Jiffy Lube burn my car

On January 23rd around 3:30PM, I took my car to one of jiffy lube location in city of Plymouth MN (Store #2977) for oil change. During the oil change, one of the mechanics told me that he had to change the gas filter too, because it looks dirty. The problem was, after he replaced the gas filter, he forgot to put back something. As a result of that, when he tried to start the engine, a big fire started and damaged some part of my car engine parts. Some of the parts are completely burned down and melted. According to the Minnesota jiffy lube district manager, they are only going to change some parts of it only, as long as the car is functional. According to the Minnesota jiffy lube district manager “We will restored the car like before the accident because it’s too expensive”. So far they only change two gas pipes & the inside cover of the hood, and also they tried to wash the engine by water to cover up some of the burn marks on the engine. The funny part is, some of the wires are still exposed and some of the parts are still full of burn marks with disfigured shapes.
I know it’s too dangerous to drive that car in these conditions because it can kill me if the car explodes while I am driving, unless they replace all the damage parts. In addition to that the value of my car is almost zero now because nobody is going to buy me, even if I want to sale it.
So far I tried to talk to the Minnesota jiffy lube representative and also the head office, I haven’t got any answers.
Right now I have no idea on what I am going to do next. My question is how can some campany damage your property and get away with it? Where can someone go, when he/she face this problem?

You go to the dealership who made your car, get a repair estimate from THEM as to repair cost. Take this estimate to Jiffy Lube and get your money…If your car is not drivable, have it towed to the dealership.

If they damaged your car, they are liable for the repair cost. Since they do not normally do repairs, don’t let them work on your car…They are not qualified to do so…Any arguments, see a lawyer…

I strongly recommend following Caddyman’s advice ASAP… Like today.

In Minnesota, when you take your vehicle anywhere for service, the service provider is put under an unwritten Contract For Hire. This means the service provider is responsible for any and all damages incured while the vehicle is in their possession. Or, if any damages are incured as the result of that service. So they’re responsible for any or all damages your vehicle incured.

Contact the Minnesota Attorney Generals office. And explain to them what happened to your vehicle while at this Jiffy-Lube store. And they’ll be all over them like white on rice.


I also would check with a consumer protection lawyer for further advice.

I’d say it’s time to hire a lawyer.

Based on your English and your screen name, I’m guessing you’re from another country originally. I suspect the people you’re dealing with think that it might be easier to take advantage of you because of that. Don’t let them get away with that.

By the way, there’s a chance that the story about the dirty fuel filter was simply a lie to get you to spend more money. Quick-lube places often do that. What year is your car and how many miles are on it?

People here often discourage the use of quick-lube places, by the way. Your story is a good example of why.

Do as Tester describes. The AG will step in. If that doesn’t work, use the small claims avenue. Its a very small filing fee and no lawyers are allowed. Each party states their case and the judge decides. You can use your estimate, or you can have the car repaired and go after the actual cost. Then don’t let these fools work on your car again.

Also contact the local television stations and the Star Tribune’s Whistleblower. The shop won’t like the publicity and will be motivated to shut you up by giving you what you’re owed.

Note to all: This kind of problem is common with all of the quick oil change places. It is a result of their business model (hire cheap un-skilled labor & sell unneeded services etc.)

This sort of leaves those who are not DIY types with few choices. My recommendation is to ask your friends, neighbors and relatives who they use and trust. Look for a LOCAL INDEPENDENT Mechanic who has been recommended.

I happen to have a local dealer who has provide good service without the problems that dealers usually have.  (Dealers usually provide good service, but often want to provide some un-needed services and usually charge more than the independent mechanic.)

Good Luck

Someone could write a very thick book with all the horror stories that come out of these quickie lubes. You are lucky that they at least admitted fault, most of the time they will try to claim it was something already wrong with the car.

Another note, if they used certain types of chemical fire extinguisher, they can be very corrosive and you will have rust and electrical problems down the road.

They are responsible for any damage they do ,up to the value of your car before the damage. If your car was only worth $1000, they don’t have to spend $1300 to fix it. They would only have to give you the $1000. The law doesn’t require them to find you another car or pay you for the aggravation of dealing with it.

Someone could also write an even thicker book of horror stories about any auto repair business model. There are both good and bad shops of all types. I use a Jiffy Lube near me, and the owner trains the employees well. They’ve eve stopped telling me to get my oil changed every 3000 miles. They as how many miles to add to the odometer mileage and put it on the reminder sticker. I know that this is one place where auto mechanics start out, but they don’t have to be bad because of that.

Ironically, this just happened to a neighbor of mine. I suggest you contact your auto insurance company. And let them duke it out for you, if they can. The Jiffy Lube place must have commercial liability insurance of some type. Jiffy Lube should be more than willing to settle. Their insurance company will pick up most of the tab anyway. However, as others have suggested, document the facts and conversations that are taking place. And do not allow them to tell you where to take the car for repairs. That should be the choice of the victim… meaning you. Lastly, keep a lawyer in the wings is satisfaction isn’t being met. You may also want to consider small claims court. Lastly, keep in mind, in many states, if not all, insurance companies will determine the value of your automobile. However, you can negotiate with them and oftentimes get far more than the value they claim your car is worth. Good luck.

These quick-oil-change establishments are owner operated franchises. So it’s up to the owner/operator to carry any liability insurance. And most can’t afford this type of insurance because of the inexpierience of kids employed by them. So if you contact the oil company for that franchise about vehicle damage, they’ll tell you that they’re not responsible, and that the owner/operator is responsible for any vehicle damage.


JL has a lot of their own shops as well as franchises. Find out if this is a franchise shop.

I just looked it up. JL is owned by Shell Oil and all 2000 outlets are owned by 252 franchise organizations. Right as usual, Tester.

The oil companies got out of the auto repair and maintenance business a long time ago…

“You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big red Texaco star!!”

That turned out to be incorrect…

Unless things have changed, Quaker State operates or did operate the Wal Mart auto facilities and they’re independent of WM in spite of the WM uniforms and signs.

I think the OP is being brushed off but that’s pretty much the standard operating procedure. Odds are the employee who caused this fire was axed 20 seconds after the OP left the premises.

As has already been suggested, get an estimate of repair from another shop and retain a lawyer. Stop talking to the rep until you do.

Did you contact your insurer as adwizard suggested? that’s great advice.

Unless things have changed, Quaker State operates or did operate the Wal Mart auto facilities and they’re independent of WM in spite of the WM uniforms and signs.

Not at any of the Wall Marts I know. Must be a regional thing.

We have a wholesale club here in New England called BJ’s - owned by the TJ Max corporation. “SOME” of their stores the tire center is run by Monro Brake. Which is the MAIN reason I stopped buying tires there. Last time I bought tires there about 6 months later Monro Brake takes over the tire shop. Now they’re offering tires and auto repair. So every time I brought my truck or wifes car in for a tire rotation they ALWAYS found a BOGUS problem that needed $600+ to fix.