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Friday, October 8, 2010

Snitch Post on Towing Company, AutoReturn, Contained Errors

Posted By on Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM

The Sept. 10, 2010, blog post, "Towed S.F. Cars Sold Before Owners Properly Notified, Report Claims," has been removed by the editors because of reporting errors. The story incorrectly described the conclusions of a report by the San Francisco Controller's office.

The piece stated that AutoReturn, the company contracted to tow cars for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, sold vehicles before owners were properly notified. That's not the case. The Controller's report said the company failed to complete steps that could have allowed collection of fees from owners after their cars had been towed, but it did not, as the story implied, suggest that AutoReturn auctioned off the cars without giving the owners a chance to reclaim their vehicles.

The story also mistakenly stated that the SFMTA responded to the Controller's report by ensuring cars would no longer be sold "prematurely." SFMTA's response did not say this. The agency simply said it would ensure that AutoReturn properly completes paperwork on all vehicles sold.

Additionally, the reporter, Matt Smith, did not contact AutoReturn to verify details in the story.

We regret the errors.

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