Grounds to sue an Auto Repair Shop

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Latest post Sun, Feb 3 2008 1:54 PM by adjuster jack. 1 replies.
  • Sun, Feb 3 2008 12:33 PM

    Question [=?] Grounds to sue an Auto Repair Shop

    Hey guys, I just wanted to know your advice on my little matter.

    I got into a car accident in October. I took my car to a Volvo certified repair shop. They told me the repairs would take 2 weeks. They had a rental car company come pick me up so I could arrange my rental car. I selected a rental car that cost roughly $50/day more (including extra insurance) than what my insurance would cover for per day for 30 days. The cost was not a problem for 2 weeks. I finally got my fixed Volvo back 41 days later.

    From the beginning of week 2 up until the very end I was promised on many occasions that my Volvo would be ready “that afternoon,” “the following day,” or “the next Monday.” The reasons for this varied from “we got in the wrong parts,” to “we’re waiting for some new parts we ordered,” and to “we’re just installing some new parts.” Around week 3 week, I told them that they needed to finish with my car as my charges from the rental car company were going through the roof, and that I was not pleased that after 30 days I would be burdened with the entire per day cost of the rental car. My contact at the car repair store assured me, on different occasions, that they would “take care of my rental car,” if repairs lasted longer than 30 days.

    Long story short. I picked up my car on day 41. Spoke to the owner, and told him that I wanted reimbursement for the last 11 days (roughly 900$), and I wanted reimbursement for my share of the per day costs (from week 2 through week 4, around $800) due to their complete mishandling of my repairs, as evidenced by the 41 day used and numerous promises that my car would be complete at different times during this period. He was quite unhappy, and in the end offered me $500 to go away, and I told him I did not accept. Essentially, he chastised me for renting a luxury car (my Volvo is a luxury car) and being so “dense” as to buy the extra rental insurance. The negotiations went nowhere.

    I sent the car repair shop a letter in December, outlining what happened and what I was demanding. There was no response. I sent a second letter with FedEx, in January. Again, there was no response.

    To make matters a bit more complicated. While washing my car yesterday, I noticed a large loose bolt dangling from the front of my car. My brother discovered that it, along with a second bolt, is supposed to hold the radiator properly into the frame. The second bolt is missing, and my radiator is not properly affixed. My car was brand new in July, and the whole front end of the car was repaired by this repair shop. I know very little about cars, but I think it is reasonable to assume that this car repair shop did not properly put my radiator together. I will need to take my car to another shop this week to get this problem fixed.

    So I have a few questions:
    1) Do I have grounds to sue for
    a.The $900 for the 11 days they promised to cover?
    b.The $800 reimbursement I seek for Weeks 2-4 due to their mishandling of my repairs and the money that cost me?
    c. The repair costs for fixing problems related to the improperly affixed radiator?
    2) Should I combine the case to include both the money I seek for the rental car costs and the money I will seek for repairs as a result of their improper repairs?
    3) Is it reasonable to seek extra money due to the aggravation this has caused me and their unwillingness to respond?

    I appreciate any ideas. Thank you.
  • Sun, Feb 3 2008 1:54 PM In reply to

    re: Grounds to sue an Auto Repair Shop

    "1) Do I have grounds to sue for
    a.The $900 for the 11 days they promised to cover?
    b.The $800 reimbursement I seek for Weeks 2-4 due to their mishandling of my repairs and the money that cost me?
    c. The repair costs for fixing problems related to the improperly affixed radiator?"

    Yes, you certainly have grounds to sue for all of that. What you get awarded depends on what you can prove.

    Personally, I don't think you'll win any of the car rental costs for the 41 days because giving you an "estimate" of how long it will take is not a "guarantee" of how long it will take.

    However, if the shop failed to properly repair the car, you might be entitled to all of the costs incurred for the ensuing repairs. Unfortunately, I can't imagine resolving two bolts in the radiator support taking more than a few minutes of any mechanics time (and I do know about fixing cars).

    "2) Should I combine the case to include both the money I seek for the rental car costs and the money I will seek for repairs as a result of their improper repairs?"

    Probably a good idea to combine them since it all stems basically from one transaction, as long as the total amount is still within your small claims court limit.

    "3) Is it reasonable to seek extra money due to the aggravation this has caused me and their unwillingness to respond?"

    Might be "reasonable" to seek it, but you aren't going to get it.


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