Soapy Woes: A Run-In With a Drive-Through Car Wash

NBC 7 Responds cleans things up for one local businessman who's car got dinged inside a car wash.

Having a clean car is important for the car service business that South Bay’s Steven Montague runs.

Drivers are required to run their cars through the car wash before each shift.

“When you’re competing with the Ubers and electric scooters of the world, each car is very important to us,” said Steven Montague, manager for Discovery Transportation.

But, in December one of Steven Montague’s cars came out of Soapy Joe’s Car Wash in South San Diego County not only clean but with a dozen or so large dents along the body.

Montague said a tie-down strap flew out of a truck bed in front of his car and got caught on the air dryer, the metal hook repeatedly banging into the hood and passenger side of Montague’s Cadillac.

“It just banged the car...pow, pow, pow.”

Montague said he called the manager of the car wash. The manager told him to submit a claim to the corporate office.

“He told me, that they will likely take care of it, especially since the strap didn’t come from our car but from the truck ahead of us,” said Montague.

Montague submitted the claim and a few days later he got a call from Soapy Joe’s.

“The representative told me that the company has denied my claim,” Montague said. “I didn’t know how to respond. I was just taken back. I mean I am a loyal customer, and take all of the cars there on a daily basis.”

Meanwhile, Montague had already paid $600 to fix the dents. He contemplated on whether to file a small claims case against Soapy Joe’s.

“I even went down to the courthouse and I downloaded the packet. It was literally all Greek to me,” he said.

That’s when Montague got another idea.

“I started thinking about alternatives and that’s when it hit me, I thought Consumer Bob could get this done.”

Montague called NBC 7 Responds.

About a week later a manager called Montague back and told him that the company had decided to pay for the claim after all. Within a few days Montague got his check for the $600.

“I just felt like they brushed me off at first. It wasn’t until I called Consumer Bob that things got done.”

Soapy Joe’s declined to comment for the story.

Contact Us