Pep Boys shops temporarily closed and under suspension

FRESNO, California

Customers in the Fresno, Clovis, Merced and Modesto areas will notice the closures for the next two days.

Undercover shoppers from the Bureau of Automotive Repair hit four Pep Boys shops in the Valley. According to investigation reports they sent in cars needing specific repairs but came out with pretty hefty bills.

Gilbert sanchez with the Bureau of Automotive Repair explained, "What they did was they charged additional amounts for services that should have been included in that free A/C system check."

The 2011 investigation started when the bureau got complaints about a free A/C check coupon. The nationwide chain was offering the free service for a limited time. But the undercover shoppers say employees weren't checking all the parts of the air conditioners, unless the customer paid extra.

"And this is an industry standard," said Sanchez. "So no matter where you go, you will get that same check."

A spokesperson for Pep Boys says no customer was ever charged for Pep Boys advertised free A/C check and Pep Boys received no customer complaints regarding this free service. Rather the BAR and Pep Boys disagreed on the procedures required to be followed in conducting the A/C checks under the regulations.

Sanchez added, "If they continue to violate the regulations or laws involving the automotive repair act that could subject their automotive repair registration to permanent revocation."

All four stores face a two day closure along with a three year probation period and a $31,000.00 fine.

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