What’s wrong with the brakes?
By JAMES BARRENDAK A recent spate of brake repair work has been causing a stir in some Washington area dealerships, and the problem isn’t just a matter of bad brakes.
It’s a sign of an industry with little ability to fix a problem.
“You can’t fix bad brakes, because the brake rotors aren’t the problem,” said Chris D. Meehl, a brake shop owner in Northeast Washington.
“You can fix bad parts, but the rotors and nuts are the problem.
They’re not the problem.”
The Washington State Department of Transportation recently issued an order to owners of commercial brake shops in the state to install the required brakes, but Meelly said most owners haven’t followed the order.
“It’s frustrating to see so many shops that should be repairing brakes for the public, have not been,” he said.
Dams, rotors, and brake parts that were originally installed for street use are now being used for street-legal use by criminals.
In the past, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has used brakes installed by a private brake repair shop as evidence that the shop was working with the department to protect citizens.
The city’s police department has a policy that allows owners to take photos of the repairs before they’re made public, and there have been several public records requests seeking the images.
But, D.N.C.’s Police Chief Paul A. White said, no such policy exists for brake repair shops.
Meelly’s shop, which specializes in brake repairs, is one of several in the city that has been fined or forced to pay for failing to comply with the state order.
Meesl’s shop has been in business since 1998, and he said he’s had to close due to a lack of business.
The department ordered the shop to install a new brake rotor and rotor housing in November, but it took two months to get the rotor housing installed, and Meell said he has had to replace parts from the original rotors he installed.
The repairs are costing Meel $200 a month.
He said he plans to start selling brake parts from his shop, and plans to raise money through a crowdfunding site to do so.MEEHL has been contacted by a number of local newspapers, including The Washington Post and The Seattle Times, about his shop’s brakes, and said he was told by the newspapers that it would be fined $300.
He didn’t receive a notification of the fine, so he decided to contact the city.
“I said, ‘If you don’t want to deal with that fine, I don’t have to,'” he said, adding that he plans on contacting the D