Liability for the bill? Myself or the dealer?

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Liability for the bill? Myself or the dealer?

My fourwheeler was taken to a
dealership for service to have all
fluids changed for its first service.
It is out of warranty buthe has low
hours on it as well as low miles 423 to
be exact. The machine ran great when I
dropped it off, the told me the oils
were all clean when they changed them.
Not dirty or metal shavings showing
wear I paid the bill and went to load
my machine only to find out the
speedometer was stuck on 20mph, the
service light was flashing and the
machine wouldn’t run. I never moved it.
I Went back inside since the machine
was outside waiting on me grabbed the
service guy and he brought two
mechanics who are now saying the engine
may have had a failure inside. He also
told me I’d be liable for the bill for
further repairs is this true or should
they have to pay it?

Asked on June 11, 2016 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, they would only be liable if they caused the problems or damaged the machine, since as you point out, it is out of warranty: when out of warranty, there is no obligation to repair unless you can show that the dealership damaged it. That is likely to be your key issue in trying to force them to pay for the repairs--can you prove that they caused the damage? The fact that the problems appeared after it was in their hands is certainly supporting evidence, but does not by itself prove their fault or responsibility: sometimes things just happen to break down after they with a certain person or business, without that person or business causing the problem. You would likely need some other mechanic to examine the machine and offer an expert opinion (which he'd have to testify to in court, if it came to that) that the problems were caused by the dealership employees doing certain things, such as an incorrect or incompetent repair or getting fluids into the electrical circuits. Since you'd likely have to pay that mechanic for his time, and cannot recover the cost of doing so in a lawsuit, unless the repairs the 4-wheeler needs are very expensive, it may not be cost effective to take legal action to seek reimbursement for repairs.


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