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AAA Car Care in Towson — Is it Really a Name You Should Trust???

Brian England, Wed, Dec 28, 2011

On the AAA Car Care website it says: AAA Car Care Auto Repair From a Name You Trust”.  Most people reading this would think that the AAA Car Care facility meets AAA standards, but it does NOT.

They are NOT AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. 

Take Towson, MD for example.  AAA has opened a AAA Car Care facility there, but if you look at the list of AAA approved auto repair shops listed on AAA website for the Towson area, it doesn’t appear.  The shops listed include:

  • Brooks-Huff GoodyearAAA warning sign
  • Heritage HondaServiceCenter
  • Brooks Huff of Padonia
  • GreenspringShellCarCareCenter
  • CarneyCarCareCenter
  • Heritage Honda
  • Heritage Chrysler/Jeep/VW
  • K & S Associates
  • Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto

Their Towson AAA Car Care facility is no where to be seen! This is because it does NOT meet their own Mid-Atlantic AAA approved auto repair (AAR) facility standards.

AAA has also opened a AAA Car Care facility in Frederick, MD, and the same applies.

This is false advertising, or at the very least it is misleading to their members.

How can AAA be an auto club and perform auto repair? They should do one or another.  They are recommending their own (unapproved) shops above shops that have been certified to meet criteria that they established.

This stinks of unfair competition and unfair trade practices for the following reasons:

  1. The AAA shops in many towns, like Towson and Frederick, MD have supported and promoted the AAA brand for many years.  They have welcomed AAA staff into their facilities to evaluate them and to make sure they are following AAA approved standards. AAA has had insight into how the garages are run and what the industry best practices are. AAA is now using that same information to compete against the shops that gave them access to their information and their facilities.
  2. AAA can’t  be an independent spokesperson for an industry when they are now players in the very industry they maybe commenting on. There is a very clear conflict of interest.
  3. Some AAA shops have run free auto clinics for AAA members. Now AAA is paying these shops back by going into direct competition with them.  AAA approved shops pay AAA each year to be in a program that is now coming back to bite them.
  4. AAA can promote their own shops above the approved shops.  Already they have their shops are listed before the AAA approved shops. They have one set of criteria for their own shops, and another set of criteria for independent shops. How is that trustworthy?

This is ethically wrong. AAA should be stopped from opening any more shops until these issues are resolved.

 

 

 

 

About Brian England

 

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care) got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in the northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD, and a few years later, started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. A big believer in preventive auto maintenance, Brian's philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of adhering to a regular maintenance plan.