What to do if I took my car in to be serviced because there was a recall but within 10 minutes of my leaving the dealer, my car caught fire and the engine was burned up?

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What to do if I took my car in to be serviced because there was a recall but within 10 minutes of my leaving the dealer, my car caught fire and the engine was burned up?

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you think that the fire occured because of something careless (negligent) the dealer did--such as putting a hole in an oil or gas line; getting some flammable liquied on the engine; etc.--then you could sue them for the cost to repair your car, or for its value (e.g. blue book value) if irreparable. The issue is whether the dealership caused the fire or not; if they did, they are likely liable, but if the timing was merely coincidental, they would not be.


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