Auto Mechanic Says TV Report Trashed Its Rep

     (CN)- An Orlando, Florida-based auto mechanic sued a local television station for claiming in a news segment that it cheats customers.
     Graham Media Group, Orlando, Inc. dba WKMG-TV aired a segment called, “Mechanics: Needed Repairs or Rip-Offs?” during its nightly news broadcast and for online readers on July 20, 2015.
     In the story, WKMG visited a number of mechanics in the region and presented them with a 2005 Ford Freestar to see, in the words of the reporter presenting the piece, if “local mechanics are making the correct repairs and not ripping customers off.”
     According to a complaint filed in the Orange County Circuit Court, WKMG, claimed the plaintiff, The Magic Mechanic, Inc., gave a false diagnosis of the car in order to rip off customers.
     “WKMG then took the vehicle to Magic Mechanic which stated that both the engine mounts and transmission mounts need replacing,” according to the complaint. “WKMG also stated in both the news story and online article that the vehicle could not have needed a new engine mount or transmission mount because Russell Automotive had actually replaced all of the mounts on the van back in March of 2015.”
     The complaint goes on to quote the WKMG report as stating, “We tried again, this time with The Magic Mechanic in Orlando. About an hour later, we get the damage: no charge for the diagnostic, but they said both the engine mounts and transmission mounts needed replacing, to the tune of $1,113.49. Now, we had two places mentioning the engine mounts, but Local 6 actually replaced all the mounts on the van back in March.”
     Executive Producer Tara Evans produced the segment.
     The plaintiff claims WKMG neglected to state that the other auto mechanic had replaced the mounts with improper parts, which is why Magic Mechanic said they needed to be replaced.
     “In fact, Magic Mechanic provided a correct diagnosis and abundantly reasonable estimate for the permanent repair of the shuddering noise the vehicle was making,” the complaint states.
     Magic Mechanic seeks unspecified damages for defamation and negligence.
     It is represented by Gary Vasquez of Orlando.
     WKMG did not respond to an email from Courthouse News seeking comment.

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