Cherished car goes up in flames

FAYETTEVILLE, NC Donna left her Chevy Camero Z-28 at the Fayetteville Maaco last December to be painted. But before it could get the fresh look, the Maaco went up in flames. Donna tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "I was just sick. I was just sick. I know you're not supposed to put so much emphasis on material things but that car just meant so much to me." Donna's car was nothing but charred metal and she was devastated, but says the shop owner, Kevin Johnson assured her everything would be O.K. She says, "He said don't worry about this. I have enough insurance to pay for your car 10 times over. I said it's not so much the cost of the car it's the sentimental value." Little did donna know she would soon be going from sentimental to stunned. When she contacted Johnson's insurance company, she couldn't believe what she heard. She says she was told, "We're not responsible for your vehicle. We determined the fire started in the flower shop part of the building. Maaco is not responsible whatsoever, and you need to contact your insurance company." This is something Donna couldn't understand, since not only does the fire report say it started in the Maaco side of the building, not the flower shop side but fire officials told her, and Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, they think it started there too. Donna adds, "I said this is insane. I entrusted my vehicle to Maaco to paint and this is not satisfactory at all."

Besides replacing her car, Donna wants the $300.00 back she paid to have her car painted. She said Johnson said it wouldn't be a problem, but when she went to pick it up she said she couldn't get it. She adds, "He said you have to deal with the insurance company and they will pay you back." Donna says it went back and forth and she never got her check. So she turned to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. She says, "I appreciate you looking in this. It's disheartening, totally disheartening".

Johnson told Troubleshooter Diane Wilson his insurance company and the landlord's insurance company had their own investigators look at the scene and determined the fire started in the adjacent flower shop business, so that business would be responsible. But he said he does sympathize with Donna, as he says his business is a victim too. He claims he hasn't recouped any of his loss yet either. He said Donna should file the claim with her insurance company, so all parties can work it out. Something Donna doesn't want to have to do. She tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "My insurance company said yes they would pay the NADA but to me it's not their place to have to pay for this. My car was totally insured and I entrusted it to Maaco to be painted so to me they are responsible for paying for my vehicle."

As for the refund for the paint job, after Troubleshooter Diane Wilson called the owner and the corporate office of Maaco, the owner called Donna and told her the check had been waiting for pick up for some time, so she did receive that. The owner, Kevin Johnson also added, he's not trying to cheat Donna, he'd like a quick resolution, but has to let the insurance companies work it out.

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