Braman Motors Sued By Ex-Employee Who Claims Company Bilked Customers and BMW

Categories: News
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Norman Braman's flagship auto dealership is getting sued
Norman Braman is arguably the most powerful man in Miami-Dade. He sits atop $1.6 billion, owns the city's largest auto dealership, recalls county mayors as if they were unruly children, and funnels small fortunes to political candidates. In short, the octogenarian practically rules this town.

But one of Braman's ex-employees is aiming to take the billionaire down a notch. Ulises Ruiz, a former service consultant at Braman BMW on Biscayne Boulevard, claims the dealership routinely performed unnecessary repairs to milk millions out of carmakers and customers alike.

Braman says he is aware of Ruiz's claims but insists it's the suit -- not his dealership's charges -- that's bogus.

"The general practice at Braman was to encourage and pressure service consultants to order unnecessary services and repairs on vehicles covered by the manufacturer's warranty," Ruiz alleges in a lawsuit filed October 29.

"I think he is a disgruntled employee," Braman counters. "We are not a high-pressure sales organization... We take pride in the reputation that we have built up over the course of all these years. That speaks for itself."

Ruiz lawsuit depicts classic car shysterism. He says Braman BMW supervisors held weekly meetings to pressure employees to invent problems. When repair orders were deemed insufficient, managers wrote question marks on them and sent them back.

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"You had to make up a story just to milk the warranty," Ruiz tells New Times. "Imagine: You drop off your BMW for an oil leak, and when you pick it up, they tell you they had to replace an AC evaporator. That's $5,000! Even if your car is under warranty, would you like the entire dashboard taken apart on your new car?"

Sometimes the dealership wouldn't even replace the part, Ruiz claims. "They just open up the new one, get it dirty, and send it back to BMW."

Ruiz says he bristled at the bogus charges. But when he complained of the shady practice in December 2011, his supervisor shut him down. "He said that the extra money was 'job security' and that I should shut up about it," Ruiz remembers.

He complained again in February of last year. Ruiz was fired roughly a month later.

Last week, Ruiz put a classified ad in the Miami Herald seeking people bilked by Braman. But the ad ran for only one day before it was removed. An employee in the Herald's classifieds department said she wasn't sure why the ad was axed. Her manager could not be reached for comment.

Ruiz says when he asked why the ad was canceled, a Herald employee told him someone had called to complain.

"Norman Braman has enough power to do that," Ruiz says. "He's got the money and the connections. I'm sure he had it removed."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.
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8 comments
alejandrosands
alejandrosands

How about Braman figures out his own Billionaire problems before he starts pointing fingers at the Dolphins. I am all for this stadium renovation.


shaykidz4
shaykidz4

I know this guy he is a liar that's not why he got fired he just mad he got fired point blank. And want to be living off other peoples money typical Cuban.

jodjo62
jodjo62

I heard from someone that knows this Ruiz guy, that he sues every company he's ever worked for. Usually companies settle, so there is no record on his background. I guess Braman BMW would not be the only croock in question. All companies do the same thing! I guess this Ruiz guy finally met his match in Mr. Braman.

KMA367
KMA367

Another Miami Jew fucking their own, what else is new?

Raul Diego
Raul Diego

How does that make him an idiot, Rafael?

Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

This article depicts classic lack of journalistic integrity

Rafael Fernandez
Rafael Fernandez

the guy making the claims is an idiot...this goes on on every dealer not just braman dealers

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