Is the dealership at fault if it failed to properly tighten my lug nuts and my tire fell off?

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Is the dealership at fault if it failed to properly tighten my lug nuts and my tire fell off?

I took my vehicle in to get an oil change. I also asked them to check the front left tire because I was hearing a weird sound and couldn’t tell what it was. They checked the brakes and the spring and said that it was fine. About a week and a half later, I was driving down the road and the left front tire fell off. After inspecting it, the dealership told me that the lug nuts had been loose for some time and that was the reason the tire fell off. Nothing snapped or broke, just loose lug nuts. Shouldn’t this be the dealership/service departments fault? I

brought my vehicle in to have them inspect it and wouldn’t you have thought they would check the lug nuts? They are trying to make me pay for it to be fixed but I trusted them to do a thorough examination of the vehicle which they apparently did not. The service manager even told me they technician did not check the lug nuts. Is this something they should be fixing for free since they didn’t do their job?

Asked on March 4, 2016 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

d on what you have written, the dealership is likely at fault, and therefore liable for any/all repair costs: it is negligent, or unreasonably careless, to not tighten lug nuts when replacing a wheel, and when someone negligently causes or contributes to damage to your property, they become liable for the costs to repair such damage. If they will not voluntarily honor their obligations, you could sue them (e.g. in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se" to reduce costs) for compensation.


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