LENIOR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — An exotic sports car is finally back to the owner after a long delay for repairs. The car has taken more than a year to have a computer module installed, and neither the pandemic nor production delays were the reason.
After waiting for 15 months, Erik Taylor’s classic Porsche 944 is back in his garage. It was March of 2021 when he took it to EuroHaus Motorsports, then in Lenoir City, because of a faulty computer. Taylor called News Channel 11’s sister station, WATE, after seeing one of their stories about the mechanic who worked on his car.
For Taylor, the long delay in getting his car repaired was frustrating. WATE spoke with Taylor three weeks ago, as he proudly showed the car he had not driven in over a year.
The mechanic Taylor has been dealing with is Robert Berry, the owner of EuroHaus Motorsports.
“He’d have to find a computer, he said it would be anywhere from $300-$700 and I would need to give him some money upfront. I then gave him a credit card number over the phone,” Taylor said.
Over the years, Taylor’s taken other sports cars to Berry and had no issues with him, but this time he said there were constant excuses. So, one day, Taylor took a picture of the faulty computer module located under the dash.
“I recently went to see my car, he gave me yet another excuse. That the computer he recently got in wasn’t working either, that he was going to call the tech company that he got it from. I called that company. They had no record of him ordering a computer. There was no evidence that it has been worked on at all,” Taylor said. “I trusted Robert to take care of this car for me, again we never discussed price.”
The mechanic has a recent history of accepting jobs but ending up frustrating his customers. One Knoxville man even took the mechanic to court in 2015 and won his case to get his car back.
In February of 2022, WATE reported how a man found his exotic 2016 Porsche in pieces after paying Berry $13,000 to fix the engine in October of 2020. A month after that interview, he got his Porsche back in March and took it to a second shop to have it repaired.
In March of 2022, Kevin Johnson told WATE he had dropped off his car at Berry’s shop early last year.
“I don’t think I’m being unreasonable,” Johnson said. “It’s been a year. I have given him $13,700 already. That should be enough to go ahead and pay for all the parts needed to make the repairs.”
Despite sending a legal “demand letter” to Berry, Johnson still doesn’t have his car.
Berry told WATE he’s “trying to finish repairing Mr. Johnson’s Ferrari.”
When asked why it took 15 months to replace the computer in Taylor’s Porsche, Berry said, “He didn’t want to spend any money.”
Taylor said getting his car fixed was the issue, money was not the problem. “I was happy to have the car, I paid him, and drove away.”
Berry told WATE he now has an employee to help him catch up on repairing the more than two dozen cars waiting to be fixed at his shop.
Is there an official limit, or a reasonable amount of time, to how long a garage can take with a car?
There are several answers to that question. Consumer experts say there is no legal limit on how long a garage needs to keep a car. For a lot of the smaller fixes, just a few hours is a reasonable time for car repairs. However, larger repairs can take much longer. The garage’s general workload will often affect how long the more exhaustive repairs take.
The bottom line is there is definitely a fine line between good business conduct and taking too long.