WRAL Investigates

Wilson passes towing ordinance after WRAL investigation

Posted January 21, 2011 12:02 p.m. EST
Updated January 21, 2011 12:28 p.m. EST

WRAL Investigates

— A WRAL investigation into aggressive towing tactics in Wilson has led city officials to make changes.

City council members passed an ordinance Thursday requiring towing companies to release vehicles on the spot if drivers show up.

The ordinance also says towing companies cannot charge if the vehicle is not lifted off the ground. However, they can charge half the normal towing fee if two of the vehicle's wheels are off the ground.

There will also be no storage fee for the first 12 hours that a towing company holds the vehicle, and companies cannot tack on additional charges.

The WRAL Investigates team went to Wilson in November after a viewer, Curtis Boyd, said he had an unprofessional run-in with Auto Solutions Towing and Recovery, a company hired to tow cars from Narron and Holdford law firm's privately-owned parking lot.

WRAL was there as a tow truck swooped in within a matter of seconds, lifted running cars with passengers inside, threatened to charge an extra “labor fee” if the drivers argued and charged large storage fees even if the vehicles were held for only a couple minutes.

Several vehicle owners filed complaints with Wilson police about Auto Solutions, but police said in November that no laws were being broken. However, police did drop Auto Solutions from its wrecker rotation over residents’ concerns.