WACO, Texas — When Shamika Kujabi contacted Channel 6 about Public Automotive in early April, reporter Andrew Moore contacted the company to find out why Kujabi was traded a vehicle a mechanic had previously called "condemned."
Vice President of Operations Lisa Ramsey responded and eventually offered Kujabi a full refund.
In the following month, Channel 6 received several more calls and emails from Public Automotive customers who said their cars broke down and, in some cases, the company would not honor its warranty provided.
Irvin Sanchez said the car lot delayed fixing his truck because they said his warranty wasn't approved yet, despite the fact they already had him sign it.
Chellani Cooper bought a Camero at Public Automotive and said the vehicle broke down after two months.
She said the company claimed she had driven more than 6,000 miles and voided her warranty, but her contract and the vehicle's odometer appeared to prove otherwise.
Channel 6 reached out to Public Automotive multiple times over the week but did not get a response.
When Channel 6 contacted Advanced Car Care Center in Waco inquiring if people could get a car checked before buying from a lot, Moore was told the company had worked with Public Automotive before.
After speaking with Moore about the complaints, co-owner Chris Metz said he would offer Public Automotive customers a free engine diagnostic service in addition to the already free vehicle inspection the company does.
"Anyone who has purchased a vehicle at Public who thinks their vehicle is unsafe or not road worthy, please bring it to Advanced Car Care Center," Metz said ."We will be more than happy to look those vehicles over at no charge to the current owner."
Metz told Channel 6 the auto shop had previously worked with Public Automotive, but the business relationship came to an abrupt end in February of 2019.
"Our values no longer aligned with Public's values on what type of parts we would put on cars to keep customers safe," Metz said. "We only put new parts on the cars. When we did business with them, they were quality, new parts. There are cheap new parts that would not last though our two-year nationwide warranty, so we refused to put those cheap, new parts on cars."
When a car dealer wants to sell a car they obtain, Metz said the company would often go to a mechanic and get an estimate of how much it would cost to make the car worthy to sell.
Metz said Advanced Car Care Center had previously fixed cars for sale at Public Automotive.
"All of the vehicles that we looked at under Public, not one of the came back for any issues within the year that we did business with them," Metz said. "Not one."
Metz said once a vehicle has been inspected and the necessary repairs have been made, it should not be breaking down in the following six months.
"If it has been inspected properly... the used car lot will approve necessary repairs that car should make it easy past their warranty period of six months or 6,000 miles without any major issues whatsoever," Metz said.
Advanced Car Care Center can be contacted at (254) 714-2828.