Towing company accused of scamming car owners - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Towing company accused of scamming car owners

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PHOENIX -

It's bad enough when your car breaks down. But the people who were supposed to help have been accused of ripping off customers. A valley towing and car repair shop is in hot water, charged with fraud.

It's something you have to worry about when you get your car fixed -- mechanics finding minor problems with your car -- but then claiming repairs would be more serious and more expensive.

How would most people know the difference?

The attorney general's office went undercover for the bust.

Innocent valley people made 18 complaints to Attorney General Tom Horne. 33 victims reported it to the Better Business Bureau.

Tom Horne says the Sun Valley Towing Company has to deal with at least 64 judgments, but the company says they are innocent.

Brian McKissic's car needed an engine repair. He took his vehicle to Sun Valley Towing located off South 39th Avenue.

"He promised me because it was Memorial Day. When they came back to work, he would have it repaired by that following Friday. Six months went by, I never got my car or deposit," McKissic told us.

Dozens of alleged Sun Valley Towing victims like McKissic called Arizona's Attorney General Tom Horne for help.

"After all the stories and lies and deceit he told me I got the attorney general involved."

People were allegedly charged for repairs that Sun Valley never made. Horne's office set up a sting operation equipped with an undercover camera.

"We turned off a switch that causes the motor to not work," said Tom Horne.

The attorney general's sting car was towed to Sun Valley. That's when the undercover camera caught workers.

"Finding the switch, turning it on, finding the car worked fine. Telling our investigator he needed a repair for $350."

Victims reportedly said they were threatened by employees; some cars were left in the shop for several months without being repaired. Sun Valley employees allegedly failed to honor warranties, delayed or refused to pay refunds to people.

The towing company released this statement saying: "Sun Valley denies all the allegations made by the Attorney General's office. Further Sun Valley will show at no time did we employ any deceptive practices."

The attorney general is asking for an injunction to be put on Sun Valley Towing. Horne's office is asking Sun Valley towing to pay tens of thousands in penalty fines and restitution to customers who were allegedly cheated.

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