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Canadian Tire Insurance auto


bc-101129-canadian-tire1A Canadian Tire customer is raising serious questions about a North Vancouver store's service practices, after an attempt was made to sell him a $400 repair — on an inexplicable loose wheel bearing, discovered by an auto technician installing new tires.

Canadian Tire response

"The CBC has published a story containing serious allegations against one of our Canadian Tire stores and information we believe to be untrue, incorrect and extremely damaging to our brand.

Your story paints a serious picture of a store and service technician that deliberately tampered with a customer's car and manufactured repairs that were not necessary.

We specifically and categorically deny these allegations and want to place the CBC on notice that the allegations you have now aired infer shocking behaviour that we strongly and confidently believe never took place. The impact of these allegations is severe on our brand – and we don’t believe the CBC has done its due diligence in ensuring the facts are correct.

Our service technician who identified the loose wheel bearing on the customer’s car is a trusted, experienced and deeply honest man. The suggestion that he deliberately took apart a wheel assembly to create a problem is beyond belief. Further, there is no evidence to support the CBC's aired allegation that our technician engaged in a shocking act to loosen nuts and bolts – and the evidence of this is not recorded on our service order or the GM dealer's service orders. This is an item that would have absolutely been noted had it been true. Further – the CBC is relying on the GM dealership who apparently did not follow GM service standards to back up their story that Canadian Tire did something wrong."

bc-101129-canadian-tire2(The entire statement from Canadian Tire spokesman Duncan Fulton can be read in the "Related" links, to the right of this story.)

"All of a sudden — out of the blue — it needs replacing?" asked customer Errol Hanson. "You would feel some kind of vibration. A shimmy on the freeway, and I felt nothing wrong."

"Those bolts don't just come loose, " he said. "It has to be undone with a wrench, a very big wrench, " he added.

Hanson took his 2002 Chevy Tracker into the Canadian Tire store at 1350 Main St. to have the tires replaced at the end of October, 10 days after his regular mechanic serviced it at North Vancouver Suzuki.

bc-101129-canadian-tire3The Suzuki service manager confirmed to CBC News that a mechanic inspected the vehicle while it was at the dealership and did not find a loose wheel.

Sudden loose wheel

When Hanson returned to Canadian Tire to pick up his vehicle, he said the person at the service counter told him a wheel bearing needed replacing.

"He says we can do it right away for you — on the spot, " said Hanson. "He said it needed to be replaced."

Hanson chose instead to take the vehicle to North Shore Suzuki.

"I shook [the wheel] and it was loose! I thought, 'No, there's something wrong here.'"

Records show a mechanic at the Suzuki dealership "tightened [the] wheel bearing" and charged him $80. Hanson said the service manager told him the bearing did not need replacing, just tightening, and that the nut that holds the bearing in place does not come loose on its own.

bc-101129-canadian-tire4aThe North Vancouver Suzuki service manager told CBC News its mechanic test drove the vehicle, spun the wheels and inspected the wheel bearing. He said the mechanic confirmed the wheel was loose, however he found nothing wrong with the bearing — it looked brand new. North Vancouver Suzuki insisted the only problem its mechanic found was the nut holding the bearing in place had come loose.

Errol Hanson showed reporter Kathy Tomlinson the cap covering the large bolt that secures the wheel bearing Canadian Tire offered to replace. ((CBC))

"It raised the hair on the back end of my head. I just felt very uneasy about the whole thing, " said Hanson.

"Heaven forbid the wheel fell off or something like that — who would I go after?"

Hanson returned to the Canadian Tire and asked the service manager how this could happen, but said his concerns were essentially dismissed.

Customer felt 'duped'

"He said, 'The mechanic doesn't remember this — so there isn't anything I can do about it, '" said Hanson. "He didn't take any responsibility for anything. I felt duped. I really did."

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Hanson wonders if someone at Canadian Tire loosened the nut holding the bearing in place, while the new tires were being installed.

"I went there as an innocent bystander in good faith and this is what happens. I don't know what to say. I can't point the finger that they deliberately did it. I wasn't there to see them do it, " said Hanson.

CBC News called the North Vancouver store to ask for an explanation, but the service manager said, "I don't know why I would want to get involved with the media, " and hung up.

Canadian Tire says customer Errol Hanson did not receive the appropriate level of customer service at a store in North Vancouver. ((CBC))



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