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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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I purchased a used truck and the engine had to be replaced

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I purchased a used truck and the engine had to be replaced days afterwards. It is now in the shop with major mechanical failure and both shops say it is due to engine being installed incorrectly. Can I give it back to dealer and get any money back? whats my legal option?

LegalGems :

Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum. I am very sorry to hear of this. Can you tell me, was this an as is sale, or did it come with a warranty?

LegalGems :

While I wait for your response, I will begin researching this for you.

Customer:

It came with a warranty and they paid to replace engine that blew up.

LegalGems :

Oh, I see. That information helps. So did the dealer replace the engine, or did the warranty company pay a third party mechanic to replace the engine?

LegalGems :

And you mentioned thousands to repair - any idea how much approximately?

Customer:

Warranty paid third party to replace. $3500 to get started.

LegalGems :

So is this third party repair shop one of the shops you took it to? Or did you take it elsewhere? Thanks for all this info - it will help me assist you.

Customer:

I took it elsewhere because the original shop was very unreliable and not trustworthy. They did damage to other items while repairing truck and said that's how they received the truck. Dealer also filed for a lost title since they could not come up with title for tags for almost 4 months after I bought it.

LegalGems :

OK. So, basically, this would be a negligent repair - which would require you to get an estimate from an independent mechanic detailing the damage to the car, and the resulting expense s/he would charge to fix it. If you get a couple of estimates, this helps your case (I don't know if that's feasible since the car is not running). You would not have recourse against the dealer, as this would be an action against the repair shop that did the negligent repair. I'll hit return so you can view this while I continue typing.

LegalGems :

Generally, damages for negligent repair include the cost to remedy the situation (to fix the repair), plus any foreseeable costs. This may include rental car fees (this is up to the judge's discretion, so please know that it is not a guarantee). Generally, you can do a demand letter to the mechanic, attaching the estimate, and asking that s/he pay for the repairs in order to avoid litigation. Usually you would give a deadline (since this involves your mode of transportation, you can give just a few business days to respond versus the standard 10 business days - make sure you note that in the letter: that you are requesting a reply by X days since time is of the essence and you are incurring daily rental fees).

LegalGems :

If the mechanic fails to reply, or replies unfavorably, you can file in small claims, for up to $10,000.

LegalGems :

Another pamphlet is located here, and it is a very straight forward guide (It's from Dallas, but applies throughout the state). :http://www.dallascounty.org/department/jpcourts/3-1/start.php

LegalGems :

You can also file a complaint with the attorney general's office: https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/car_repair.shtml but generally people find small claims more effective.

Customer:

I have an estimate from the first shop I took it to seven weeks ago and they in turn towed it to a dealership for expert diagnostic. The original mechanic who replaced the engine was forced on me by the dealer and warranty company.

LegalGems :

In the sense that the mechanic had a contract with the warranty company?

Customer:

They towed it from a shop that had diagnosed the bad engine and gave a price to repair it. But would not let them service the truck.

LegalGems :

So presumably they have contracted mechanics. If you can prove that the warranty company knew or should have known that the mechanic was incompetent, you could sue the warranty company for breach of warranty. However, if the mechanic has not had issues in the past, then it would be difficult to pin it on the warranty company. Generally, for situations like this, the typical defendant would be the party responsible for the negligent repair. Usually, they are insured for negligence (assuming they are a reputable business).

LegalGems :

If they knew or should have known that this mechanic was incompetent, you could bring an action against the warranty company for negligent referral. But generally it is simpler to sue the mechanic directly.

Customer:

So I have no recourse to the dealer who is the finance company as well? Should I just walk away and return the truck?

Customer:

I'm in $1500 on rental cars alone.

LegalGems :

If the dealer knew or should have known of the defective engine, then yes, there would be a breach of contract issue. However, generally the dealer and the finance company are not responsible for a mechanic's negligent repair - unless of course they are associated with them (if it's the dealer's mechanic).

Customer:

They sent me to this mechanic and gave his information to the warranty company.

LegalGems :

Typically, a demand letter followed up by a small claims action would be the standard course of action. If you walk away, they could argue that you breached the contract - and the dealer could sue you. (for example, if they sell the car for less).

LegalGems :

Then, as with the warranty company, it could be an issue of negligent referral; but this would require proof that the dealer knew or should have known of the mechanic's ineptitude.

Customer:

Ill start writing letters to all parties tonight. Thanks

LegalGems :

Sometimes it is helpful to fill out the small claims form and attach it with the demand letter; this alerts the other party that you are serious with your intent to carry through with litigation if that proves necessary.

LegalGems :

You are welcome. Hopefully they will respond favorably and you can get it fixed by a mechanic you trust.

Customer:

Perfect Ill do that as well.

LegalGems :

Great. Did you have any other questions? You saw the link for small claims right?

Customer:

no more questions and yes I saw the link. Will this service keep track of this log for me to refer to?

LegalGems :

You should be able to access it via your email; there should be a link there. You can also copy and paste the chat into a document; or just save the URL and it will bring you back here.

Customer:

Thanks

LegalGems :

You're welcome; Take care.

LegalGems and 8 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
I wanted to be sure and thank you for using JA/Pearl.

I hope you found the information I provided useful.

If you would like to request me for your future legal inquires, please put TO LEGAL GEMS in front of the question, and I will do my best!
Take care.

P.S. Thank you kindly for the extremely generous bonus - it is appreciated!

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