What to do if I recently took my car to an auto repair shop because of a loud rattling noise that was coming from my engine but the repair caused other problems?

After checking things out, the diagnosis was that my A/C compressor seized and my cooling fan was broken. They installed a by-pass pulley in place of the compressor and replaced the cooling fan. When I went to drive away after paying $586, the vehicle didn’t start. One of the mechanics came outside, said the bolt on the battery was loose and sent me on my way once he got it started. However, as soon as I drove out of the lot, I noticed something weird. My brakes were sudden and scratchy (they were fine before). I continued to drive. Then, 1 block later my check engine light went on, the steering wheel locked and my car died on the side of the road.

Asked on June 9, 2014 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the repair shop caused the other problems, such as by performing the repairs in a negligent (or careless) fashion, or accidently damaging other parts of your car while working on the repair, then the would be seem to be liable, or financially responsible, for the damage and the costs to set everything right. A repair person or business is liable when they carelessly cause damage to property they are working on. However, if they will not pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue them to force them to pay; depending on the cost to repair everything, it may not be cost-effective to do sue, however.


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