Do I have a legitimate case against the dealership? Do I file a suit against them in small claims court?

Brought car into dealership for repairs. When I was told the repairs were done, I paid for the repairs but the car would still not start. They told me they would look it over. a few days later they called back and said the car is now running but that there are still problems that need to be fixed. Isn’t this fraud/extortion? I only agreed to the repairs because when I received my estimate, I was told that there was one problem with my car. Now they say that there are others. Secondly, I did not receive my car when they said that I would. It was not ready when told me that it was.

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Business Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This sort of problem is too common.  However, whether there's anything to be done about it depends on many things, often the detailed facts, including the dealership's side of the story.  Also, the consumer protection laws in this area vary quite a bit from one state to another;  I don't practice in Wisconsin and my research didn't tell me anything.  So, you need to discuss this with an attorney in your area, to get a meaningful idea of your rights.  One place to look for a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Sometimes, one mechanical issue a car has can't be found until another one is fixed.  Sometimes, it isn't fraud, although it might be incompetence -- and there is usually a big difference, in the eyes of the law.  Sometimes, though, it is fraud.


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