The Investigators

Jun 6, 2013 4:23 PM by Tom McNamara

State AG announces judgment against AZ towing company following sting operation

PHOENIX - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has announced a judgment in a case in his ongoing auto repair "sting" operations.

In a Consent Judgment against Sun Valley Towing, the Court approved an award of $610,000 in civil penalties and $67,580.59 in restitution to consumers.

Horne says the Judgment against the owner of the Phoenix company was based upon both customer complaints of deceptive business practices, as well as the State's undercover auto sting operation.

Horne says in the sting, an automotive repair expert shut off an undercover vehicle's fuel cutoff switch, before the State's undercover operator called Sun Valley Towing. Sun Valley Towing then towed the vehicle to its repair shop where a mechanic simply reset the cutoff switch, correcting the problem. Horne says the owner then charged the undercover operator $340.00 for replacing the fuel pump, even though the repair was never done.

Horne says the State's lawsuit also included allegations of 59 complaints made by customers against Sun Valley Towing and its owner. Consumers said Sun Valley Towing failed to make promised repairs, kept their vehicles for months or years, returned them stripped of parts in the same or worse mechanical condition, and repeatedly lied to customers about their vehicle's status and supposed refunds.

Horne says the judgment also includes a permanent injunction prohibiting the Sun Valley Towing's owner from engaging in auto repair, tow operations, vehicle repair, vehicle sales and vehicle service.

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