BUCKEYE, Ariz. - The complaints are now adding up against an auto body shop in Buckeye, Classy Auto Works.
Just days after our Call 12 For Action investigation discovered three customers who claim the shop has had their vehicles or insurance money for months -- and is not performing much of the work or returning the vehicles or money -- we found three more customers with similar stories.
“Here we are months later. No parts. No money. No work,” Candi Robinson told 12 News.
In February, her husband signed an insurance check for $7,867 dollars over to Classy Auto Works to replace the bed on their 2012 Dodge Ram. Now, six months later, Robinson said she can't get ahold of the owners or get her money back.
“We haven't seen anything or heard anything,” Robinson said. “Really frustrating. Just be honest. Come forward and be honest. Own it.”
Larry Stephens feels the same way.
He said he brought his father-in-law's 1970 Datsun 240Z to Classy Auto Works in August of 2014 and paid $4,000 down to get it running again.
Stephens has pictures of Rod Sease, the owner of Classy Auto Works, working on the Datsun in 2015 and 2016. But now in 2017, the car is abandoned outside and Stephens said the Sease's are ignoring him.
“It's not very business-like. It's upsetting,” Stephens said. “My father-in-law is in his mid-80s and we'd love for him to hop in it and take a drive. If we prolong this any longer, he's not going to be able to.”
Frank Valdez said he brought his 1956 Chevy two-door sedan, a classic car once appraised at nearly $60,000, to Classy Auto Works in January. And before that, took his 1954 Chevy pick-up truck to the shop back in 2010.
“The money is gone,” Valdez told 12 News. “I don't think I'll ever get the money.”
That money adds up to $20,000, according to Valdez. He said he paid it to the body shop to restore the truck his wife, Lynn Marie, loved to drive before she was killed in a car crash in 2004. Now Valdez said he can't get his money or vehicles back and the truck is in pieces.
“It meant a lot, because…it was a 1954 -- same year my wife was born -- and we wanted to restore it in her memory,” Valdez said.
Frank Valdez, Larry Stephens and Candi Robinson said they’re all shocked at the situation, because they've known the owner of Classy Auto Works, Rod Sease and his son Tony, for years. And they have all had work done at the shop before.
“We considered them friends, as well as business people in a small town, it's just sad,” Robinson said. “They just need to be honest and own it and make it right.”
“They'd been to my house, I'd been to their house. For eight years, and then to get treated this way, you don't do that to friends,” Valdez said.
But it's not just the Sease's friends who said they're getting taken for a ride.
As we were about to leave Classy Auto Works, Daisy Compean pulled up and had yet another similar story.
She said she signed over a $1,500 insurance check to Classy Auto Works in February, after part of a drive shaft shot through her mother's 2015 Nissan Sentra and damaged the dashboard.
“They haven't done anything,” Compean said. “We still have the broken dash in there, there's still glass inside the air vents, so we can't put the A/C too high. They were supposed to fix all that and they haven't done anything.”
That makes seven Classy Auto Works customers, who all tell Call 12 For Action, the body shop is being anything but classy.
Update: Just before this story went on-air, we heard from Tony Sease at Classy Auto Works. He said his dad, Rod, owns the body shop and has been in the hospital recently.
Tony Sease admits the shop has been going through some tough times, but he said he has the parts for all of the customers and will work to get them their vehicles, parts and money back soon.
We'll continue to follow this story and let you know what happens.
All of the Classy Auto Works customers we talked with have or are in the process of filing official consumer complaints with the Attorney General's office, hoping to spark an investigation.
If you have a similar story, or another consumer complaint, Call 12 For Action is here for you. Submit a complaint here and we’ll get to work for you.
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