California AG seeks $222 million from Midas shops

Chris Rizo Jun. 30, 2009, 4:15pm

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown on Tuesday sued Maurice Irving Glad and the 22 California Midas auto shops he owns.

Brown said in a statement that his legal action filed in Alameda County Superior Court is aimed at stopping a "massive bait- and-switch scam" in which customers were offered cheap brake specials and then charged hundreds of dollars more for unnecessary repairs.

The attorney general said that a four-year undercover operation by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair revealed that Midas shops owned by Glad regularly advertised $79 to $99 brake specials to draw customers in and then charged another $110 to $130 for unnecessary brake rotor resurfacing services and more money for repairs that were neither needed nor never performed.

The lawsuit seeks $222 million in civil penalties, costs and reimbursements to customers.

"These Midas shops were running a massive bait-and-switch scam, in which customers were lured in with the promise of cheap brake specials and then charged hundreds more for unnecessary repairs," Brown said in the statement. "This investigation revealed a shady and deceptive operation that violated the trust of its customers."

The lawsuit says that on average, the Midas shops charged undercover agents almost $300 in unnecessary brake rotor resurfacings, brake drum repairs, brake adjustments, brake cleaning services and other services.

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