Customers complain shop took months to repair vehicles

February 27, 2013 8:18:29 PM PST
It's a headache drivers try to avoid, being involved in an automobile accident. For some Houston car owners, their wrecks turned into nightmares.

From fender benders to rear-end collisions, you expect car repairs to be made quickly. But some local drivers say one shop held onto their vehicles for months, costing them more money in the process.

Arci Martinez was in an accident October 2012 so a wrecker driver recommended she take the car to Galleria Collision.

"They cashed the checks back in October," Martinez said.

Galleria received payment from the insurance company for repairs but then...

"I didn't pick up the car until December 28," Martinez said.

Martinez says the shop gave her the runaround, not providing answers as to why it was taking so long. She got her vehicle back nearly three months later after her attorney sent Galleria Collision a letter.

But that wasn't the end.

"I had to take the car back to my regular mechanic and it turns out there was a leakage in my fuel pump. So I couldn't even fill up the car because it was leaking gasoline," Martinez said.

To make matters worse, she was stuck with the bill for the extended car rental.

"The shop is unwilling to pay for the entire time they had the car in the shop," Martinez said.

This story sounds all to familiar to Lisa Richardson.

"Galleria Collision had taken so long to fix my car, that the insurance company stopped paying for the rental car," she said.

Richardson says her Mazda was in the shop for three months as well.

Erika Franklin says she waited even longer for her Toyota.

"I don't think anyone should have to wait 5 months to get their car back for something that should be done in maybe 4, 5 weeks time," Franklin said.

As for Franklin's insurance, they only covered one month for her car rental.

Going back to Martinez and her Jeep, weeks after picking it up, her name was sent to collections for a bill over $900 -- a bill she says she never even received.

Officials at Galleria Collision tell us the company is undergoing a change in ownership. The new owner says he will work to get the charges voided and says he will not partner with rental car companies in the future.

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