If an auto supplier supplied the wrong parts to my mechanic to repair my car which created the need for another repair, what are my rights?

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If an auto supplier supplied the wrong parts to my mechanic to repair my car which created the need for another repair, what are my rights?

They at first admitted they sent the wrong parts, now they say they did not. The dealer who repaired the car unequivocally says they were the wrong parts. Autozone says that their computer pulled the right parts based on my VIN. They say that since I am not their customer they don’t have to do anything for me at all. The total for repairs, hotels, car rental came to just over $1200.The supplier is willing to cover the dealer repair – $600. Is this something I should pursue in small claims court?

Asked on October 28, 2014 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were not the customer (that is, you were not the one ordering the parts), then the supplier is probably not liable to you for sending the wrong parts; rather, the mechanic would be liable to you for having used the wrong parts (he should have caught the problem and not used the incorrect parts) and, in turn, it is possible the supplier may be liable to the mechanic for their role in contributing to the error. (It is hard--not impossible, but hard--to hold someone liable if they did not have a direct connection to you; that's why it may be difficul to hold the supplier liable if you were not the customer.) Therefore, you may be able to sue your mechanic, such as in small claims, for your costs relating to the bad repair. However, bearing in mind that a lawsuit is never guaranteed--you could lose--and that while the monetary cost of small claims court is low, it does take time (a fair bet is at least one day), it may be better to accept the $600 without spending the time involved in a lawsuit and taking the chance of losing.


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