car dealership and said that a mechanic was working on it.
The manager at the dealership denied that the car had broken down, but told her she needed an invoice.
Mimens car was towed to the Austin Auto Shop, but the car was not repaired.
When she called Gaffes dealership, Galfrey told her the car “had been in a garage for the past two months and it had been totaled by the owner.”
Gaffery said that if she would “call [him] and give him a little bit