Update by user Sep 17, 2012
Gary and Kimberly Otto own Sunwest Automotive LLC which looks to be the LLC name of the AAMCO station on Cortez RD.
Original review posted by user Sep 17, 2012
"¢ Tuesday April 3rd 2012 – The A/C in my Hyundai Santa Fe is out. I took it to AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) for diagnosis and repair. After leaving the car there for several hours I was told that they tested the system for hours and found nothing wrong with it. They charged the system with Coolant and performed a transmission fluid service that I requested. I picked up my car on April 3rd and paid in full $350.91. The system stayed charged for about 2 weeks when I realized that it was not getting very cold.
"¢ Thursday April 26th 2012 – I returned to AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) with My Hyundai Santa Fe to have it tested and repaired. They said now they see the problem and that it is the condenser and that they will fix it for under $500 and I would have "Ice Cold A/C" it would take a day for the parts to come in. On Friday 4/27/2012 they called me telling me that now that the condenser is fixed they can tell that the A/C Compressor is leaking and that it is not going to work unless I replace it. They said that if I paid them about $1225 I would have "Ice Cold A/C" and a 1 year guarantee. I picked up my car on May 1st 2012 I paid in full $1231.48 The system stayed charged for about 2 weeks before I noticed that the A/C was not getting very cold again.
"¢ Thursday June 7th 2012 – I called AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) and told them that my A/C was no longer cold and wanted them to look at it. They informed me "over the phone and without looking at the car" that I was advised to replace the compressor at my previous service and that because I hadn't that this was probably the problem. I reminded them that they had replaced the compressor and that I have my receipt and that they had promised me a 1 year warranty and "Ice Cold A/C". They asked me for the compressor number from my receipt because they didn't' have it. They said they couldn't get me in until Monday June 11th 2012.
"¢ Monday June 11th 2012 – I took my Hyundai Santa Fe to AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) because my newly repaired "Ice Cold A/C" was neither repaired or "Ice Cold". After a couple of hours of diagnosis they called me to tell me that the problem was not the compressor but rather the high pressure hose. They told me that it would now be $500 to fix this. At this point I told him that I had already paid over $1400 to them to repair my A/C System and that they had promised me "Ice Cold A/C". I told them that if I had wanted to replace every part of my A/C system I could have done it myself and I took it to them so I didn't have to guess what the problem was. I suggested that he make this repair which seemed to me like the original problem since every 2 weeks after their repairs my car lost A/C. He said he couldn't do that but could only charge me for 1 hour of labor instead of 2 "half price". I told him I would be taking my car somewhere else for a second opinion.
"¢ Tuesday June 12th 2012 – I took my Hyundai Santa Fe to Sparks Computerized Car Care and explained my situation. The people at Sparks took a look at my car and told me that where the high pressure hose is leaking could make it look like the compressor is leaking. They told me that the hose does need to be replaced and that this was most likely the original problem. I had them replace the hose and note on the invoice what they had said about the hose and the compressor. They repaired the hose and the A/C System has been working correctly for Months.
"¢ Tuesday June 12th 2012 – After speaking with the people at Sparks I called AAMCO Corporate and filed a complaint. The representative listened to my story and told me he would be calling AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) to hear their side. He said that he would get back to me. He has never gotten back to me.
I have replaced my own A/C condenser in previous cars this takes hours but saves a lot of money. I didn't know what component was broken in my Hyundai Santa Fe so I took it who I thought was a professional "AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto)" for competent diagnosis. Instead of competent diagnosis I received no diagnosis at all. What I received instead was a part swapping scam designed to maximize gain for "AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto)". Several times I was promised "Ice Cold A/C" from Jeff at AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) if I would just pay the amount he was requesting of me. I did not receive "Ice Cold A/C" from AAMCO of Bradenton (at the time owned by Gary Otto) and do not believe that I should be paying $1231.48+ when I did not receive the service that was promised.
Since then I have contacted AAMCO of Bradenton and found that the store has been taken over by AAMCO corporate as of August 1st 2012. I guess Gary Otto took advantage of one too many people. I was able to contact Gary Otto before taking him to court and he said that I cannot prove anything and that I signed for the repairs that he told me were necessary to have Ice Cold AC.
Beware of any Auto Repair Shop affiliated with Gary Otto. He is not legimiate.
Monetary Loss: $1500.