State: Local repair shop illegal, owner previously cited

Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 17:55:36-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The state has shut down a Grand Rapids auto repair shop because the owner allegedly broke the law. According to the Secretary of State, this isn't the first time the owner has ignored the rules.

In October 2015, Guevara Auto Shop caught fire after a worker punctured a car's gas tank. The accident revealed numerous violations at the shop, including not employing properly certified mechanics. Customers cars were destroyed.

Co-owner Ignacio Cabrera-Tapia is in trouble yet again, according to the Secretary of State. He owns Nacho's Auto Repair.

Troy Baker with the Better Business Bureau said, "You would have that somebody who gets busted by the state would learn their lesson."

He said auto shop complaints are among the most common the BBB receives. Baker's kept an eye on action taken by the Secretary of State. In the past week, the state ordered two repair shops to cease and desist operations. That includes one in Detroit and Nacho's Auto Repair on Burton Street.

According to the Secretary of State's office, shop owner Ignacio Cabrera-Tapia allegedly failed to register the business with the state and operated without a mechanic certification.

Baker said, "What I do know is that if you take your car to a repair shop that is licensed you have recourse if there's a problem. You can complain to the Secretary of State's office if they do something improper."

Under Michigan law, customers are entitled to a refund if the shop isn't registered.

"First and foremost, be informed. Talk to your family and friends. Who do they use? Get their advice, but you can't just stop there," Baker said.

Make sure the business is licensed, the mechanics are certified, and check their reviews.

Baker said, "A licensed facility wants to stay licensed. They want to follow the rules, and if they don't they know the state's going to come after them."

You can verify an auto shop's license on the state's website.

The Secretary of State's office said if a shop ignores a cease and desist order they can be criminally prosecuted. When FOX 17 stopped by Nacho's Auto Repair there was a sign out front that it was available for lease.

FOX 17 reached out to Cabrera-Tapia. He has not reached us back.