Can a dealership charge me for the cost of a new radiator and labor whentheir mechanic admittedthat hebusted the radiator while repairing another engine part?

A few years ago, we took our car to a dealership to have the water pump replaced. During this time, the mechanic said that HE busted a hole in the radiator and consequently, the owner charged us for a new radiator and labor to put it in. We paid part of the bill for the water pump and labor for it, but did not pay for the radiator. Now the owner is suing us for the remaining balance. My husband has tried to talk to him, but the owner says the radiator is not his responsibility. Can he sue us for his mechanic’s mistake?

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, West Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the dealership's employee or independent contractor while repairing a component of your vehicle damages it requiring additional repairs, the dealership can ask that you pay for all repairs but legally this would be improper. The reason is that the dealership's employee or independent contractor caused the problem and you should not pay for it out of your own pocket.

If the dealership is suing you for the damaged radiator caused by its employee, you should report the dealership to your state's bureau of automotive repairs who is in charge of investigating auto repair facilities.

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