What are my rights against a car repair shop for repairs that caused further problems with my vehicle?

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What are my rights against a car repair shop for repairs that caused further problems with my vehicle?

I am a consumer and I paid to have my vehicle fixed last week. When I received it back it was making noises that were not there before. I took the vehicle back and had it driven by the mechanics who worked on my vehicle only to be told that I would have to pay another fee to have it looked at. The following day as I was driving home, my whole wheel came off of my car as I was driving. Is the garage at fault for any of this?

Asked on May 31, 2014 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the new noises were due to the mechanic's work on your car or are part of the problem that was supposed to have been repaired, you should not be charged to have that checked out because the repairs are under warranty.

As for the wheel falling off, if that was caused by the work done by the mechanic, you can sue the car repair shop for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable auto repair shop would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence) would be the cost of repairs to your car and the cost of a rental car if you need a rental car while your car is being repaired.

If you have your car repaired at another auto repair shop, you will need to select a repair shop whose fees are comparable to other auto repair shops in the area in order to mitigate (minimize) damages.  If you were to select the most expensive auto repair shop you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

You will also need to mitigate (minimize) damages when selecting a rental car by choosing a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

Depending on the amount of damages you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit, you might be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  In addition to the cost of repairs to your car and the cost of a rental car, your damages should also include court costs which would be the court filing fee and process server fee. 


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