Business Vehicle Repair

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Business Vehicle Repair

I have a vehicle that is used for work. The Truck broke down back in March of 2016, It was repaired by a mechanic in Los Angeles on 03/19/2016. I used the Truck to transport exquipment to San Jose in January of 2017. The truck broke down on 01/05/2017 for the same issue as what it was repaired for on 03/19/2016 the transmission. Since I was out in San Jose and I did not have funds to transport the truck back to LA to the original mechanic to fix since it was still with in the 1 year warranty, I took the truck to get repaired out in San Jose. After getting the truck fix in San Jose, I braught the truck back to LA and after 1 week of driving it. Again it broke down. I took the truck to the original mechanic that first fixed it back in 03/19/2016 so that he could repair it and I took him proof of the repair dates and issues with the truck and he said he can not fix the truck and it is after the warranty date. I explained to him that the truck was in San Jose wheen it broke down and he said it does not matter he can not fix it because I took it to him until June of this year. Can you please help and inform me if there is anything I can do again this mechanic since he obviously did not prperly fix my truck the first time.

Asked on August 8, 2017 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, do not assume that "obviously he did not properly fix" the truck the first time: the truck worked for, based on what you write, 8 months after the repair, so even if it was the same exact issue again (not merely the same large unit or assembly--the transmission--which could have any number of separate problems in it), 8 months of use and work could easily result in a previously fixed problem returning. This is a very different situation than if you had taken the truck back and it broke down a week later. Unless you have expert testimony (e.g. from another skilled mechanic who has examined the truck) that the cause of the later breakdown was that the fix was not done properly the first time, you will not be able to prove it was the mechanic's fault; and if you cannot prove it was his fault, you cannot recover money from him (i.e. sue him) for an improper repair. Remember: if you sue someone (the only way to get money if they won't voluntarily pay you), you must be able to prove with evidence that the damage or costs was their fault. A court will *not* simply assume that a later transmission issue was due to a failed repair of an earlier issue.
If you can't prove it was due to a faulty repair, then you'd only be able to get repairs or compensation under a warranty. But if you exceeded the warranty period, then you cannot do this; a warranty is a contract, and is enforced according to its plain terms, including its duration. Review what the warranty says to see if you have any recourse under it; bear in mind that the fact that the truck was out of town at the 2nd breakdown does NOT extend the warranty period unless the warranty itself says that would.


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