KXAN Investigates Customer Vehicles 'Held Hostage' at Texas Shop
September 18, 2018—Camilo Maciel took his Ford Fusion to D-Town Body Shop's north Austin location for repairs in 2016 and his vehicle was held hostage for more than two and a half years, reported KXAN.
“I hit the undercarriage of my car from a curb. So, it was just minor damage on the fender,” explained Maciel, who was expecting a smooth transaction with the shop. “I've dealt with a body shop before and it's a pretty straightforward process. You pay your deductible, they repair it, the insurance sees it, you get your car in about a week, two maybe.”
According to the report, Maciel says the body shop’s owner, Darren Wydermyer, cashed the check from his auto insurance company in order to pay for the repair, but Wydermyer never completed the work on his vehicle.
“I need my car back. When is it going to be in? And he kept saying next week, next week, next week,” said Maciel. “To this day, I haven't gotten my car back.”
More from XCAN report:
When Maciel checked in with Wydermyer on the status of the repairs, he says Wydermyer would begin charging him a storage fee for keeping his car at the location, which was more money than he could afford.
Months after he brought in his vehicle, Maciel stopped by the shop again and was told he needed to get off the property. Then 911 was called.
Calling the cops on customers, however, is pretty common at D-Town Body Shop. Records show there have been more than a hundred 911 calls to respond to the north Austin Bratton Lane location alone since 2010.
According to Travis County records, D-Town has been involved in at least seven lawsuits since 2003. That’s not including two civil cases filed this year.