5 On Your Side

Woman blames Autobell car wash for scratches to vehicle

Posted January 9, 2019 7:06 p.m. EST

— A local woman contacted 5 On Your Side after a car wash that, she says, left her 3-week-old vehicle covered in scratches.

Jordan Ogden took her mom's car through the car wash at Autobell in Knightdale. When she emerged, something just didn't look right.

"The second I walked out and saw the car, I could see the scratches," she said.

Not wanting to make a scene, Jordan left the parking lot, pulled over and took a second look.

"I literally was like, 'Oh my goodness. My mom is going to lose it,'" she said.

Susan Ogden said there were hairline scratches all down the side of the car.

"The scratches were going all different kinds of ways," she said.

She returned to the car wash to speak to a manager, who denied the scratches came during the wash.

"I was like, shocked," Susan Ogden said.

5 On Your Side contacted Regional Manager Caleb Leonard.

"It is not possible that we damaged Ms. Ogden's car," he said.

"That particular day, we washed over 140 cars without incident."

Monica Laliberte saw twigs, pebbles and pine straw inside on a visit to the car wash tunnel.

Leonard denied they'd create a problem.

"Our cloth is constantly flushed with water, so the debris would be immediately shed," he said.

A search of Better Business Bureau similar complaints shows similar claims and responses from other Autobell locations. Last month in Maryland, a driver reported scratches after going through Autobell. The manager said neither the car washed before or after the vehicle in question "had any similar damage."

"Our equipment could not have caused the damage to her car," a manager wrote in response to that complaint.

"I can't explain what happened, but I know it went in one way and came out another," Susan Ogden said.

Autobell gave her $300 toward the cost of getting her car buffed out, calling it a "customer service gesture."

The Ogdens made one mistake that other drivers should be aware of: Jordan Ogden left Autobell without addressing the concern right then and there. If you have an issue with service, bring it up right away!