ROCKVILLE, Md. — A lot of us love our cars. They're a huge investment and a point of pride.
So when a Maryland man spotted someone doing something not so copasetic with his Ford Focus, it was perhaps no surprise that millions of people reacted to his video.
If you've ever wondered if your mechanic is doing something fishy with your car when you're not watching, a TikTok video from Rique, or @euqir78, might confirm your fears.
"He's driving my car after I dropped it off to get inspected. And they drove my car to McDonald's," Rique says on the video, as a guy in a mechanic's outfit walks out with two bags filled with food and a drink holder loaded with drinks.
Rique had dropped off his Ford Focus for inspection in Maryland that morning and then walked 10 minutes to McDonald's for breakfast. Shortly afterward, he noticed his car pulling into the fast food parking lot and the guy coming in to order.
"What do I do?" he asks plaintively, as the mechanic loads McDonald's for a crowd into Rique's small car and drives off.
The video has now garnered 19 million views, 3 million likes, and 68,000 comments.
"Oh hell nah," wrote one commenter. "Ima buy an air tag just for this now. Track my car make sure it doesn't leave the lot. AUDACITY!"
Consumer advocates say the mechanic was in the wrong.
"There's nothing in here that says, take the cars to McDonald's," said David Elswick, a certified mechanic at Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection, leafing through a copy of the Maryland State Inspection Manual for licensed inspection shops.
Elswick says inspectors do need to drive the car to make sure the odometer is working, but he was shocked by the video. "There's nothing in our state law that says it's forbidden to take a vehicle out for lunch. But it's highly inappropriate," he said.
Rique is a baker at the Sweet Crimes Gluten-Free Bakery on Capitol Hill, and he posted an update after his TikTok blew up.
"I saw my car at Mcdonald's, so everybody wants an update," he says.
The mechanic, he says, admitted to using his car to grab breakfast. He says the guy hadn't even started the inspection when he took off with the car.
"I'm not upset about it. I'm not angry. I just wish I could have gotten a ride," he says.
So what to do if your car smells like a filet of fish when you get it back? Experts say it's probably time to find a mechanic whose tastes run more toward fixing things than fast food.
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