Two Midas auto repair centers in Tucson are facing a consumer fraud lawsuit over claims they charged undercover state agents posing as customers hundreds of dollars for work that was unneeded or was not performed.
The two shops at 6740 E. Tanque Verde Road and 333 W. Valencia Road, which have the same owners, were targets of a sting carried out two years ago and made public this week by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
In a June 15 news release, the office said it sent undercover investigators to the two locations in 2020 with car troubles. The vehicles they brought in for service has been certified ahead of time by experts who documented their mechanical condition, the agency said.
The Valencia Road shop charged a state investigator around $400 for unnecessary work including spark plug replacement, a three-part fuel system service kit and throttle body service that was not performed. “The manager also told our agent the vehicle drove ‘great’ on a test drive when no test drive was completed,” the news release said.
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At the Midas on Tanque Verde Road, an assistant manager said the vehicle needed a new serpentine belt and the air conditioning system needed refrigerant removed and recharged. Midas charged $300 for the work, none of which was actually done, the agency’s lawsuit said.
Both Midas locations are run by Arizona corporations jointly owned by Pima County resident Christopher Conforti and by Nicholas Conforti of Collier County in Florida, who could not be reached for comment. A phone message left with an employee at the Tanque Verde Road location was not returned 24 hours later.
The state lawsuit, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, seeks restitution for consumers who were defrauded and requests up to $10,000 in civil penalties against the companies for each violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. The state is also seeking an injunction to prevent the firms from engaging in illegal business practices in the future.
Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at 573-4138 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @AZStarConsumer