Tag: UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection

From Hero to Villian: The Dark Side of Colorado Springs’ Automotive Repair Industry

From Hero to Villian: The Dark Side of Colorado Springs’ Automotive Repair Industry

From Hero to Villian: The Dark Side of Colorado Springs’ Automotive Repair Industry


My brother was subjected to predatory behavior by the mechanics known as Break Plus in Colorado, Springs Colorado. My brother strongly feels the predatory behavior of this mechanic had a racial element and I believe him. #predatory #mechanic #racism #unitedstates #blacktiktoks #blacktiktokcommunity #blacklivesmatter

♬ original sound – Quianna Canada
Quianna Canada talks about anti-black racism in US consumer services.

Drivers who have been on the road for a considerable period of time can easily identify the evident signal of a vehicle in need of an alignment: the steering wheel is off center when one drives straight; the vehicle pulls to the right or left side, and sometimes the steering wheel vibrates.

For many consumers in the US, taking a motor vehicle to a repair shop for an alignment is relatively cheap and can take all of twenty minutes. Unfortunately, countless consumers across the US consistently find themselves facing an enduring struggle for fair treatment when it comes to car servicing and repairs.

Just ask Mr. Xavier Nunn, who sought services from the Brakes Plus in Colorado Springs earlier this month, only to find that mechanics labored on coercing him into paying for additional services he never anticipated. “If you are in Colorado Springs—do not, I repeat do not—go to Brakes Plus on Eighth Street for an alignment,” warned Mr. Nunn, giving a narrative in frustration and disappointment to viewers on the social media platform TikTok.

Mr. Nunn visited the Brakes Plus on 740 Abbot Lane and sought an alignment and expected to pay no more than the advertised $89.00. He also assumed that Brakes Plus would provide him with accurate information regarding its services and that it would deal fairly with him at all stages of their business relationship.

Yet, the mechanics informed Mr. Nunn that an alignment could not be performed because the lower control arm bushing on his motor vehicle needed to be repaired. “We pride ourselves on quality repairs,” alleges Chad Dreiling, the manager at the Brakes Plus in Colorado Springs.

Dreiling alleges if they performed an alignment on Mr. Nunn’s vehicle without addressing the lower control arm problems first, they “would have been stealing money from him.”

While Mr. Nunn admits that his motor vehicle had axil problems in the past, his TikTok public service announcement discloses that he recently made repairs to the axil boot and other parts of the vehicle. He further disputes the claim that his motor vehicle had lower control arms problems, asserting that stealing his money is exactly what the mechanics at Brakes Plus attempted to do. “If you go off in there and try and get that $89.00 alignment and you’re Black, you gone come out with another problem in your vehicle—trust me,” Mr. Nunn warned to the community.

Research shows that costly automotive repairs are driving US consumers into a financial ditch. US automotive shops have been investigated for unauthorized and unnecessary repairs, theft of parts and vandalism to vehicles while in the shop’s care. These deceptive practices have spawned an Insider Edition hidden camera investigation into the automotive repair industry.

According to Insider Edition, investigators placed hidden cameras under the hood of the car and an Insider Edition sticker on the oil filter to see if mechanics would changed the filter. Despite a service station in Long Island charging investigators a $130.00 for an oil change and new filter, the mechanic never changed the filter.

While the owner of the shop did refund the investigators, claiming failure to perform the services promised was an honest mistake, footage illustrates the sticker had not been removed from the filter cap. Indeed, the presence of the sticker on cap illustrated that mechanics never replaced the filter.

From Hero to Villian: The Dark Side of Colorado Springs’ Automotive Repair Industry

Further, more than a dozen people in Colorado Springs reported they had lost money to an auto repair shop who didn’t perform the services on their vehicles as promised. Those grievances bring us to Brakes Plus, who is no stranger to the frequent remonstrations of consumers in the state of Colorado.

A Better Business Bureau archive on Brakes Plus reveal a slew of consumer concerns related to the auto repair shop, from deceptive practices to problems with products and services.

It is worth mentioning here that two June 2023 complaints filed with the BBB bears some similarity to Mr. Nunn’s concern. Based on the details of these complaints, the customers went into Brakes Plus for an alignment and left the shop with a host a problems the consumers assert wasn’t there before.

The Federal Trade Commission

When consumers find themselves in this predicament, some turn to the Federal Trade Commission for relief. The Federal Trade Commission’s mission is to enforce civil antitrust law and to promote consumer protection. Howbeit, the US Supreme Court has recently curtailed the powers of the Commission.

For example, in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission, the federal court granted the Commission’s request for relief, finding AMG Capital Management violated § 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act’s prohibition against unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the area of commerce. AMG Capital Management appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit who affirmed the lower court’s decision.

After the Ninth Circuit rendered its decision, AMG Capital Management appealed to the US Supreme Court, who ruled that § 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act does not authorize the Commission to seek, nor allow a court to award equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement.[1] In other words, § 13(b) does not explicitly authorize the Commission to obtain court-ordered monetary relief on the behalf of consumers.[2]

The decision of the US Supreme Court propagated the 2021 Consumer Protection Recovery Act (H.R. 2668), to which authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to seek monetary relief in federal court from businesses that engage in unlawful commercial practices such as false advertising, consumer fraud, and anti-competitive conduct.[3]

That same year, the Office of Management and Budget for the Executive Office of the President applauded the bill, stating it would “require bad actors to return money earned through illegal activity” and allow the Federal Trade Commission “to seek both injunctive and monetary relief for consumers in Federal courts.”[4] Although the bill gained support in the House, the US Senate has yet to take legislative action on the bill to seal it into law.

The United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection

The purgatory state of H.R.2668 may violate international law. For example, the United Nations guidelines for consumer protection assists countries in maintaining adequate protection for their population as consumers.[5] It also assists countries, like the US, in curbing abusive business practices by all enterprises at the national and international levels which adversely affect consumers.[6]

Under the United Nations’ fair and equitable treatment principle, businesses like Brakes Plus, should deal fairly and honestly with consumers at all stages of their relationship. This principle is especially important for disadvantaged consumers[7] like Mr. Nunn.

More importantly, the United Nations’ commercial behavior principle states businesses, such as Brakes Plus, should not subject consumers to illegal, unethical, discriminatory or deceptive practices, such as improper behavior that may pose unnecessary risks or harm consumers[8]—as witnessed in Mr. Nunn’s TikTok video.

Brakes Plus and its mechanics have a responsibility to uphold consumer protection as an objective and should have due regard for the interests of all consumers, including Mr. Nunn.


[1] AMG Capital Management, LLC. V. Federal Trade Commission. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved August 13, 2023, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/2020/19-508.

[2] Id.

[3] H.R.2668 – Consumer Protection and Recovery Act (2021). Congress.gov. Retrieved August 13, 2023, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house/bill/2668.

[4] Office of Management and Budget. (2021). Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2668 – Consumer Protection and Recovery Act. Executive Office of the President. Retrieved August 13, 2023, from https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/statement-administration-policy-hr-2668-consumer-protection-and-recovery-act.

[5] United Nations. (2016). United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection. UNCTAD. Retrieved August 13, 2023, from https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/ditccplpmisc2016d1_en.pdf.

[6] Id.

[7] Id., p. 9, para. 11 (a).

[8] Id., p. 9, para. 11 (b).

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