State shuts down local auto repair facilities, suspends dealerships

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published April 9, 2019

METRO DETROIT — The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office recently announced the closure or suspension of four Macomb County auto repair businesses and dealerships. Four Wayne County facilities were also closed or suspended.

In a pair of news releases dated March 28 and 29, the Michigan Secretary of State issued temporary cease-and-desist orders against two auto repair facilities: Star Motor Auto Repair, 21579 Schoenherr Road in Warren; and MC Auto Repair, 1650 Waterman St. in Detroit.

Star Motor was issued the order March 27 when the Secretary of State’s Office allegedly discovered that brake, electrical system and tune-up repairs were being performed without a certified mechanic. A regulation agent reportedly discovered that a mechanic’s certification had expired, but vehicles continued to get repaired.

Temporary cease-and-desist orders prohibit owners or anyone else at those facilities from performing any further auto repairs until the facility complies with state law, which states that any person who knowingly provides auto repair services without a registration or certificate is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

At press time, the secretary of state hadn’t referred these two cases for prosecution. However, if refusal to comply with the law continues, that could change.

Consumers can verify whether repair shops are registered with the state by using the online search tool at www.ExpressSOS.com, clicking “Business Services” and then “Repair Facility Services.”

The secretary of state issued summary suspensions to four auto dealerships in southeast Michigan: VAN Car Co., 7101 E. 8 Mile Road in Warren; Witko Group, 33457 Gratiot Ave. in Clinton Township; Mogul Trading, 2801 South Beech Daly St. in Dearborn Heights; and Superior Plus Auto Sales Inc., 10614 Joy Road in Detroit.

VAN Car Co. was suspended March 15 due to the dealership no longer operating at its registered address. Also, the state’s Business Compliance and Regulation Division was never notified of an address change. The business’s owner was supposed to attend a preliminary conference on Feb. 12, but reportedly failed to show.

Witko Group was suspended March 18 after a regulation agent could not conduct a lot and records inspection Feb. 6 and 7, due to the dealership being closed and not posting any signage or working hours.

Suspended dealerships may request an administrative hearing to contest their suspension and possibly regain their license, if compliance with the law is evident.

Summary suspensions were also dealt to a pair of used-vehicle dealerships: Auto Palace Inc., 21704 Dequindre Road in Warren; and A&A Auto Group, 10431 W. Chicago St. in Detroit.

Auto Palace Inc. was suspended March 28 after a regulation agent attempted a lot and records inspection March 27 and discovered an empty facility. The dealership, which previously sold high-end luxury vehicles, was no longer operating at its registered address and failed to notify the state.

Consumers who have complaints against any of the aforementioned auto facilities or dealerships can file a grievance with the Office of Investigative Services by calling (517) 335-1410.