I-Team: Attorney General Expands Investigation of Purrfect Auto - 8 News NOW

Colleen McCarty, Investigative Reporter

I-Team: Attorney General Expands Investigation of Purrfect Auto

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The Nevada attorney general wants to shut down a local car repair franchise.

The Channel 8 I-Team was the first to expose the shady business practices uncovered during the A.G.'s investigation of four Purrfect Auto locations. Now, the case expands to include seven more shops.

Has an auto repair shop ever ripped you off? The I-Team wants to know.

The I-Team rode along with the attorney general's Bureau of Consumer Protection during its undercover sting of four Purrfect Auto locations last November. Since then the case has evolved to include a total of 11 locations linked, according to the attorney general, by a common controller and a common scheme.

The scheme lures customers to the franchise with low-cost services and then up-sells unnecessary parts and repairs that are never installed or performed.

In an amended complaint filed Tuesday afternoon, the state alleges an operations model that requires the locations to "up-sell" to a minimum of 6 out of every 10 customers. It also accuses the franchise of selling parts it never had in stock.

During the A.G.'s undercover sting, the I-Team's hidden cameras caught four Purrfect Auto locations failing to perform contracted work. Since the story aired, the state has logged more than 250 consumer complaints and now believes fraud was the rule and not the exception at 11 Purrfect Auto locations.

Kathleen Delaney, with the Nevada Attorney General's Office, said, "The evidence is very clear to us from the sheer volume of complaints and from the evidence we've collected so far, is anything but an anomaly, that these actions by these locations is a concerted effort by these locations to defraud the public and to maximize profitability."

In order to protect the public the state has asked the court to shut down the shops and to require them to pay civil penalties and restitution. That means to those who have already filed complaints with the Bureau of Consumer Protection, you may one day get your money back.

If you believe you've been ripped off, you can share your story with the state.

The I-Team also attempted to contact a representative for Purrfect Auto, but have not yet received a response.

E-mail your comments to Investigative Reporter Colleen McCarty.

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