Wheels fly off after brake inspection
Sep 30, 2013 / 12:59 pm
A Vancouver musician is upset with the reaction he’s received from a major Canadian automotive store, after the wheels on his car flew off in what could have been a deadly accident.
James Justin took his 1997 Volkswagon Golf into Canadian Tire in White Rock in July to get his brakes checked.
The estimate was expensive, so Justin decided to have his own mechanic do the work instead, and asked Canadian Tire to put the wheels back on. He then drove away.
Justin had just pulled off the highway, and was blocks away from his Vancouver home, when disaster struck.
“I felt my back wheels. I was starting to lose control in some way, so I did a right shoulder check, was pulling over to the inside lane when everything came apart," he said.
Justin’s car smashed to the ground when both rear wheels flew off. One rolled into oncoming traffic while the other ended up in a public park.
"It honestly felt like I was in a cartoon. The undercarriage of the car is hitting the cement. It hit with a jolt. Then watching my wheels roll off in front of me. It's a bit of a shock, isn't it?" said Justin.
The car was damaged, but Justin knows it could have been a lot worse.
"When you look at the idea, on the highway you're traveling 100 kilometres an hour, vehicles behind, in front, anything could have happened. You're looking at serious injuries to multiple fatalities," he said.
At first, Justin says the general manager of the White Rock Canadian Tire was apologetic, and arranged to get him a rental car. But the Vancouver man only recently got his damaged Volkswagen back from the insurance company that took over the file from Canadian Tire and he's still waiting for compensation.
"Eight weeks later this case is still ongoing, out of pocket expenses, for towing, rental vehicles,” he said.
After Steele on Your Side made several requests for an interview with Canadian Tire, the company’s public relations department emailed to say they were unable to provide a spokesperson to speak on the issue.
But CTV emailed photos of the incident to Canadian Tire's CEO, appealing to him to take a closer look at Justin’s case. The company's VP of communications, Robert Nicol, emailed back to say: "We're very disappointed to hear about this incident. It's simply not acceptable," and that "we acted quickly to investigate and immediately apologized to the customer."
Justin says he’s pleased the company is now getting involved with his situation and hopes new measures can be put in place so that a similar situation does not happen again.
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