Ran across this item this morning. Seems like EZ Lube, one of the nation’s largest independent fast lube chains with 82 facilities, has filed for bankruptcy protection. EZ Lube had seen its share of turmoil in recent years, with the founders of the chain having been reportedly forced out in a dispute with EZ Lube’s equity ownership. Plus, the chain had been the repeated target of undercover sting reports by a Los Angeles television station (the same station that has, during the years, put massive pressure on Jiffy Lube facilities in Southern California).
Following as it does on the heels of Heartland Automotive’s bankruptcy filing last spring (Heartland Automotive Services, as you may remember, is the nation’s largest Jiffy Lube franchisee), this signals more turbulence in the fast lube industry. It also signals the need for lube operators to be absolutely certain their employees are giving customers exactly what they pay for and recommending maintenance services according to owners manual recommendations.