Editor's note: Since this story was published, the Gibraltar Transmissions location has gone out of business. A new shop with no connection to the old one, Dakar Transmissions, has since opened in the space.
ELMHURST, Queens — When Bobby Galinello from Brewster, New York, was having problems with the transmission on his 2010 Lexus, he brought it to Gibraltar Transmissions on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst.
He paid $3,500 for a rebuilt transmission with a one year warranty. But it wasn’t long before his car began having problems again and he had to bring it back to Gibraltar. After they supposedly fixed it , the problems returned . The same thing happened a third time, only this time the transmission was in such bad shape he couldn’t even drive the car out of his driveway in Brewster.
He contacted Steve Lazauskas , the manager of Gibraltar Transmissions.
According to Galinello, “He did say bring it in. I said well I can’t bring it in. It’s not drivable. And he did tell me he doesn’t pay to have cars transported to his shop. He said I’d have to bring it in. He doesn’t pay for tows.”
That’s when Galinello called PIX11 Investigates and we went with him to speak with Steve at Gibraltar.
Lazauskas admitted they’d been having a lot of problems repairing Lazauskas car. He also said it is the shop’s policy not to pay for tows, although as the manager, he could make an occasional exception to the rule.
Galinello had received an estimate of $500 from a private tower to have his car taken from Brewster to Queens.
I told Lazauskas that Galinello couldn’t afford to pay for the tow and the transmission was in such bad shape, the car couldn’t get out of second gear or go over 20 miles an hour. When I asked him what Galinello should do, Lazauskas said: “He can ask me to tow it and I will say yes and not because of the pressure of having a microphone in my face. “ Steve said he would pay for the tow since the car was not drivable.
The good news is Steve kept his promise. He had the car towed, at Gibraltar’s expense, and he had the transmission rebuilt again. Lazauskas said he got a call three days later that the car was ready for pickup. In the few weeks since then, Bobby hasn’t had any problems with it.