• Report:  #1526478

Complaint Review: Mike Carroll - Bennington NE

Reported By:
John Carroll - Denison, Iowa, United States

Mike Carroll
15215 Harvest Ln Bennington, 68007 NE, United States
(402) 689-1815
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One of my best friends has a story, which by itself, will bring tears to your eyes.  When you find out what this immoral Volkswagen repair shop did to him, you'll also feel outrage.  At least I did.

Please take a moment to get to know Matt Knowles of Charter Oak, Iowa.  I've known Matt my entire life.  For four decades, I've viewed Matt as one of the kindest people I'll ever know.  That was true before his thyroid cancer and brain surgery and diabetes (inherited, not earned).  Every day for over 20 years, Matt has struggled to survive his illnesses and the financial setbacks they've helped cause.  Before the cancer, he was a very hard-working contributing member of society.  He still is, to the best of his ability.  But, he's a shell of his former self.  He has helped care for his mother, who has been sick for all the years I've known her and his now late grandparents.  No one has ever loved his family or a dog more than my friend.  When he was diagnosed first with cancer, I had never met a person who deserved it less.  Then, the brain cancer and surgeries.  Then, he lost his job.  His wife left him because of it also.  And, in the middle of what I'm about to explain, his beloved dog died.  The most agreeable and nice person you could ever meet has been knocked down face first at every turn. Just when it looked like he had turned a corner, the other shoe fell.  Then another.  And, another.

Matt is a simple man and although he'd love to have nicer things, he finds happiness in his love of Volkswagens.  He found a unicorn, a VW truck (I didn't even know that they made one) and he put down his last few dollars to buy it.  A couple of grand.  We're not talking exorbinant amounts, here.  His dream vehicle is a $2500 truck.  It needed a repair and he found Mike Carroll at Air Cooled Express in Omaha.  Matt paid $100 to have it towed to Mr. Carroll's shop.  There are a lot of details, but the skinny of it is that Mike told Matt that it needed a new head gasket.  Matt agreed to this modest repair.  Then, Mike said that it had a crack in the head and had ordered a new one without consulting with Matt.  The truck was already hostage, so Matt had little choice but to allow him to proceed with the $1000 estimated charge.  Mike came back and instead said that it cost $2100.  Matt agreed to this.  He went to the shop and found the truck there, running!  Mike said that he needed to do a little more and it couldn't be picked up that day.  Then, out of nowhere, the bill was at over $6000!  Matt couldn't pay it, at least immediately.  And now, Air Cooled Express didn't want to give it back for any reason.  

It's important to understand the rarity of this truck.  37,000 were produced worldwide.  For comparison, Ford sold about 657,000 F-150s last year at a cost of well over $50,000 on average.  In 1981, Volkswagen was a VERY popular automaker.  37,000 is NOTHING in terms of global production.  So, this is a rare truck.  

Even more interesting is the fact that Mike Carroll is a founding member of the Omaha Volkswagen Club.  So, here's this super rare truck brought by a man with very little money because he's fighting to stay alive every day.  The opportunity to take advantage was there and it looks in my opinion that Mike Carroll seized it and stole Matt's truck.

There are so many other details and certainly some which Matt didn't do perfectly.  But, the court documents read pretty clearly that a citizen retained a repair shop, that repair shop jacked up the bills in order to make it impossible for the customer to pay and then used the legal system to transfer ownership to himself.  

It seems rotten to me.  It stinks to holy heaven in my opinion.  If would be another thing if Mike would negotiate.  He doesn't.  And, above all else, THAT'S what convinces me that this was a scam from the onset.

1 Updates & Rebuttals



#2General Comment

Tue, May 23, 2023

 1) A head gasket is a major repair, basically one step short of rebuilding the engine and more work than swapping an engine. I would expect that to cost at least $2000 when done at a shop. Just the parts are a few hundred dollars, and often expensive machine shop labor is required. 2) Replacing or repairing a cracked head is expensive, especially for a rare vehicle. Just finding one would be difficult. 3) Your friend should not have authorized any work in the absence of a written, binding quote. That's a recipe for losing your shirt. You certainly should never authorize anything over the phone. I think $6500 for a major head gasket repair on a rare, vintage vehicle is pricey but not unreasonably so, depending on the work that had to be done. Restoring rare vehicles is not a cheap hobby, and the reason these vehicles are cheap is because they need tens of thousands of dollars of work to make them usable. Most people who do that do most of the work themselves.

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