Woman Suspects Woodland Hills Dealership Worker Took Her Car on Joyride

A West Hills woman who was having issues with her car took it to a Woodland Hills dealership and was surprised to find that in just 24 hours, about 130 additional miles were on her car.

Julia Keating was having issues with her car stalling, so she took it to a local dealership and was surprised to find that in just 24 hours, 130 additional miles were on her car. (Credit: KTLA)

Julia Keating was having issues with her car stalling, so she took it to a local dealership and was surprised to find that in just 24 hours, 130 additional miles were on her car. (Credit: KTLA)

Julia Keating had bought her used Volkswagen Jetta about a year ago and needed the car to last her through nursing school.

She’s had some problems with the car stalling so she took it to Livingston Volkswagen in Woodland Hills for a service repair last week, thinking it would be a simple fix.

When she picked it up the next day, however, she noticed that the gas tank, which was full when she turned it in, was empty.

“That was the first red flag,” Keating said.

After looking at the invoice, she discovered that someone had driven her car nearly 130 miles. The invoice, dated Sept. 22, showed the mileage when she brought it in was 57,791, and when she left, 57,920.

Julia Keating provided this copy of her invoice from Livingston Volkswagen in Woodland Hills.

Julia Keating provided this copy of her invoice from Livingston Volkswagen in Woodland Hills.

"Who is driving my car? Who is the person taking it 130 miles?" she said.

When she asked employees in the service department about the mileage, they told her it was protocol, and she had given permission to do a test drive.

“One hundred thirty miles is more than excessive, in my opinion,” Keating said.

She said the service manager told her that one of the employees had driven her car home overnight.

Keating, who contacted KTLA with her story, said she was alarmed that her permission wasn't requested.

The manager told KTLA off-camera that test drives can be as short as 2 or 3 miles or longer, depending on the type of repair. She explained that it is common for employees to drive customer’s cars home, but they always get permission.

Keating, however, said that didn’t happen in her case. In addition, she said the problem wasn’t fixed and her car stalled on her again.

KTLA spoke to service managers at local Lexus and Nissan dealerships who said that the only reason a worker would drive a customer’s car for more than 100 miles is if they put in a new engine.