Clovis News

$1.8m settlement in muffler shop suit

A $1.8 million settlement has been reached that bans a Fremont man from owning 22 Midas auto shops in California, including five in the Valley, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.

Franchisee Maurice Irving Glad “deceptively lured” customers with cheap brake specials and then charged hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs, according to the settlement.

As part of the agreement, Midas International Corp. will acquire all of Glad’s shops, which will continue to operate.

The stores were the target of a four-year investigation by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair.

In about 30 sting operations, undercover agents posed as customers responding to advertised brake specials, Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement, but were then charged an average of almost $300 more for unnecessary brake rotor resurfacing and other work that was not needed or, in some cases, never performed.

The original lawsuit sought $222 million in civil penalties and reimbursements to customers.

Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan and Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff joined in the lawsuit.

The Valley shops involved in the case are at 704 Clovis Ave. in Clovis; 7340 N. Blackstone Ave., 3937 N. Blackstone Ave. and 4304 W. Shaw Ave. in Fresno; and 1420 V St. in Merced.

Every customer who filed a verifiable complaint in the case was fully reimbursed, said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.