What should I do if I took my car to a shop two weeks ago for heater problems but things have been made worse?

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What should I do if I took my car to a shop two weeks ago for heater problems but things have been made worse?

I waited for it to get fixed, and called everyday to get an update on the car.After 5 days of that, I finally went up to the shop and noticed the car was in pieces (the entire dash removed). I was upset but was told that they just needed a couple more days. I waited a couple more days and still no fix. Today I decided to go up to the shop again, and I found out my car wasn’t there. The car had been towed to another shop without my knowledge. I found out where and contacted the new shop. The new shop said the car had been dropped off for electrical problems diagnosis and it wouldn’t start. Now my car won’t start and is currently at another auto shop.

Asked on November 26, 2014 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the shop for one or more of the following:

Breach of contract--not doing what they agreed to do (fix the car, then return it);

Negligence--carelessly damaging or making the situation worse;

Fraud--lying about what they could or would do.

In the lawsuit, since they have withheld your car from you, you could seek the value of the car, if you don't get it back or get it back in such bad shape that it can't be made to work; or the cost of having someone competent fix it, if it can be repaired. You could get your out-of-pocket costs, if any, in addition: e.g. the cost to rent a car while this one has been in the shop, or the cost of taking public transportion or cabs, if that's what you did. Filing the suit may encourage them to finally resolve the situation, return your car, and settle or negotiate on the price of the repairs as well.


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