College Student Says Car Engine Had No Oil, Hours After Getting An Oil Change - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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College Student Says Car Engine Had No Oil, Hours After Getting An Oil Change

The young man had to buy a new engine for his car, costing several thousand dollars

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    A young man who had his oil changed at a Walmart service center said the check engine light soon came on, and no oil was on the dipstick. After not receiving any financial help from a claim to Walmart, the family spent about $8,000 on a new engine. (Published Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017)

    When Jose Betances saved up to buy his first new car his father made it clear to him it was more than just a set of wheels.

    "I know that there's a certain amount of maintenance and follow up with the car, something as simple as an oil change," Betances said.

    He had that done recently at Walmart in Frisco, on Farm-to-Market Road 42. His now 2-year-old Ford Focus got a clean bill of health when he picked up the car.

    "When I was given the invoice, all I saw was 'good, good, good, good and good,'" Betances said.

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    He said he drove straight home, and later that night, drove to visit a friend who, he said, lives minutes away.

    "All of a sudden my check engine light comes on," Betances said.

    He said he pulled over and turned the car off and back on, and the check engine light went out. Betances got back on the road again. He said moments later, the entire dashboard lit up.

    "It was telling me that my passenger bag had been deployed, telling me I had to change the battery, the oil, I had low tire pressure," Betances said. "Every signal that you can think of was on at the same time. Next step, I have no acceleration and I can't accelerate on the car."

    He stopped again and called his Dad, Jose Betances Sr.

    "There's no damage, so something told me just take the oil stick out, and I took it out. It's completely dry," his father said.

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    The next morning, a Walmart mechanic drove out to the car and the family said he confirmed there was no oil inside the engine.

    The men met with a Walmart manager, filled out a claims form asking Walmart to cover the repairs. They were told an investigation would be launched.

    Soon after, a letter came from Walmart's claims investigator.

    The Betanceses wouldn't be receiving any money back. The letter goes on to say Walmart wasn't negligent and even added, "some medical plans refuse payment of bills related to this type of situation."

    That particular line confused the family, who wanted to know about an oil change, not medical bills.

    They wrote back, but were told again, their claim was denied.

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    NBC 5 Responds reached out to Walmart, who provided us this statement:

    "We work hard to maintain a high standard of customer service and satisfaction for everyone who shops with us. After speaking with the associates involved and reviewing surveillance video, it was determined that all procedures related to this oil change were properly followed."

    We asked to see the video, if Walmart was certain oil was added, and if the drain was plugged tightly after the service.

    Walmart wouldn't show NBC 5 the video, but said, "We can confirm oil was put in the car. There is no video angle showing the drain plug being reinstalled."

    The Betanceses said they were given no further explanation, and a new engine cost them about $8,000.

    Walmart did tell us the Betanceses were entitled to a copy of the full report into their investigation.

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    They repeatedly asked for it via email, copying us on the requests. They have yet to receive that report.

    We asked, too, and after more than four weeks, it has not arrived.


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