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 |  Oct 25 2011, 6:45 PM

We’ve all heard the horror stories about women who take their cars into a mechanic to fix a minor problem, only to be charged outrageous fees for non-existent or small issues. A national news program went undercover to get the scoop. After placing hidden cameras at several dealerships, the show’s decoy was overcharged for service work.

The MSNBC “Today” show sent a producer with a functional, out-of-warranty 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee to five New York-area Jeep dealerships. Before sending her on her way, the network hired a mechanic to install a faulty air conditioning relay, so warm air would blow out of the unit. This problem would cost you about $100 to fix.

When the producer took her Jeep to four of the five garages, mechanics found the faulty relay, but they tacked on extra services to the bill. When the show interviewed third party repair experts, they said these extra services were considered unnecessary. At one dealership, the producer was told her air conditioning compressor had blown up and it would cost $2,000 to fix.

But hopefully some good will come from this news segment – Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri issued a statement to MSNBC: “I can assure you that we are investigating this case.”

[Source: Automotive News]