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Mechanic Faces Manslaughter Charges; failure to perform a proper inspection leads to fatality


Joe Marconi

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Great Tire Deal

Just yesterday A gal came in with her girl friend and baby in the car for a check engine light diagnosis and the front brakes were metal to metal and they thought I was the ass hole buy not releasing it back to them. It was fix the brakes or tow it home. "Well my husband does all my work," is what she said. So it was towed home, and there is a nice signed and printed name next to notes that say they understand whats going on and we are not responsible if they drive it and crash and die or kill someone else.

Edited by John Pearson
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This is the main reason I stress a complete inspection. Yes, they are useful for upselling and future repair calls, but when I hear about accidents like this it makes me so angry. This was unavoidable. Whenever a team member decides it takes too long to inspect I hold up a pic of my wife and daughter and let them know if that was their car and something happened, how I would feel.

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Such a shame for all involved, the inspection "laws" are completely broken IMHO. In WV you can only charge $10 for a complete inspection.... You literally have to pay to inspect peoples vehicles and then you are trying to rip them off when you say, "mam, your brake lines are rusty and need replaced".

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This is the main reason I stress a complete inspection. Yes, they are useful for upselling and future repair calls, but when I hear about accidents like this it makes me so angry. This was unavoidable. Whenever a team member decides it takes too long to inspect I hold up a pic of my wife and daughter and let them know if that was their car and something happened, how I would feel.

That's an excellent way of getting through to those people who "think" we are just padding the ticket trying to make more cash off of them.

Just drive down any highway, stop at any stop sign, or go through the parking lot at Walmart and you'll see some derelict still on the road. Especially where I reside (Oklahoma) where there is no state inspection.

I've been called every name in the book for refusing to work on some of this crap, or as stated in another post, told the customer to tow it out or fix it here before they can drive it again.

I'd rather be the Ahole than the guy who let an old lady drive a car that should have been serviced.

 

just sayin'

 

Oh, and Joe.... I'd settle for a penny for everyone of those types of jobs you mentioned in your post.... it adds up pretty quickly.

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  • 1 year later...

I had a customer come in, a young high school kid with his first car, his parents had bought him a used camry, which in my opinion was an excellent choice. He complained of a small clunk when turning. Right away I thought swaybar bushings, I've owned two camrys from that generation and know them inside and out. I take it for a test drive and start to hear the clunk and feel a tiny amount of play in the wheel, now i'm thinking tierod ends, they were pretty durable on the camrys but they do go bad. Less than an 1/8th mile down the road the steering shaft disconnects and I loose all steering input. I bring it to a stop and manage to get it to the side of the road by going back and forth like austin powers.  It ended up that the bolt holding the universal joint to the lower shaft had backed out.  That could have easily ended tragically for this young man, and that lesson taught me to take no chances and investigate everything no matter how little, it could save someones life.

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http://www.wcax.com/story/32218137/vt-mechanic-takes-plea-deal-in-alleged-faulty-inspection

 

Quote

Vt. mechanic takes plea deal in alleged faulty inspection

Posted: Jun 14, 2016 11:41 AM EST Updated: Jun 16, 2016 5:00 PM EST
By WCAX News
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Steven Jalbert Steven Jalbert
BARRE, Vt. -

A Vermont mechanic originally charged with manslaughter for a faulty motor vehicle inspection has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Steven Jalbert of Barre was arrested last August in connection with a 2014 crash that killed Elizabeth Ibey, 82. Prosecutors say the accident resulted from rusted out brake lines, despite the fact the car had recently passed a state inspection, performed by Jalbert.

Last week, Jalbert accepted a plea deal for reckless endangerment and was sentenced to three months of home confinement.

The attorney general's office says this was the first criminal prosecution in Vermont arising from a faulty motor vehicle inspection.

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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