INSIDE EDITION Investigates Auto Repair Chain Just Brakes
Don't you hate it when the great deal you see advertised turns out to cost a lot more than you thought? That's what an INSIDE EDITION hidden camera investigation found happening to some customers at a popular auto repair chain.
Just Brakes is a company that has made a name for itself across the country by promising to replace all four brakes on your car for just $99.88.
So how could any company make money charging less than $100 for front and back brakes? We wanted to find out.
INSIDE EDITION went undercover, taking cars to some Just Brakes locations near Fort Worth, Texas. We wanted to see what would happen when we asked for the $99 deal.
After inspecting the brakes, we got some bad news.
In one case we were told by the Just Brakes mechanic, "We really should get in here rebuild these calipers, because they will cause problems."
Our undercover researcher, like most people, had no idea what a caliper was...but it didn't sound good.
The mechanic then told us, "Honestly, it's not cheap, I'm not going to lie to you, but it needs to be done. The calipers for the back are going to be $109 for the pair; Calipers for the front are going to be $120, plus the pistons, which will be a total of $645.83 plus tax."
All of a sudden that $99 deal turned into a repair costing hundreds of dollars. But how could we know if those added repairs were really necessary?
What Just Brakes didn't know is that INSIDE EDITION had the cars thoroughly checked out beforehand.
Certified Master Technician Ron Minton and another expert from AAA -Texas told us that these cars needed nothing more than brake pads and shoes, exactly what is covered in the $99 deal.
"You're sure that when we took that Ford in there, it didn't need these?" asked INSIDE EDITION's Chief Investigative Correspondent Matt Meagher.
"It did not, it did not need the calipers rebuilt or the pistons replaced at this time," said Minton
We then brought a different vehicle to another Just Brakes in the Fort Worth area.
We told them we wanted the $99 deal.
A half hour later, there was more bad news. Again it's those dreaded calipers.
"Your left front caliper is sticking on it. It's not releasing these pads off the rotors," said the Just Brakes mechanic.
"What's sticking?" asked the undercover researcher.
"Your calipers," he repeated.
We showed our hidden camera footage to Minton.
"The caliper is sticking. That can happen, right?" Matt Meagher asked him.
"Yeah, it can happen. In this case it was not happening," said Minton.
"It was not happening in her car?"
This time, it cost more than $300. Again, the cost was well in excess of that $99 deal.
John Riggins, President of the Fort Worth Better Business Bureau, says for the past 15 years, he's been asking Just Brakes to show him one customer that only paid the $99.
"I haven't met one consumer that's paid the $99," Riggins told INSIDE EDITION.
Just Brakes, which is being investigated by Texas's attorney general, declined to do an on-camera interview. However, they did ask INSIDE EDITION to allow one of their experts to examine the car parts their mechanics had said needed to be replaced. After the inspection, the company did not specifically address any of our findings but they said in a statement, "We are taking this matter seriously and will take appropriate actions based on our review." They also said they follow industry standards and provide high-quality, dependable brake repair.
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