Winston-Salem woman waited more than a year for car repair

The car had significant damage to the front. Bambi Hughes paid for the parts but the repairs were never done until News 2 investigated.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Bambi Hughes hopped in her car and headed to pick up a friend from work. She didn’t get too far before something went wrong.

Hughes had her phone on the console, and it started to slide off. She was afraid it would fall under her feet, so she went to catch it.

“That’s when the light changed, (green to red) and bam,” Hughes said.

She collided with the car in front of her. Both cars were damaged, but Hughes’s Nissan Altima was in bad shape.

I need a new bumper, new hood, new quarter panel, and airbags,” Hughes said.

Fortunately, she knew someone who could make the repairs and took it to his shop to be fixed. The car was there a few months before parts could be found to make the repairs.

Hughes paid the repair shop around $500 for the parts so the repairs could get started.

“I expected it to be done in a week or two after that,” Hughes said.

The car would sit in the shop for several months after that. The repairs were never made, leaving Hughes stuck with no car and no transportation of her own.

“I did not have a car, I had a girlfriend come from Lexington to give me rides once a month to go grocery shopping,” Hughes said.

The delays continued for several more months. Hughes would call but said he always had an excuse for not fixing the car. By now it had been almost a year since she dropped the car off to be repaired. 

“It was a nightmare I would constantly text and call, I even went over there a couple of times,” Hughes said.

It was around then that Hughes decided she had enough. She picked up the phone and called News 2.

“I said if anybody can get something done (News 2) can get something done,” Hughes said.

We contacted the repair shop and explained we had started an investigation. We explained the car had been at the shop for almost a year and that Hughes had paid $500 more than six months ago. The owner told us he was dealing with a reduced staff but promised to have the car fixed within two weeks.

Hughes received a call two weeks later that her car was ready to be picked up.

“Oh my gosh, it was a godsend are you kidding me, if I did not call (News 2) my car would still be sitting there,” Hughes said.

After a year of asking for rides or relying on buses to get around Hughes finally had her car back. As for that friend she went to pick up, turns out she didn’t need the ride after all. Hughes is still a bit frustrated about that.


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