If a dealership damaged my new car wheels and said they will paint them but not replace them, what do I do?

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If a dealership damaged my new car wheels and said they will paint them but not replace them, what do I do?

I had my wheels rotated for the first time at a dealsership and the mechanic damaged all 4. They said they would repair it and I explained that it must look factory when it’s repaired. They ended up looking horrible. I took the car to the general manager and he said they will send my car to a professional body shop to have them redone but they will not look factory again. They refuse to replace the wheels (factory wheels the dealership already has). Do I have to accept this only option they are giving me? Can I demand new wheels?

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the dealer for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable auto dealership would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care when rotating the wheels), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.

Actual cause means but for the dealer rotating the wheels would the wheels have been damaged? If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening acts which would relieve the auto dealer of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established. Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the cost of replacement of the wheels. 


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