SAN FERNANDO - When the California Highway Patrol suspected automotive repair fraud on one of its Crown Victoria patrol vehicles, it called upon the skilled professionals in the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Field Operations and Enforcement Division for help.
“You have to wonder what type of business owner would commit repair fraud when dealing with a law enforcement agency and vehicle, and not just once, but it seems several times,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Our CSLEA member, Mario Salas, a BAR program representative brought this case, a case he investigated, to our attention to showcase the public safety and consumer protection work that BAR representatives provide on a daily basis.”
So, what happened? According to a November 2017 accusation, on three occasions, All State Auto Body, LLC in San Fernando charged the CHP for repairs the company failed to perform, using used parts or aftermarket parts when charging for new factory parts.
“The CHP Baldwin Park area office contacted the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s South El Monte field office and requested assistance,” said Salas. “An inspection was performed on a CHP cruiser that was repaired by All State Auto Body, LLC . Bar program representatives found Allstate Auto Body was paid to repair a CHP cruiser with new factory parts and instead installed used junk yard taxi parts. The decision by Corporate President Carlos Alvarez, to install a used door resulted in a botched fabrication job that caused the ballistic panel to separate from the door’s mounting points. After theft was discovered a follow up inspection was then performed on all CHP vehicles repaired by All State Auto Body and two additional vehicles were found to have been fraudulently repaired.”
The fraudulent repairs involved passenger doors and front bumpers on CHP Crown Victoria patrol vehicles.
On August 8, 2018, shop manager and corporate president of All State Auto Body, LLC, Carlos Luis Alvarez, was convicted of PC487(a)- felony grand theft. As part of an agreement, Alvarez plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of PC487(a), and accepted these terms: one day time served, three years’ summary probation, and for the term of probation, Alvarez is barred from ownership, management or ownership-interest in any automotive repair shops. Alvarez also paid restitution for the investigative cost of $9,759.72.
“This should serve as a reminder that all automotive repair dealers will be held accountable for the repairs they perform,” said Salas. “It is our job to protect consumers and their safety, and in this case, we protected those who protect all of us, the CHP.”
Information about BAR, BAR programs, licenses and enforcement can be found on BAR’s website.
Suspect your car was fraudulently repaired? Have your vehicle inspected by a BAR representative.
FROM BAR’s website:
Auto Body Inspection Program
What is the Auto Body Inspection Program?
The Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Auto Body Inspection Program offers no-cost inspections of collision-related repairs to help ensure the safety of California motorists and their vehicles.
Why have my vehicle inspected?
Most collision repairs are hidden by the vehicle’s panels, so it can be hard to tell if repairs were performed correctly, or if they were done at all. The same can be true for salvage-titled vehicles that have been repaired and returned to service. Undetected deficiencies could reduce the structural integrity of the vehicle, putting the driver and passengers at risk, especially in another collision. A convenient, no-cost inspection can check if there are any issues.
How do I request an inspection?
Click here or call (866) 799-3811 toll-free to request an inspection. A BAR representative will contact you to schedule a date and time to perform the inspection at a location convenient for you.
What happens during the inspection?
The BAR representative will examine your vehicle and address any questions or concerns. If the repair invoice is available, the representative will verify that all repairs listed on the invoice were performed correctly.
What happens after the inspection?
If any issues are identified during the inspection, the representative will ask if you want to file a complaint to be investigated by BAR. You also may choose to report the problem to your insurance company.