Bureau of Automotive Repair Seeks to Shut Down Southern California EZ Lube Shops


SACRAMENTO, Calif.--Sept. 20, 2006--The California Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair (DCA/BAR) is taking disciplinary action that may result in the suspension or revocation of the Automotive Repair Dealer registrations of 76 Southern California EZ Lube auto repair shops. This marks the largest Bureau investigation in recent history against an independently owned automotive repair corporation.

In a 176-page Accusation, DCA/BAR charges EZ Lube shops with numerous violations of the Automotive Repair Act, including charging for parts and services that were not needed and in some cases not provided, making false or misleading statements, and departure from accepted trade standards.

The legal action follows a number of consumer complaints, including information from a local news report, and a two-year investigation in which BAR used fifty-one (51) undercover vehicles to gather evidence of 640 alleged violations.

"With the technological advances in the design of today's automobile, maintenance services have become an increasingly important market for the automotive repair industry," says Wayne Ramos, head of the Bureau's Automotive Repair Investigative Branch. "Unfortunately, it has also become an area in which consumers can easily fall prey to deceptive business practices. To protect themselves, consumers should know their vehicle manufacturers' recommended maintenance services and mileage intervals. That information is in the owner's manual."

EZ Lube has the right to an administrative hearing at which to contest the charges.

EZ Lube Inc. (EZ Lube) is an independently owned corporation that offers oil and lubrication services, "quick lube service" at more than seventy (70) locations in California, primarily in the Southern California area.

The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers who have a problem with an auto repair facility can file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair by calling 1-800-952-5210. Consumers can also file complaints online at BAR's Web site at www.autorepair.ca.gov.

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