Am I responsible for a $1200 repair that did not work because the original diagnosis was incorrect?

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Am I responsible for a $1200 repair that did not work because the original diagnosis was incorrect?

My car broke down on a trip and was towed to a local repair shop in MN. I was told a broken timing chain was the cause and the estimate was $1200 to cover a parts and labor to fix the car. I was told the car had a non-interference engine and valves/head would not be impacted. Days later after the repair should have been completed I received a call indicating the repair didn’t work due to bent valves in the head and for another $1600 that problem could be fixed. The $2800 total repair is approximately equal to the value of the car and not worth fixing to me.

Asked on July 30, 2011 Minnesota

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Did you sign any document before the repair process began with the repair shop that you took your vehicle to? If so, read it in that its terms most likely will control the rights and obligations between you and the automotive repair shop for work done on the vehicle.

Did you approve the initial cost estimate for the vehicle that was $1,200.00? Did you approve the second estimate for $1,600.00? If you did not approve any of the estimates verbally or in writing, there is a chance that you might not be responsible for these costs under your state's laws. If you approved the estimates, you are responsible for the costs even though the $1,200.00 repair did not work because the mechanic's initial diagnosis for your vehicle was wrong.

One way to possibly resolve the $2,800.00 repair bill facing you is to speak with the owner of the repair shop to see if there is some way the amount claimed owed can be reduced.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Did you sign any document before the repair process began with the repair shop that you took your vehicle to? If so, read it in that its terms most likely will control the rights and obligations between you and the automotive repair shop for work done on the vehicle.

Did you approve the initial cost estimate for the vehicle that was $1,200.00? Did you approve the second estimate for $1,600.00? If you did not approve any of the estimates verbally or in writing, there is a chance that you might not be responsible for these costs under your state's laws. If you approved the estimates, you are responsible for the costs even though the $1,200.00 repair did not work because the mechanic's initial diagnosis for your vehicle was wrong.

One way to possibly resolve the $2,800.00 repair bill facing you is to speak with the owner of the repair shop to see if there is some way the amount claimed owed can be reduced.


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