REDFORD TWP., Mich. (WJBK) - The state is now getting involved after FOX 2 exposed an auto repair shop in Redford Township that has been taking advantage of its customers.
Customers say their cars have been at the shop for months without being fixed - and their cars won't be getting fixed at Krucial Kustoms Body Shop for sure now. Because of our story, the state made a very interesting discovery and has issued a cease and desist order.
On Wednesday FOX 2 found a customer on the phone with Deon Thomas, the owner of Krucial Kustoms, trying to get his car out of the building. His car was one of dozens that are stuck inside the shop still waiting to be fixed or painted.
In some cases, for months.
FOX 2 first introduced you to Diane Ramsey on Monday. When her car was wrecked last fall, she took it to Krucial Kustoms be fixed. Now, six months later, it's in worse condition than she left it.
It is the same issue for Rajanee Posey, who paid nearly $1,600 out of pocket to fix her car.
"It is a different story every time," Posey said on Monday on why she hasn't gotten her car back.
A spokesperson with the Secretary of State contacted FOX 2 after they saw the story and looked into the business. It turns out Krucial Kustoms and Supreme Auto Spirits LLC, which operate out of the same location, are not licensed by the state.
On top of that - the mechanics working there aren't certified. There is now an order slapped on the door putting the owner on notice that if they continue to operate the shop they will be criminally prosecuted.
FOX 2 attempted to speak with the owner but Thomas refused an interview, telling us by phone he never knew he needed to be licensed or certified and that he plans to hire other body shops to finish the work on the remaining cars.
FOX 2 found the owner's mother at the shop, who was trying to work with dissatisfied customers who came by.
"You see this here right," the mother says, motioning at all the cars in the parking lot, "Would you bring your car here? If you saw all this?"
"Well if he said he could do the job, I would," Asher tells her.
"No, would you?"
"I wouldn't - but - if he said he could do the work," Asher insists.
"It is too much work for one person," Thomas's mother says.
Posey had her cars towed out of there but now, like so many customers, she wants her money back.
"I knew he wasn't certified. I asked him that," she said. "But he needs to give me all my money back. When I took my car to another shop today, he told me that battery was hooked up all the wrong way. I was like, what?"
"I'm honest. [I said] you made the mistakes so you will have to pay for it," Thomas' mother says.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has made it a priority to crack down on unlicensed repair shops. We are told state investigators plan to revisit the investigation to make sure they don't work on any more cars.
The Secretary of State office encourages other dissatisfied customers of the companies to file a complaint with the Office of Investigative Services. CLICK HERE to do so.