San Diego

When Parking Arms Attack: Scripps Ranch Woman's Car Damaged in Parking Lot

NBC 7 Responds helps a Scripps Ranch woman get her car fixed after a run-in with a malfunctioning parking gate.

It was meant to be a quick trip the UTC Mall for Scripps Ranch resident Joni Low. She said she had to return an item she had bought the day before.

On her way out of the parking garage, she came to the automated parking booth. The wooden arm was already up when she arrived at the ticket machine. She inserted her parking ticket but the machine wouldn’t accept it. She tried again. Same result.

Cars waited behind her and Low tried one last time. The machine still rejected the ticket. The arm was still in the upright position when Low said she eased off the brake and tried to pass under the raised arm.

Halfway through, the arm closed on top of the hood of Low’s Toyota Prius, breaking the side mirror, denting the hood, and causing more than $1,000 in damage.

“It scared the heck out of me,” Low told NBC 7 Responds. “At first I didn’t know what happened. There were all these cars lined up behind me, trying to exit. I was startled.”

The following day Low contacted Westfield, the shopping mall owner, to find out how to get her car fixed. Mall workers directed her to the company that runs mall parking, Laz Parking.

Low said at first the company seemed to be handling everything. She was asked to submit an estimate from a local auto body shop, which she did.

“I was talking back and forth with them and then suddenly after a couple of weeks they said they were going to call me the following Monday and finalize everything,” said Low.

That’s when Low said communication suddenly stopped.

“I called them. I emailed him and I waited almost two weeks before I contacted NBC 7 Responds.”

NBC 7 Responds reached out to Laz Parking and less than a week later, Low said she got her money for her car.

“I’m very happy that NBC interceded and that I was able to get the repairs on my car done,” said Low. “You made a huge difference because I was getting no feedback from them after the last email in May. No communication was coming back from them despite my reaching out to them a number of times. So I don't think it would have been resolved.”

Laz Parking did not comment on the resolution.

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