Customers get their vehicles back after auto shop unexpectedly closed

Local News

LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — The doors were forced open for Maaco customers after the shop closed unexpectedly with their vehicles still inside.

The owner of the Maaco in Lansing stopped showing up for work and left his customers cars trapped inside. It’s a case our Kiyerra Lake has been following for nearly two months.

She was there when people finally got their cars back and now explains why some of them are still upset.

Having his truck and the sound of his engine put Larry Miller’s mind at ease, but just for a moment.

Miller said, “I thought I’d be happy, but I’m mad as hell anyway because of the condition they left my truck in.”

He’s been waiting months for the owner Doug Parks, to finish the work he was promised.

” I thought I could trust him,” said Jeremy Whittum. “Well, it was an experience.”

The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office said there were 34 vehicles that need to be claimed.

Conrad Morrison was the first person to tell us he was having problems at Maaco with Parks. This was at the beginning of December and he hasn’t seen his truck for more than 15 weeks.

“It’s almost like a homecoming,” said Morrison.

He was shocked to see all the people who were in his same boat.

Parks is officially evicted from the building and all the locks have been changed, but Morrison wonders how Parks allowed this to happen.

“That’s just hard to believe,” Morrison said.

Some of the customers gave Parks a down payment and others paid in full.

“I called Doug the first Friday in November and he said don’t call me again, I will call you.” said Whittum. “That’s when the situation went bad.”

Customers have been turning to Maaco’s corporate office.

“Supposedly arrangements will be made to do the work that was promised and a promise made should be a promise kept,” Whittum said. “But as far as offsetting expenses to transport the vehicle, to if the keys are missing, there’s different expenses with that. So, it might not be over today.”

Maaco’s corporate office said they are working with customers on a case by case basis.

22 out of the 34 vehicles were claimed today and the ones that were left behind have a new home tonight at Swift Towing in Holt.

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