MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — Supply chain issues have been affecting the auto industry since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but experts say the issue has also led to unethical practices by some mechanics.
A shortage of qualified mechanics also has folks bringing their car back and receiving yet another charge for a separate problem.
Minnie Evans told News 19 her 2010 Nissan Murano was running rough, so she took her car to her trusted mechanic to fix the issue.
“Two days after he had my car and he called and told me the car was repaired I can come pick it up,” said Evans.
Her mechanic charged her over $1,000 but she drove from the shop with the same issues. Evans says she drove back to the same mechanic who admitted that one of his certified mechanics broke a vital part while making the repairs. They told her that the part was on backorder.
“After that diagnosis… that’s when it stayed there for over a month,” said Evans.
Evans needed her car to drive so she had it towed to the Nissan dealer in Huntsville who put the engine back together but now, Evans had to shell out an additional $3,000.
Alan Amici, president and CEO of The Center for Auto Research, said he’s seen auto parts and labor shortages causing issues before — but nothing like what is happening now.
“The automotive supply chain has been significantly disrupted primarily because of the pandemic,” Amici told News 19. “The nature of the business is that mechanics have more work than they can handle, and they also have a labor shortage that they have been dealing with due to the pandemic as well.”
Amici says that unethical practices by some mechanics due to auto parts and labor shortages unfortunately have been happening a lot. He recommends that if you have a mechanic that seems a little shady to shop around for second opinions.
“As a consumer if you have a repair that’s going to take a long time, I will get some second opinions and try and shop it around a little bit would be the best way to do that,” said Amici.
Amici notes that computer parts and the metals and plastics to make them are all on backorder since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Efforts to reach the repair shop that performed the work for Minnie Evans were unsuccessful.