NBC 5 Viewers Respond With Experiences at Walmart Auto Services

After NBC 5 shared a story of a North Texas driver whose car's engine had no oil after a Walmart oil change, other viewers came forward with similar stories.

Jose Betances got his oil changed at the Walmart on Farm-to-Market Road 423.

Hours later his car had a major malfunction.

"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," Betances told NBC 5 Responds in September.

His car's engine was out of oil.

Dozens of NBC 5 viewers — well over 100 — have reached out to us and our Consumer Investigative Center to share similar experiences.

"My mother went to Walmart this summer for an oil change on her vehicle. About an hour after she left she heard loud noises on her engine, and the vehicle would just stop in the middle of the street," Allen Maurice said.

Maurice's mother had her car towed to an auto repair shop and was told her car's oil cap was not screwed back.

They filed a claim with Walmart for the cost of a new engine, and their claim was denied.

The Welches also came forward. NBC 5 profiled them two years ago when their car broke down after an oil change at Walmart.

Two separate mechanics said the engine had too much oil — six quarts instead of the manufacturer's recommended five.

Walmart's own receipt shows they were charged for six quarts, which was too much for their car, but Walmart still denied the claim. The Welches said they haven't been back to Walmart since.

Neither has Mario Sanchez.

He got an oil change and drove to San Antonio, where his truck broke down. He took it to a Walmart in that city.

"He said it was the wrong oil, the wrong filter and the wrong amount of oil," Sanchez said.

Meaning, one Walmart discovered that another Walmart put in the wrong oil and it hurt his engine.

When asked if Walmart paid for the damage Mario said, "No, they didn't pay for it. They denied my claim."

NBC 5 Responds told Walmart about all the complaints we received after airing Betances's story.

A spokesperson told us, "We have a long withstanding policy if a customer has a legitimate claim we will examine it."

The "we" is CMI, a company which investigates all complaints and possible lawsuits against Walmart. All three men were initially under the impression that CMI was a third-party company.

"They don't mention that it is their own company. They don't mention that at all," Sanchez said.

CMI is, in fact, a branch of Walmart's parent company.

We did find people who said CMI paid them after their engines were damaged at Walmart, but the vast majority said their claims were denied.

That includes Ray Magruger, who says Walmart told him they had video proving they didn't break his car. However, he says they won't show it to him because it's confidential.

"It's just the sad fact that, you know, we know it took place there. If you have video footage that shows otherwise, show me," Magruger said.

The Texas Attorney General's Office says it has nearly 150 complaints against Walmart's auto service division.

They're now also looking into the complaints we brought to their attention and encourage anyone who had issues to report it to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection division for help.

Walmart also told us it stands by its previous statement — that they feel all procedures related to Jose Betances's oil change were properly followed.

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