I took my 1994 Toyota Four Runner to South Coast Auto the first week of July 2011 to have a rebuilt motor installed. The motor I was to purchase from Dale Capps, co-owner of South Coast Auto, quoted at $1000.00. The cost for the installation labor was quoted at an additional $1000.00. The work was to take 2 weeks, and in the meantime I was to rent a vehicle for the 2 week period at $25.00 per day.
The work was to be put on a repair contract with a lein on my title. The agreement was $100/month payments until paid in full, however I informed him of my intent to pay the balance remaining off in full in January 2012. After I had signed the quote and authorization, Dale's demeanor changed.
Example, the second day I had the rental car, it wouldn't start. I called Dale, and his reply was" what do you want me to do?" Very rudely. I wanted him to come get his broken down rental car I was being charged for and bring me one that works. After he hung up on me, I realized the battery wasn't charging due to poorly connected and corroded cables. I fixed this myself, charged the battery and was late to my appointment that day.
I didn't talk to Dale again until I called him almost 3 WEEKS into the repair, and he said they encountered problems, had to order parts.....which later on as I'll get to..... I never received an Itemized list for these "extra" charges. Almost 4 weeks into the repair, as the car rental rates were conveniently going up, my vehicle was ready for pickup.
On pick-up I was given a "receipt" showing a total due on repair contract title lein of $4200.00!!! I had already signed the title lein, MY MISTAKE, I needed my vehicle back and to quit adding up rental car charges and I didn't have a choice but to make my first payment/down payment of $100.00 making my next payment due August 15, 2011. I asked Dale about the warranty and he said he guaranties a 6 month 6000 mile warranty. I took my vehicle and naively thanked him and off I went.
On the 3rd day, the vehicle died, I restarted it and the check engine light came on. I took the vehicle immediately to South Coast Auto and told Dale. I also told him I had to leave out of town the following morning and needed to know if my vehicle was safe to take. He started the vehicle, "listened" to it, and said it would be fine and when I got back to town, bring it in if I was still concerned and he would hook it up to the diagnostic machine.
The following day, 200 miles into my trip, the vehicle began to lose power, and the check engine light came on, followed by a loud ticking and then a knocking and it died. I had to pay $250 dollars to to have my vehicle towed back home. I called Dale the following morning and he sent a tow truck out to take MY vehicle to his shop.
I called him up after almost a week of not hearing from him, and he told me the motor was blown, and it would have to have another motor installed and he didn't have one. End of conversation. I assumed he was trying to locate one since with a 4200 dollar bill, I should be getting a working motor.
Still never heard back from Dale. I received a call around August 21, 2011 from Tyna Capps wanting to know when I would be in to make my payment. Lol. Really. I thought she was kidding. I asked if my vehicle was fixed, and I would be happy to make my next payment. She put me through to Dale, and he rudely told me there was nothing he could do unless I went and bought another motor and brought it to him and then he would put it in.
Being unable to do that, I told him since he hadn't been able to get me a working, installed rebuilt motor as the repair contract and title lien was for, that I just wanted my vehicle back, he could have his motor and parts and I would pay for the car rental. He said I wouldnt get my vehicle back unless I paid him for the car rental plus $1200 dollars for his time that he had already spent on his failed repair. SERIOUSLY!
Since this time I have tried to negotiate with Dale to get my vehicle back and as time went by, he began threatening me with the Car rental, 1200 for his time and storage fees for storing my stolen vehicle. I wanted it back immediately, when I told him I wouldn't get another motor and bring it to him, instead I would be down to get MY vehicle. He moved it to his impound garage and this has been ongoing since. I have talked to the police and there have been so many cases like mine that they are fully aware of his activities. They just advise me however to sue civilly.
I have met so many people that have encountered such similar situations, padded charges, fraudulent charges, faulty and/or fraudulent repairs, overinflated bills, overinflated towing charges. And don't even get me started on the Used Car sales practices that are taking place.
Charges had been filed against Dale and Tyna Capps in 2010 for title forgery, however they case was dismissed and there was an out of court civil hush settlement paid. I do know the details of this incident too, however and I am under no speech restraints. There are some current reports that have been made to the local DA regarding fraudulent business practices, and I can only hope that they will follow through full force with these people. Enough is enough.
Without looking very hard, you can find dozens of recent victims of this business. You would think that if the criminal justice system can't nail him, maybe a class action civil suit would do the trick. Something needs done as people are continuing to be victimized by this business.
I was completely taken advantage of and was left without a vehicle for 6 months after this incident. I want Justice for myself and everyone else who has been victimized. Beware Beware, Truth will Prevail!! Boycott South Coast Automotive!!!