What are my rights if an authorized dealership misdiagnosed a problem with my motorcycle whichresulted in a blown engine?

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What are my rights if an authorized dealership misdiagnosed a problem with my motorcycle whichresulted in a blown engine?

I have a 2 year old motorcycle with only 2000+ miles on it. Almost brand new. I had a small accident which mainly hurt only the plastics. After buying new plastics bike was fine. One day oil light came on. Manual said take it to dealership. I did. Was there for one week and they couldn’t figure out why the oil light was on. Paid for that. Mechanic said it would be OK to drive it as long as I kept oil in it. Couple of days later the engine blew on the highway (could have killed me) and oil went everywhere. Bike is right back at the same dealership now. Should I have to pay for this. It’s not right.

Asked on June 24, 2011 under General Practice, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the dealer for negligence.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable motorcycle dealer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm). 

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (duty of care owed to you mentioned above), breach of the duty by failure to correctly diagnose and repair the problem, actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the mechanic misdiagnosing the problem, would the motorcycle engine have been damaged? If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, you have established actual cause.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening events which would relieve the dealer of liability? If the answer is no, you have established proximate cause.  Damages means the monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs/ engine replacement.  Since the mechanic is an employee of the dealer, the dealer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurred during the course and scope of the mechanic's employment.

On the bill you paid for the original repairs, there may be a statement about how long the repairs are guaranteed, for example; x amount of days or x amount of miles.  If the dealer tries to charge you for the engine repairs, depending on what the warranty specifically covered, you might be able to argue breach of contract (breach of warranty).  Your breach of warranty (if applicable) would be a separate cause of action (claim) in your lawsuit for negligence against the dealer. 

If you can't resolve the issues with the dealer, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages.  For example, if you have the motorcycle repaired elsewhere, you will have to select a repair shop whose fees are comparable to other motorcycle repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the dealer for negligence.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable motorcycle dealer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm). 

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (duty of care owed to you mentioned above), breach of the duty by failure to correctly diagnose and repair the problem, actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the mechanic misdiagnosing the problem, would the motorcycle engine have been damaged? If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, you have established actual cause.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening events which would relieve the dealer of liability? If the answer is no, you have established proximate cause.  Damages means the monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs/ engine replacement.  Since the mechanic is an employee of the dealer, the dealer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurred during the course and scope of the mechanic's employment.

On the bill you paid for the original repairs, there may be a statement about how long the repairs are guaranteed, for example; x amount of days or x amount of miles.  If the dealer tries to charge you for the engine repairs, depending on what the warranty specifically covered, you might be able to argue breach of contract (breach of warranty).  Your breach of warranty (if applicable) would be a separate cause of action (claim) in your lawsuit for negligence against the dealer. 

If you can't resolve the issues with the dealer, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages.  For example, if you have the motorcycle repaired elsewhere, you will have to select a repair shop whose fees are comparable to other motorcycle repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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