Tire Shop Totals Couple’s BMW, Still Forces Them To Pay

A little bit of routine maintenance turned into a huge headache for a North Carolina couple who simply wanted new tires and brakes installed on their BMW.

According to ABC 11, Nickki Harris and her husband had the work performed at a Firestone Complete Auto Car in Raleigh. After the job was finished, one of the shop’s employees took the car out for a test drive.

During the test drive, the employee was involved in an accident which totaled the car. That’s a nightmare scenario and one that was made worse by the shop’s actions. They demanded the couple pay nearly $1,400 (£1,085 / €1,239) to release the car, which is a pretty bold move considering one of their employees was behind the wheel when it was totaled.

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The shop reportedly didn’t want to get involved in the issue and told Harris she’d have to sort things out with the other driver’s insurance company. Harris told the station that the other driver’s insurance company wasn’t responding, so she tired to get Firestone to take responsibility.

After getting nowhere, she called the station which reached out to Bridgestone Americas which stated “Local authorities investigated the accident and determined that the Bridgestone Retail Operations employee who was driving the vehicle was not at fault.” The company went on to say there are fully cooperating with Harris’ insurance company and have offered her a refund as a “goodwill gesture.”

That’s a nice move, but Harris hasn’t taken them up on the offer as she is considering other options which presumably include suing the shop. Regardless of what happens next, Harris is out a lot of money as she apparently owed more on the car than what it was worth.


  • brn

    She didn’t take them up on it, presumably because she’s planning on suing? For what?

    • Akira

      Maybe crashing her car and trying to make her pay for it? Just a guess…

      • brn

        Except they didn’t crash her car.

        • steve

          Allegedly the employee of the tyre fitting company crashed the car whilst on a test drive. The company have a duty of care to their employees and customers. As the customer’s car was in the care and custody of the tyre company and their contract was with them – then it is the tyre company’s responsibility to sort out any issues that arise whilst car is in their custody.

          • Zandit75

            The employee was determined to not be at fault.

          • Howfarr

            But while the employee is driving the car it should be covered under shop/ trade insurance. No matter who’s fault it was.

  • Six_Tymes

    I hate when I see them test drive my car, its always risk. I tell shops before they do work to not test drive my car, some get mad, and I walk and not let them do the work. Other shops are like fine, and say “that’s OK by us”

  • Axel Cortez

    I own a shop, I only drive customer cars if it is absolutely necessary and with the upmost care possible unless needed to test a problem.

    I honestly hate when people “test” cars

  • KingSlayer

    I honestly have no idea why shop’s “test drive” a car on a public road……. when i sent my bmw for new tires the guy literally took my car went on a round turn inside the garage in my car and handed the car to me saying “if you feel anything and i mean anything wrong come right back and we’ll determine what it is and happily fix it for you”
    That’s the way it should be done, not take it for a stroll across town

    • Bo Hanan

      They usually test drive it to play, get lunch or pick up parts.

  • Paul

    Rake them through the coals in court and social media or anywhere possible for their behavior.

    • BlackPegasus

      Perception won’t matter to this company. Their yelp reviews are consistently bad no matter the location. It hasn’t changed the company.

  • D3X

    Not sure what the problem is. Claim insurance, tell your insurance the situation, the entire situation. They will go over everything with a fine tooth comb and since the car was in their possession and you were not the driver, they will go after their company insurance, employee’s personal insurance, or even sue for negligence over the damages. This is what insurance companies do.

    • brn

      Yep, there are processes in place to handle just this type of situation. Use them.

  • Kyle Newberry

    This is why you don’t trust Firestone lol

  • дапвт

    Something doesn’t stick. When this happens, you call your insurance company and they handle everything.

    • steve

      Not in the USA – where there’s a blame – there’s a claim!

  • MikeofLA

    For some reason, this story warms my heart. Good guy shop and customer.

    • Axel Cortez

      it is a recurrent customer of ours and we were honestly baffled by the issue… You can’t imagine how happy we were to be able to fix the damn thing (no charge to the client) I think now every car that we have with a weird noise we move the sunvisors.

      I love cars, so I treat every customer car as I see my cars, they are my beloved possessions.

      • KingSlayer

        My man, I love knowing that the person dealing with my car absolutely cares about it just like you because it would make me not worry about it, at the moment whenever i drop my car for repairs or anything else for that matter i always stay with them and monitor how they work on my car, just to know what they do and if they are doing it correctly.

        • Axel Cortez

          we have some clients like that and usually I don’t mind at all, but there are some that believe they know more than us and want to micro manage everything we do and is annoying.

          Also there are times when you have to be rough with some stubborn parts and usually having the client orbiting you makes the process slower.

  • Axel Cortez

    OMG I’m going to send him that video, we had a good laugh here at the shop

  • skinny

    Let’s see: if the police report says the Firestone facility wasn’t at fault……then I guess you have to prove they were out joyriding in your car.

    Sh8t happens in life, it doesn’t make the Firestone shop liable. Owner of the vehicle needs to take police report to their insurance company or go directly to the at fault party’s insurance company.

    I know in New Jersey, if you’re not at fault, you want to avoid using your insurance company as it will still count as a claim and your rates could go up. You just contact the at fault’s person’s insurance company and they should take care of it.

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