Auto shop unexpectedly closes, keeps woman's car inside

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A woman dropped off her SUV at a Warren shop to be fixed - but when she returned to pick up her ride, the place was out of business and her car locked inside.

"I just want my car back," said Takela Whitlock. "This is my car right here on the lift, in the air."

For more than a week Whitlock's car was been locked up at the Goodyear Wear Masters Auto Repair shop on E.  Eight Mile. Even though the open sign was turned on, the place is closed - and Whitlock says that's been the case since June 5.

"I called and no one answered," she said. "I came by later, no one's there. I've been calling and coming periodically each day, and there's been no one here.

"I haven't called anyone as far as the business."

Whitlock says she contacted the Better Business Bureau and filed a complaint with the state of Michigan.

"I called the police," she said. "They informed me there's nothing they could really do and they told me to contact the media."

So FOX 2 went looking for answers - and went to another Goodyear location on Detroit's east side. An employee was trying to lock the door as we were walking up.

It turns out both places are affiliated with Goodyear but independently owned by the same person.

"My owner owns that location they leased it out to somebody else," said Travis, a worker behind the counter who was then told about Whitlock’s situation.

And that someone apparently suddenly closed up shop and failed to contact customers.

FOX 2 ran into another customer who was having problems with the repair shop in Warren.

FOX 2: "Where's your car?"

"I have my car I had ordered headlights, I ordered parts (and paid in advance)," he said.

The customer had $685 cash refunded while FOX 2 was there. Travis then made a phone call from the shop to Takela Whitlock.

"Hi, this is Travis from east Detroit Goodyear, is this Ms. Whitlock," the worker said. "You have a Buick Rendezvous locked up at one of our sister locations.

And 24 hours later, FOX 2 met up with Whitlock, her 2006 Buick Rendevous parked in her driveway.

She is relieved to have her car back - but frustrated that all the repairs weren't made.

"It's awful they gave Goodyear a very bad name," she said. "I feel like the owner knows something. You own the building, you had to be contacted about something. I don't care if you did lease this building out to someone. You knew something was going on."

"I'm glad I did contact the media because without your help you it would have been a dead end, nothing would have been done."