I don’t “trust the Midas touch” anymore!

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By Christopher Elliott

Skyye Watson’s Nissan Rogue vibrated when she stepped on the gas pedal, an annoying but fixable problem. In the process, her faith in Midas has been shaken — and despite our advocacy team’s best efforts, we can’t repair the damage.

Watson’s case is a reminder that major auto repairs are sometimes best performed at your dealership. If you try to save a little money by going to a third party, at least take the advice of the mechanic with a chaser of skepticism. (Don’t worry — if you run out, we have an endless supply right here on this site, and it’s completely free.)

After discovering the acceleration issue, Watson visited her Nissan dealership, which diagnosed the problem in the driveshaft. A mechanic recommended she replace the driveshaft.

Cheap can be expensive

In an effort to save a few dollars, Watson drove her car to her Midas franchise and asked it to perform the work.

“I very explicitly asked for this to be done and explained why,” she says. “They told me they had to run their own diagnostic test before proceeding, which I allowed.”

Midas disputed her dealership’s diagnosis. Her driveshaft was “100 percent fine” and didn’t need to be removed, according to a representative. Instead, it was the front axles causing the problem.

Fine, she said. Midas charged her $770 for the work.

And you can probably guess what happened next. The vibrating continued. (Related: Nissan dealership won’t honor its warranty on my used car.)

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Midas said two new tires would fix the vibrations, so Watson agreed to buy two new tires elsewhere.

“The vibrating was still present after getting two new tires,” she says.

Midas wasn’t done diagnosing her car

Next, it blamed her transmission. A Midas rep said her dealership had cut corners when it replaced her transmission a few months before, recycling old parts. She checked with the dealership and it insisted it had used all-new parts.

“I returned to Midas again and requested that they remove [sic] my driveshaft, as I had originally asked for,” she says. “Finally, the vibrating stopped.”

If Midas had done what Watson originally requested, then she wouldn’t be $770 lighter.

She asked for a refund, both by phone and in writing, but Midas refused, saying “there is no reason” for it to return her money. (Related: Jiffy Lube ruined my car engine. Why won’t it pay $12,998 for repairs?)

To the advocates reading this, Watson’s case looked like a case of mechanical malpractice — a direct contradiction of Midas’ reputation for “service, quality, and reliability.” In fact, Midas claims to guarantee its work, although we noted the little asterisk. Reading the fine print is just as important as to not void your auto warranty.

So our advocates were not at all surprised when Midas refused to respond to our enquiries about Watson’s case. Total radio silence. I guess it thought its response to Watson was enough communication.

And in a way, it was. We now know that the Midas guarantee and mission statement are just words that the company won’t stand behind. And now Watson knows that when it comes to car repairs, she should stick with her dealership’s advice.

Update (4/15): After this story published, we heard from Watson:

After Midas failed to respond to your efforts, the advocate working with me suggested I send a demand letter, which I did.

I received a call from the new regional manager who worked really hard to get approval for my refund. I have now received approval for a partial refund for the cost of the labor which is what I originally asked for. The new regional manager was great and I just wanted to let you guys know that it has since been resolved!

I love a happy ending!

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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