Woman says car wash damaged her car

Woman says car wash damaged her car
The woman claims the car wash ripped off the panel from the trunk. (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - If you're not in the habit of reading the disclaimer when you pull into a car wash, here's reason to start.

A Henrico woman says "Nine Mile Road Auto Wash" ripped off the panel from the trunk of her 2004 Cadillac CTS, and now the car wash won't pay to repair it.

The business manager says it's not their fault - their brushes don't cause that type of damage.

Hortense White says she was led to believe the car wash would pay, but when she returned with an estimate, the manager told her no.

That manager said they've never had anything like this happen before, and while they pay when it's their fault, this time he says, it isn't.

White showed NBC12 the damage to her trunk panel and says, "It goes all the way across, cover my lights here, comes down and the strip comes all the way back and meets here."

White says initially, she had no worries. She says the attendant instructed her to get an estimate from the dealership and they'll take care of it.

She described the conversation she had with the attendant and says, "I said 'what happened here?' and he said 'Oh, I thought I heard something when it was going through the brushes.' I said 'wait a minute, that piece is broken off.'"

When she returned two weeks later with an $893.30 repair estimate on a 14-year-old caddy, all bets were off.

"I gave him the estimate that the Cadillac dealer gave me, and when he said he was not going to pay it, he gave it back to me," said White. "I think it's the amount. I think that they think that maybe it's not worth the amount to have it repaired. That piece was intact when I took my car there. Give me some type of compensation. Something. Just don't ignore me."

NBC12 went to Nine Mile Road Auto Wash to speak with the site manager to get his side of the story. Manager Will Yarborough maintains the car was driven in with a problem.

He turned on the brushes for us to show how they work.

"I'll put in my hand. So it just smacks. It wouldn't break the piece that she says it broke. It wouldn't break it, because it would just slide right off," said Yarborough.

He also pointed to instructional-disclaimer signs posted around the building.

"It's listed on there. Any loose parts, any loose parts, ma'am. We have them posted all over. Right here and in the back...It's right here, I mean it's all over...It should be one right there and one at the back."

Hortense says she never saw the signs until the attendant pointed them out to her.

NBC12 is waiting on a call from the actual owner. The property manager has reached out to the owner. We hope to re-establish a conversation between the customer and the owner and maybe get Hortense some help with repairs.

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