What to do if I took my car to a shop that specializes in rebuilding the engine of my type of car and was quoted 8-12 weeks to complete the job but it has been 18 months?

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What to do if I took my car to a shop that specializes in rebuilding the engine of my type of car and was quoted 8-12 weeks to complete the job but it has been 18 months?

I have a somewhat rare vehicle that not many mechanics can work on. I have not pulled it out because there arent many shops that work it and I really want a quality rebuild from this shop. I paid for half of the work when I dropped it off. I want my car back. What should I do? Can I be compensated for all the rental cars I have had to use over the last 18 months? My wife would take me back and forth to work. Could she be compensated for her time?

Asked on April 4, 2013 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the shop has--as it seems to have--either breached the terms of the agreement between you and it as to completion date, and/or misrepresented to you the time it would take to do the work (or its ability to do the work), then you may have a claim for compensation: in the former case, for breach of contract, in the latter case, under the theory of promissory estoppel. In either event, you may be able to recover the money you have paid and/or seek compensation for the costs you have incurred due to the breach. However, you can only seek compensation for foreseeable monetary costs (e.g. car rentals), not for time or inconvenience (e.g. your wife's time). You may wish to consult with an attorney to further evaluate your options and the compensation to which you may be entitled.


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