San Jose

Recent Storms Unearth More Potholes Across the Bay Area

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The recent rains have unearthed more potholes across the Bay Area, damaging cars and leaving drivers with costly repair bills.

Gary Mitchell, owner of Ross Tire and Automotive Repair in San Jose, said he's seen a big spike in customers coming in with tire and alignment damage.

"Fifty percent increase in tire damage and body damage from potholes in San Jose," Mitchell said.

For one Lexus driver, they were looking at $4,000 in repairs after hitting a pothole on Highway 17.

Mitchell said certain cars are at higher risk of damage.

"A lot of these Teslas and cars that we have in Silicon Valley have the low profile tires, so it doesn't give you much room for when you hit a pothole," he said. "It goes right to the rim and it cracks the rim and the tire, too."

For others, potholes are just a nuisance.

"Due to the potholes, we have to put air constantly in our tires," Elizabeth Olson of San Jose said.

If drivers are wondering what they can do if their car is damaged after hitting a pothole, filing a claim could be an option.

"If they feel that the city is liable for damage to their car, they can file a claim with our city attorney's office," San Jose Department of Transportation public information manager Colin Heyne said.

On California highways, drivers can file a claim with Caltrans.

Last year, the city of San Jose repaired 3,300 potholes. If drivers spot one, they can report it by calling 311 or using the 311 app.

The city said it repairs most potholes within 48 hours of a complaint.

For those who wish to file a claim over damage caused by potholes, visit the Department of Transportation's claims page.

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