If adealership service department broke my windshield but says it isn’t responsible, what do I do?

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If adealership service department broke my windshield but says it isn’t responsible, what do I do?

My wife took her car to the dealership to have the engine checked. They called a few hours later saying the windshield had popped out. They said it was something she would notice, but that it looked to them like it had happened a while ago. A few hours latter they called back to say it was cracked. A glass guy we called said there were six cracks and that it looked like someone had tried to force it back into place. After a few more calls, the dealership claims it happened when the door was shut and it isn’t their fault and they won’t fix it. What should I do now?

Asked on July 19, 2011 under General Practice, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if a dealership service department damaged your car, either intentionally (deliberately) or, more likely, negligently (through unreasonable carelessness), they may be liable, or legally responsible to pay for repair or replacement. As a practical matter, the issue may be what evidence there is that the dealership's personnel caused the damage--in order to recover the money, you would need to sue the dealership and prove by a "preponderance" of the evidence (i.e. by more evidence than not) that the dealership is responsible. Given that you'd need to initiate and pursue a lawsuit, it may or may not be cost effective for you to seek restitution in this fashion;' sometimes, others have cost you money or damaged you, but there is no good way to recover compensation.


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