Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for LAist comes from:

Investigation: 7 out of 11 Jiffy Lubes scam customers in Southern California (VIDEO)

A car leaves a Jiffy Lube store after an oil change March 26, 2002 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images
A car leaves a Jiffy Lube store after an oil change March 26, 2002 in Los Angeles.

The Jiffy Lube franchise came under fire seven years ago when NBC4 reporter Joel Grover conducted an undercover investigation. He found several stores claimed a vehicle needed unnecessary repairs or lied about work that wasn't done.

Grover said he decided to revisit the story in recent months after current and past Jiffy Lube employees told him some shops around Los Angeles are using new tricks and tactics to continue the scam.

"We took a test car and our engineers wired it with five hidden cameras in places that would allow us to watch employees at work on every part of our car," Grover said. "And keep in mind, this car had been serviced and needed nothing but an oil change."

View more videos at:

Grover's team recently visited Jiffy Lubes across Southern California and found that seven out of 11 tried to sell services the car didn't need.

"Something we saw at more than one Jiffy Lube [was] they told us they did tests on our car and determined we needed expensive air conditioning services, but our undercover cameras showed us there were no tests done," Grover said.

Grover said that because his last investigation in 2006 into Jiffy Lube's tactics got wide exposure online, the president of Jiffy Lube, which is owned by Shell Oil, flew out from Houston to lay out a company-wide plan of changes to prevent wrongful charges to customers.

"The company said this kind of thing would not happen, and it appears to be happening again," Grover said. "I think the takeaway for customers is if they say they're doing tests on your car to determine whether you need repairs or services, watch them. Question them. Ask them to do those tests again."

Listen to Steve Julian's full interview with Joel Grover here