On February 25th, 2022

Consumer Protection Judgment Against Former Owner of FMC Automotive in Pacifica for Automotive Repair Laws A BAR investigation

“The California Bureau of Automotive Repair is a strong layer of protection for consumers who take vehicles in for repair.  Their representatives work to identify those shop owners who are not operating lawfully and to proceed legally when necessary.”  - CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

SAN MATEO COUNTY - On Feb 23, 2022, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office announced that its Consumer & Environmental Unit obtained a judgment in a civil law enforcement action against Fabio Menjivar, who was formerly doing business as FMC Automotive at 1137 Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica (closed since March 5, 2020). The judgment covers false or misleading advertising, billing for repairs which were not necessary or not performed, and failing to provide written estimates prior to performing automotive repair services.

The complaint, filed November 9, 2020, alleges the defendant operated FMC Automotive in violation of automotive repair regulations. In 2017, California Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) representatives conducted three separate undercover operations which involved taking cars to FMC Automotive Services for diagnosis and repair. These cars had specific, known repairs that were needed, and no other repair work should have been performed or billed for. In all three operations, BAR representatives determined that Menjivar claimed repairs and parts were needed which were not, billed and collected money for unnecessary parts and labor, and/or billed for parts and labor which were never performed or installed. After further investigation by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, it was determined Menjivar did not provide written estimates to any customers, and he admitted he was the person who dealt with customers who sought automotive repairs.

The Bureau of Automotive Repair brought an administrative action against Menjivar, and in September 2019 the defendant stipulated to the revocation of his automotive repair license. The revocation took effect on March 5, 2020, and the defendant closed FMC Automotive in Pacifica at that time and has not been operating there since.

After the filing of the complaint, the defendant agreed to the entry of a final judgment, resolving the case. The judgment, which was filed on February 22, 2022, with no findings or admissions of liability, permanently prohibits the defendant from failing to comply with all regulations related to the performance of automotive repair, or to hold an ownership or management position in an automotive repair dealership, and provides for inspection by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair to confirm compliance with applicable regulations. The judgment also requires payment of $15,000.00 in civil penalties.

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