Unlicensed Mobile Car Repair Mechanics: Woman Says She Was Victimized

By Myriam Masihy
|  Thursday, Jan 16, 2014  |  Updated 7:33 PM EDT
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Laura Vengoechea says she was victimized by unlicensed mobile car mechanics. NBC 6's Myriam Masihy reports.

Laura Vengoechea says she was victimized by unlicensed mobile car mechanics. NBC 6's Myriam Masihy reports.

NBC 6 cameras were rolling when Jorge Rodriguez worked on another man’s pick-up truck outside of Delta Auto Part Store in Miami. But when County inspectors cited the mechanic for working without a license, he denied it.

Rodriguez had planned to appeal the $500 ticket. He showed up for his hearing Wednesday. So did Team 6 Investigator, Myriam Masihy and a cameraman – and Rodriguez apparently had a change of heart. Miami-Dade Consumer Protection Division Supervisor Jorge Herrera was at Rodriguez’ hearing. “He showed up to the hearing today and decided to withdraw his appeal, indicating that he was going to be paying the fine,” Herrera says, referring to Rodriguez.

A Team 6 Investigation that aired two days before the hearing found there was no shortage of unlicensed mobile mechanics. Laura Vengoechea saw the story and called NBC 6 to share her experience with a pair of mobile mechanics whose license she didn’t verify. “They make a disaster, they removed all the pieces and after that I was calling them, they don’t answer,” she says.

Laura says she paid the mechanics $450. Then they disappeared, leaving her with a business card that had neither a company name nor an address. NBC 6 called the number on that card to ask about her car, but the man who answered the phone refused to give us his last name or a license number. Laura ended up having to pay another mechanic to fix her car. She has some advice for people planning on hiring a mechanic. “Be very, very careful,” she warns. “Look for a license number,” Laura says.

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