Running a Shop Law

North Carolina Shop to Pay Six-Figure Settlement for Deceptive Trade Practices

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Aug. 26, 2013—Tindol Ford Collision Center in Gastonia, N.C., was recently ordered to pay a six-figure settlement after the company was found guilty of multiple counts of unfair and deceptive trade practices during repairs to a customer’s vehicle.

Billy Walkowiak, owner of Belmont, N.C.–based Collision Safety Consultants, a firm that conducts post-collision repair inspections, told FenderBender that he and Ronnie Pack of Pack Brothers Collision in Belmont, N.C., were contacted by lawsuit plaintiffs Gary and Phyllis Gilleland for a diminished value appraisal after Tindol Ford repaired their vehicle three years ago.

Walkowiak and Pack identified several poor and “improper repairs” upon inspection, including chisel holes, an improperly sectioned floor pan, an improperly sectioned frame rail, poor welds, and no corrosive protection. In addition, the unibody alignment was off by 11 millimeters.

According to Walkowiak, Tindol Ford attempted to repair a vehicle that should have been a total loss. He said the shop was found guilty on several counts of unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Walkowiak said Tindol Ford was ordered to pay $120,000 for damages.

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