87ºF

Houston towing company stays in business amid allegations of overcharging drivers

photo

HOUSTON – The Houston towing company at the center of an alleged scam bilking drivers out of thousands of dollars will continue to operate in the Safe Clear Program for at least the next two weeks.

Consumer expert Amy Davis was at the Houston City Council meeting Wednesday when council members delayed the vote to cancel the company's city contract.

It only takes one council member to tag an item, which means it is delayed to give the council extra time to get more information before it votes.

“Why can I not get my vehicle back to me?” victim Arnold Coleman said.

“My truck has been here for five months,” said victim Antonio Aguirre.

If there is one thing USA Auto Collision Center customers know how to do, it is wait. Dozens of drivers said they couldn’t get their vehicle back after the company towed them from the side of the freeway.

“I will be tagging this ordinance,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Davis

Driver will be forced to wait even longer for the city to decide if it will revoke the company’s clear contract. The vote was set for one week after KPRC Investigates revealed how the USA Auto Collision Center Owner Ricardo Gonzales used the Safe Clear program to snag cars and then dupe drivers into signing documents agreeing to outrageous fees.

Police arrested Gonzalez two days after his business was raided and he, along with 3 of his employees, were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

“There are a number of us that have some questions,” councilmen Mike Laster said.

However, Davis wouldn’t allow other council members to ask questions Wednesday in the open meeting.

“It will give us two weeks to ask those questions, then when we come back out, I think we’ll have more. Some of the questions will be answered,” Davis said. “I think we need to do our due diligence. Figure out what’s actually going on. Due diligence is what citizens asked council members for last year.”

The council will not be meeting next week. Therefore, the vote will be back on the agenda on May 25.

In the meantime, the towing company is still open for business and towing stranded motorists.