Paraplegic car owner outraged after mechanic damages special BMW while picking up other customer
A wild ride was caught on camera in a car considered by its owner as his prized possession.
That man claims there is thousands of dollars in damage to his car after his mechanic used it as a taxi.
Dash cam video from inside Arno Vergara’s BMW shows, unauthorized by him and behind the wheel, an employee of Hallandale Auto Electric as he drives the car to get an alignment and then uses it to pick up another customer.
“I was watching this footage with anxiety, stress and anger,” Vergara said.
The employee drives over large bumps, honks at a mail truck and speaks to himself, saying, “all that I need is to get in a accident in this [expletive] car.”
“I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing,” Vergara said.
That is because it isn’t just any BMW.
Vergara is a paraplegic, injured after a motorcycle accident 28 years ago.
He says his BMW has special hand controls that make the car difficult to drive if you haven’t used it before, has a special clutch and is extremely low, just inches from the ground.
When he gets behind the wheel, his daily challenges seem to be in the rearview mirror.
“This is my baby, I don’t have any children,” he said. “This is my prized possession. It’s set me back a pretty penny.”
When the car needed an alignment and rear tires, Vergara took it to Hallandale Auto Electric.
Video shows that as soon as an employee got inside, he seemed, frankly, pissed off.
That employee could be heard in the video saying how difficult the car was to drive and at one point remarked, “I hate this car.”
Taking the low car over bumps while driving, the employee takes the car to a house before going to the alignment shop
When he’s done there, it’s off to pick up a customer. On the phone with his boss, there was a clear emphasis on being careful while driving Vergara’s BMW.
“Oh yeah, very careful, very careful,” the employee says on the phone call.
Watching everything back on video was not an easy or pleasant experience for Vergara.
“I’m watching him fly through puddles, go over speed bumps like they are not even there,” Vergara said. “You can hear the banging and the cracking and all the damage that is happening under the car.”
When the employee picks up the customer and she gets in the Vergara’s car, there is a conversation between the two about a noise.
“That doesn’t sound to good,” the customer said.
“No, that doesn’t sound too good,” the employee replied.
Soon after the employee gets out of the car to examine it for damage and is seen performing the sign of the cross.
Vergara showed Local 10 News’ Jeff Weinsier photos of scratches and scrapes on his car and says an entire carbon fiber passenger side skirt is missing.
Todd Bourak is one of the owners of Hallandale Auto Electric.
Weinsier asked Bourak if his business normally uses its clients cars to pick up other clients.
“No, that was honestly a mistake,” he said. “We didn’t realize he was in the wrong car. We literally just though he was in his own car.”
There are recorded conversations that show that isn’t true, however.
“I apologized to him. I said I was sorry,” Bourak said. “I refunded him everything. The cost of tires, the alignment. Everything.”
The two sides can’t agree on the cost of damages though, and Vergara said he never thought to ask if his car was going to taken off premises for the alignment in the first place.
“I would have said let me drive it here, or I don’t want you to do the work on this vehicle,” he said.
It’s not something that a driver would think they’d have to ask until something like this happens.
Vergara told Local 10 News he is in the process of finding an attorney to help him sue Hallandale Auto Electric and get his car fixed.