advice on how to sue a car repair shop

advice on how to sue a car repair shop

Posted in the Bisbee Forum

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chris

Bisbee, AZ

#1 Aug 1, 2011
i took my truck to the car guys on naco hwy after that january freeze cracked my radiator. i asked them to replace it and put in a new starter. they did, but the truck still overheated to the point of being unusable. at this point i'm not pissed, just anxious to have a working truck. so i took it back, thinking since they did some work already they'd be familiar with the vehicle. so, i asked them to replace the thermostat. they did and still the same problem of overheating. then the truck sat there for a month and a half while they tried "everything" as Steve the owner said. he said they bought a new temperature sensor and even spent their own money on new equipment. still the truck sat there unfixed. finally i just said i'm taking the truck and i did. so, since march I have been using a truck that overheats every 20 minutes and i had to pull over all the time- what used to be a 20 minute trip to my greenhouse would become at least an hour each way. I just acted like an old farmer and drove 35mph everywhere i went.
so......i am someone with no experience fixing cars, especially not compared to a professional shop. however, i knew that since everything else in the cooling system had been replaced it HAD to be the water pump. i hired a guy from SV to come over and replace it. cost me $200 and it took him 3hrs. now the truck runs perfectly.
during the time my truck say at The Car Guys I asked them to replace the water pump. i was already into them for $1300 i figured i may as well have them finish the job. Steve's answer was that it looked new so it was fine. still, he couldn't figure out what was wrong and wasted my time and money, as well as his own.
i'd love to be able to post a picture here but the pump is destroyed. the impeller fan isn't even connected to the pump. you could hear it rattling.
for that month and a half i didn't have my truck i had to use my classic jaguar as a work vehicle and during that time i had to put $800 into a new fuel filter after driving through mud and dust for 6 weeks.

any help with the proper procedure to sue these jerks would be appreciated and if nothing else....

DON'T GO TO THE CAR GUYS IN SAN JOSE. JUST DON'T DO IT. THEY ARE BAD MECHANICS. NICE GUYS BUT NICE GUYS WILL RIP YOU OFF TOO.
Pinky

Tucson, AZ

#2 Aug 1, 2011
You can't really sue them. You can file a small claims court case against them. You will automatically lose unless you have a certified mechanic willing to take the time and risk to testify for you about exactly what happened, what they did wrong and all of the details.
It is unlikely any certified mechanic would testify for you. Mechanics stick together. Even if one did it is one persons opinion and the mechanics you used will have their own testimony. Grease up, man up.

I know, have been there done that.
chris

Prior Lake, MN

#4 Aug 1, 2011
lol...grease up, man up? is that some kind of sexual thing?

thanks for the advice though. what i really want is the time i lost and no court can ever give me that.
Pinky

Tucson, AZ

#5 Aug 2, 2011
Not overtly sexual, unless you are cute. You have been screwed. Once screwed best to make it easy on yourself.
uh huh

Caldwell, ID

#6 Aug 2, 2011
How long have you lived here? Have you ever hired a plumber or electrician in this area? Incompetence is the norm. Good luck collecting anything.
Pinky

Tucson, AZ

#7 Aug 2, 2011
It would cost nothing to ask them for a partial refund to avoid going to court.
TVcourt

United States

#8 Aug 3, 2011
If you go to small claims court, there is a small
chance that a TV court program will pick up your case.
The program will pay for what the TV judge awards.

Been there, done that, LOST (small amount), and didn't have to pay.

This was in CA many years ago on People's Court.
I said "small chance", but who knows? You may get
on national TV.:)
Not Likely

Nampa, ID

#9 Aug 3, 2011
TVcourt wrote:
If you go to small claims court, there is a small
chance that a TV court program will pick up your case.
The program will pay for what the TV judge awards.
Been there, done that, LOST (small amount), and didn't have to pay.
This was in CA many years ago on People's Court.
I said "small chance", but who knows? You may get
on national TV.:)
Did you go to small claims court in California? That's not too likely to happen in Bisbee.
TVcourt

United States

#10 Aug 3, 2011
Not Likely wrote:
<quoted text>Did you go to small claims court in California? That's not too likely to happen in Bisbee.
Yes, it was in CA and I did not even go to small claims. We were sued and the next thing was we were contacted by People's Court. We lost and the award was so small that I don't even remember,$50 or so
in 25 years ago value?

I agree with you it is not likely to happen in Bisbee. With
some many TV court shows now, who know if one of the staff would
be visiting Bisbee? They must be looking, even just on-line. Without cases, they have no content for the shows. The more entertaining the better.:)
TVcourt

United States

#11 Aug 3, 2011
Not Likely wrote:
<quoted text>Did you go to small claims court in California? That's not too likely to happen in Bisbee.
Even being in Los Angeles, CA, it is not likely to happen. At the
time, People's Court may be the only court show and who knows how
many small claim cases there must have been in a city the size of
LA? You are right. The chances are much much smaller in Bisbee.
Then again, who knows.:) Maybe they just search randomly on-line
now a days?
Pompano

Caldwell, ID

#12 Aug 3, 2011
TVcourt wrote:
If you go to small claims court, there is a small
chance that a TV court program will pick up your case.
The program will pay for what the TV judge awards.
Been there, done that, LOST (small amount), and didn't have to pay.
This was in CA many years ago on People's Court.
I said "small chance", but who knows? You may get
on national TV.:)
Sure roll the dice but cover your bet with proof.
chris

Bisbee, AZ

#13 Aug 4, 2011
how did this become a thread about courtTV? i wouldnt go there if i could help it- that lady judge doesnt ever look at all the evidence and is more concerned with demonstrating her self-appointed superiority.

Its a shame that court would have to be involved at all. 1st- they are mechanics and they should have done their job correctly. 2nd- they should have told me they were clueless at least a month before they did. 3rd- as American businessmen they should have refunded me something without being asked since pride or 'face' is very much a part of our capitalistic structure.
TVcourt

United States

#14 Aug 4, 2011
chris wrote:
how did this become a thread about courtTV? i wouldnt go there if i could help it- that lady judge doesnt ever look at all the evidence and is more concerned with demonstrating her self-appointed superiority.
Its a shame that court would have to be involved at all. 1st- they are mechanics and they should have done their job correctly. 2nd- they should have told me they were clueless at least a month before they did. 3rd- as American businessmen they should have refunded me something without being asked since pride or 'face' is very much a part of our capitalistic structure.
Sorry. I apologize. I take it back. No more court TV.
This was before the lady judge. It was the older gentleman.
I forgot his name too.
Nutz R Crazy

United States

#15 Aug 4, 2011
TVcourt wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry. I apologize. I take it back. No more court TV.
This was before the lady judge. It was the older gentleman.
I forgot his name too.
Judge Wapner!!!!!
TVcourt

United States

#16 Aug 4, 2011
Nutz R Crazy wrote:
<quoted text>Judge Wapner!!!!!
I did some research. Our Judge was Ed Koch:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Koch

Okay. No more TV court for this thread.:-)

“Geekhood Is Greatness”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#17 Aug 4, 2011
You claim the shop is into you for $1300 for a job they never finished (getting your truck running properly). Were you to take this to Small Claims Court, here's the sequence of events as some judges would likely see them:

1. The problem began after the freeze. Realizing you had a cracked radiator, you asked the shop to replace it. The shop did as you requested, and there is clearly no fault with that part of the work performed by them.

2. You also directed them to replace the starter. The shop did as you requested, and there is clearly no fault with that part of the work performed by them.

3. Experiencing subsequent overheating problems, you decided that the problem was with the thermoststat. You returned to the shop and asked them replace it. The shop did as you requested, and there is clearly no fault with that part of the work performed by them.

At this point, with your having assumed the 'diagnostician' role, the shop has performed exactly as you have directed. The payment amount which you seem to feel is in contention would be the $1300 less the charges for parts and installation of a new radiator, new starter, and new thermostat. Depending on the truck you own and the shop you choose, such a charge for the parts and labor described would not be considered exhorbitant

The problem here is that, since you had diagnosed the overheating as being caused by a faulty thermostat, the shop would have logically assumed that you had based that conclusion on a positive assessment of the system's ability to otherwise deliver coolant through the radiator. Thus, it was your own 'diagnosis' which had drawn suspicion away from the otherwise obvious potential problem, the coolant pump, and it's little surprise that the shop subsequently pursued a misdirected path in attempting to solve the problem.

You stated, "....i knew that since everything else in the cooling system had been replaced it HAD to be the water pump." and "....during the time my truck [stayed] at The Car Guys I asked them to replace the water pump. i was already into them for $1300 i figured i may as well have them finish the job."

In other words, having misdrected the shop through months of frustration, you finally asked that they do what they might very well have immediately ascertained needed to be done had you, upon your first return after the radiator replacement, simply said, ".....i am someone with no experience fixing cars, especially not compared to a professional shop..." 'so could you please use your own expertise in finding why my engine is overheating?'

Chances are, the coolant pump would have been replaced right off the bat, and things would never have reached the point where, months later, and tired of your pesterings to 'try this' and 'try that,' the shop guy would tell you he didn't want your business anymore.

At least that's the way some SCC judges would see it. And he/she might rule in favor of a possible countersuit for additional charges by the defendant.

Be careful!
chris

Bisbee, AZ

#18 Aug 5, 2011
I hear you GulchGeek. i guess i wasnt clear in my brief description, but I ended up as troublehsooter because my truck just sat there and they complained they didn't know what to do. my rant is more about how unbelievably stupid the guys at the shop were that I, a total non-mechanic, was forced into the role of "car doctor", spending hours on the internet researching the problem and going step-by-step through the same procedure that the people i was paying should or could have done, had they been just a little more on the ball.

I asked them to replace the water pump 2 times- when i dropped it off (all my friends in town cringed when i drove by- they said they could hear the water pump) and again after all the other work was done. their response was that it "looked new so must be fine" seriously- that's what they said.

i don't know who you are but you are twisting information around to fit your perspective. they never said they didnt want my business. i never pestered them and i was like a cash cow to them.

you sir are an idiot and your idea of "trying to help" is off the mark.
kopa pakalolo

Hauula, HI

#19 Aug 5, 2011
chris wrote:
I hear you GulchGeek. i guess i wasnt clear in my brief description, but I ended up as troublehsooter because my truck just sat there and they complained they didn't know what to do. my rant is more about how unbelievably stupid the guys at the shop were that I, a total non-mechanic, was forced into the role of "car doctor", spending hours on the internet researching the problem and going step-by-step through the same procedure that the people i was paying should or could have done, had they been just a little more on the ball.
I asked them to replace the water pump 2 times- when i dropped it off (all my friends in town cringed when i drove by- they said they could hear the water pump) and again after all the other work was done. their response was that it "looked new so must be fine" seriously- that's what they said.
i don't know who you are but you are twisting information around to fit your perspective. they never said they didnt want my business. i never pestered them and i was like a cash cow to them.
you sir are an idiot and your idea of "trying to help" is off the mark.
The title you gave to this thread is, "Advice on how to sue a car repair shop."

When instigating a small claims court action, you are required to provide a written statement describing the grounds for your complaint and justifications for the amount you claim entitlement to.

Your first post was made as such a 'statement' for the purpose of soliciting from forum readers advise on collecting a refund. Whether the information in that statement was incomplete or unclear is not the fault of "idiot" readers whose interpretation of the situation can be based only on the information that you yourself provided.

I introduced my post with, "here's the sequence of events as some judges would likely see them:" Rather than "twisting information around to fit [my] perspective," I inferred parts of the situation based on your statement. This is not different from what a judge must do in a practical procedure which allows limited opportunity for adjustments, expansions, and other emendatory actions to original court statements.

I concluded, "Be careful!" That's good advise, but you have obviously missed the point.

“Geekhood Is Greatness”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#20 Aug 5, 2011
Above posted by me.

Sorry, I'm vacationing and used a friend's computer w/o realizing I was logged in under his name.
BeCareful

United States

#21 Aug 5, 2011
kopa pakalolo wrote:
<quoted text>
The title you gave to this thread is, "Advice on how to sue a car repair shop."
When instigating a small claims court action, you are required to provide a written statement describing the grounds for your complaint and justifications for the amount you claim entitlement to.
Your first post was made as such a 'statement' for the purpose of soliciting from forum readers advise on collecting a refund. Whether the information in that statement was incomplete or unclear is not the fault of "idiot" readers whose interpretation of the situation can be based only on the information that you yourself provided.
I introduced my post with, "here's the sequence of events as some judges would likely see them:" Rather than "twisting information around to fit [my] perspective," I inferred parts of the situation based on your statement. This is not different from what a judge must do in a practical procedure which allows limited opportunity for adjustments, expansions, and other emendatory actions to original court statements.
I concluded, "Be careful!" That's good advise, but you have obviously missed the point.
"Be careful" is good advice. Take it.
Been there. I countered and won.
Your case is very weak.

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