What canI do about an improper car repair?

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What canI do about an improper car repair?

Took may car for air conditioner maintenance, then water pump went out, then fuel pump went out. During replacement of fuel pump they disconnected my alarm system (without my consent). They had the panel off the steering column and told me to bang on it to start car; the next day car started shutting off during driving (very scary). They said that it was because I was hitting bumps. Now they say I need a new ignition. Already out $1,400, is there anything I can do?

Asked on August 10, 2010 under General Practice, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It might be worth it to go to a second mechanic just to have the car evaluated.  If the second mechanic states in writing that any of the various mechanical problems you mentioned were due to negligent repairs, you could sue the original repair shop for negligence.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs.  You could also include the cost of the second mechanic's evaluation in your damages.  Your damages should also include court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fee.

If the second mechanic's opinion is that the first repair shop is just trying to create work for itself with unnecessary repairs (such as the new ignition) or if the repairs are the result of intentional damage to your vehicle by the first repair shop to create work, you could sue the first repair shop for fraud.  You could also contact the consumer affairs division of your state's attorney general's office regarding the fraud.  In a lawsuit for fraud, your damages would be your out of pocket loss.  An alternative measure of damages in cases of fraud is benefit of the bargain which is the difference between what you paid and what you should have paid for repairs.  In your case, out of pocket loss would probably be preferential in determining damages.


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