What's Wrong At Jiffy Lube?

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My initial problem was a "Failed" rating which was given by a Jiffy Lube employee on the annual inspection of my vehicle.  This quickly escalated to involving both the Dallas, Texas police as well as the Texas State Police.  Management has continued to escalate the problem by denying that there are problems and not providing appropriate solutions.

It seems like both local and corporate management attitude at Jiffy Lube is that the individual consumer has very limited power to influence others.  In fact, the Internet has given the individual consumer a significant amount of power.  I originally created this website to publicize my problems with Jiffy Lube.  It has evolved to accommodate comments and suggestions from people like you

My personal contact information:

John Lemke

Prior Address:
P. O. Box 802771
Dallas, TX 75380

Current Address:
P. O. Box 2162
Lenoir, NC 28645


My Experience

I. Texas State Police Investigator's Report

The following is from the Investigator's Report for the Texas Department of Public Safety [Texas State Police].  The following people are identified in the report:

  • Beaty = Jiffy Lube Vehicle Inspector
  • Clayton = Texas State Police
  • Cofer = Texas State Police
  • Lemke = Customer [Victim]
  • R. Tressler = Jiffy Lube Regional Manager
  • K. Tressler = Jiffy Lube Station Manager

Texas State Police Investigator's Report

On (date), Cofer arrived at Jiffy Lube #1954, station #1P28122, at 6190 Beltline Rd., Dallas, TX to investigate a customer complaint.  On (original date 10 days earlier), Lemke, the complainant, brought his (vehicle) to Jiffy Lube #1954 for an inspection.  Cofer had determined, through the Vehicle Inspection Report, that the vehicle failed because of its windshield wipers.  Cofer also noticed that a two-speed idle emissions test was performed on the vehicle instead of the required ASM emissions test.

Shortly after Cofer arrived at Jiffy Lube #1954, Lemke arrived driving the (vehicle) that was inspected on (original date).  Cofer along with Regional Manager R. Tressler looked at the windshield wipers and determined that they should have passed. 

Lemke stated that when Beaty, a certified inspector for Jiffy Lube #1954, failed his windshield wipers and he refused to show him from the DPS Rules and Regulations Manual why the wipers failed.  According to Lemke, whenever he asked Beaty to show him a written standard, Beaty told him that he was the standard. 

As the Station Manager, K. Tressler, looked for the written reason why the wipers failed, Beaty called the local police.  Lemke had already paid for the inspection  [as per Texas State law] , even though the vehicle failed, and at no time became hostile or unruly.  The police arrived, could do nothing about the situation, and left.

Beaty was not present on (date) so Cofer returned on (3 days later) with Clayton.  Beaty admitted that he was hasty in calling the police and that Lemke had given him no reason to do so.  When Clayton asked why he called them, he replied that he did not know.

Cofer wrote Beaty a Warning for failure to perform the applicable emissions test as required and explained than another instance when he inputs false information into the analyzer to by-pass the applicable emissions test will result in a suspension of his license.

II. Response from Jiffy Lube

Jiffy Lube stations are owned and operated by both franchisees and the franchisor: Royal Dutch Petroleum / Shell Oil Corporation (NYSE: RD).  The following is from a letter which was sent by Mr. C. E. "Ed" Martin, Vice President, Lone Star Lubrication, a franchisee.  This business has several Jiffy Lube stations in Texas. 

Lemke was told by R. Tressler, Jiffy Lube Regional Manager, that he could expect an immediate response from his boss.  The following letter is dated 41 days later!  This letter was received only after a significant amount of time and energy was expended to locate him and various attempts to contact Mr. Bandy, the owner of the franchise. 

Lone Star Lubrication Response Letter

Lone Star Lubrication, Inc.
3059 West 15th Street
Plano, Texas 75075
Fax 972-867-3498

RE: Improper, Incorrect Safety Inspection, Jiffy Lube #1954

Dear Mr. Lemke:

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.  Thank you for taking the time to FAX to me a portion of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigation report that followed your complaint to DPS.  As I understand the situation, your complaint to the DPS followed an unpleasant confrontation, between yourself and a safety inspector who worked in our store on Preston road, on (date).

I was made aware that there had been an inspection question and a situation arise, between one of our inspectors and a customer and that there would be a DPS investigation.  This was reported to me at that time by my regional manager, but I do not recall if your name was given to me at that point.  This is always our policy, and it is a matter of law and DPS rule; should there be a question about a safety inspection, any party, either the inspector or the customer or we the station license holder can bring any inspection program concern to the direct attention of the DPS.

DPS is the state agency directly charged with enforcement of the statewide safety program and the emission testing program in the counties where these programs are included with the annual safety inspection program. We (Jiffy Lube) are station license holders.  However, during the inspection process, the state certified inspectors "have the call".  When a licensed safety inspector is performing a safety inspection, he is an agent of the state of Texas.  The inspector has to follow all the appropriate DPS rules, but we, as a station license holders, are prohibited from interfering or influencing the decision of the inspector performing the inspection.

I understand some of your issue, concerning the initial failure of your vehicle due to a question about windshield wipers.  I understand the DPS investigation report, both what is says and what it does not say.  I know that my regional manager moved the inspector to a different store, where this individual can be watched more closely by a more experienced manager.  I am an inspector myself and I am also licensed by the state of Texas (DPS), our Texas state EPA on matters relating to both the safety program and the emissions program.  I can assure you I am sorry that you feel one of our inspectors did not perform your inspection properly and may have responded improperly to your questions.  I might even agree with you that his actions, on (date), specifically the inspector's call to Dallas Police may have been inappropriate.  Never the less, he is the inspector and in this matter we do have our hands a bit tied, even as his employer.

I do not know the complete truth of this, nor do I think everyone involved will ever agree on what actually transpired, on (date) and since then.  However, what specific resolution(s) to this would you suggest?

Please consider what you believe should be our correct response to you to resolve this matter.  Reduce your proposal to writing, to avoid further misunderstanding.  Then send your proposal along to my direct attention, at the letterhead address.  By the time your proposal arrives in my offices, I will have had time to complete my personal review of the various investigations surrounding this matter.  At that point I hope to be able to provide to you some form of closure on what I believe we both feel is a most distressing situation.

Very truly yours,

/s/ C. E. "Ed" Martin
Vice President

III. Response From Victim

The following letter is from that which was sent to the Jiffy Lube franchisee:

Victim's Response Letter

Subject: (date) Incident at Jiffy Lube 1954

Dear Mr. Martin:

     Thank you for your letter dated (date).  You asked what specific resolution(s) I would suggest.  I have decided to respond by wearing my 20 year-old management consulting hat.  The following seem to be some of the currently relevant issues and alternative solutions:


  1. Intimidation
    Both the Texas Department of Public Safety Investigation Report and your letter acknowledge enough details for a reasonable person to conclude that your employee, Mr. Beaty, willfully and totally without cause intended to intimidate me.

  2. Deceptive Trade Practices
    Investigation Report: "... When [Investigator] Clayton asked why he called them [Dallas Police] he replied that he did not know. ..."  It would be relevant to know whether there were any sales programs or similar actions in effect at your store which may have directly or indirectly influenced his actions.

  3. Supervision
    Investigation Report: "... As the Manager, Kevin Tressler, looked for the written reason why the wipers failed, Mr. Beaty called the [Dallas] police. ..."  Kevin Tressler was talking on the phone with Roy Tressler when Mr. Beaty called the Dallas Police.  Directly or indirectly putting this authority into the hands of Mr. Beaty does not seem appropriate in this circumstance.  Officer Cofer told me that this set of circumstances warranted his writing a "Warning" as well as continued increased supervision of the businesses!...

  4. Management
    Mr. Roy Tressler, Acting Regional Manager, assured me both on (date) and (date) that someone from corporate headquarters would contact me.  I also left a telephone message for Mr. Bill Bandy (President) asking him to call me on (date).  It took my intensive and disconcerting follow-up telephone call on (date) to get your response.  I have found that a prompt response is preferable to hoping that this situation would disappear.  Rather than disappearing, it tends to fester.

  5. Inconvenience
    The following physical trips were made; there were numerous additional telephone calls.
    (date) Jiffy Lube 1954. Initial vehicle inspection.  Extra time required, including meeting with Dallas Police.
    (date)  Bankson Nissan (local dealer), 13130 Preston Road, Dallas: Service Department concluded that no replacement or repair was needed to the windshield wipers.
    (date)  Texas Department of Public Safety, 350 IH 30 W, Garland: Reviewed situation with officer who determined that further investigation was appropriate.

    (date)  Return to Jiffy Lube 1954: Another vehicle inspection and Texas Department of Public Safety review; discussion with Roy Tressler.

  6. Reputation
    It is possible that I will have to respond to future third-party inquiries as a result of the Dallas Police report.

Alternative Solutions

(This part of the letter has not been reproduced because one of the purposes of this web site is to obtain what you would consider an appropriate solution.  Part VI. identifies some alternatives for your response.)

IV. Victim Follow-Up

A few weeks passed with no response of any kind to the above letter from Lone Star Lubrication.  Follow-up telephone calls were not answered.  A letter was then sent to the franchisor.  The following is from this letter:

Letter to Franchisor

Mr. Larry Birch
Jiffy Lube International Inc.
P. O. Box 4427
Houston, TX 77210

Subject: Jiffy Lube 1954

Dear Mr. Birch:

     The purpose of this letter is to follow-up my prior communications with the management at Lone Star Lubrication in Plano, TX.  The attached files describe the situation.

     Per my letter of (date), I was hopeful of resolving this situation without the involvement of others, like yourself.  Unfortunately, there has been no action on the part of Lone Star Lubrication.  Their response to both my letter and telephone calls has been silence.

     My first follow-up contact with their management was following the incident described in the attachments.  Mr. Martin's initial comment was that their practice was not to respond to anything until it is described in writing.  Therefore, I immediately FAXed him the Investigation Report by the Texas State Police.  His abrupt defensive move should have been more of a warning signal to me that there was more of a problem than with just an employee!

     Most of my business career included both working with managements of Fortune 500 manufacturing firms as well as being part of those managements.  I have also founded and operated my own businesses.  The overwhelming majority would actively investigate, try to equitable solve the problem and then benefit from the experience.  I know that to be the case with the Shell Oil people [marketing] who I knew.

     The small remainder frequently do down a path where the lack of proper management actions sometimes ultimately costs much more than could have otherwise been the case.  In some situations, juries have made very significant awards to help instill that inappropriate management actions also have consequences.

     Each additional step will be less of a token cost to each of us.  I am looking forward to learning how you suggest to equitable resolve this situation so that I do not have to continue involving others.

Yours truly,

John Lemke

Texas Department of Public Safety Report
Letter from "Ed" Martin
Letter to "Ed" Martin

Mr. Jim Perkins, representing Mr. Birch, told me on the telephone a couple of weeks later that Lone Star Lubrication refused to communicate with me and felt that they had no liability in this situation.  Mr. Perkins also said that his employer and franchisor, Shell Oil Company, had no authority or influence in this situation. 

This website is the result of the above situation.  Adding Personal Experiences of others show them that they are not alone.  This will also help create a critical mass which can create appropriate changes....

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