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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111549
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I was told I had a oil leak under my car. The repair shop

Customer Question

I was told I had a oil leak under my car. The repair shop charged me over $3000 and kept my vehicle for a month or more and the car still has oil leaks. I took it back a couple of times and they still can't get it right. Now they tell me it is covered by a warranty but I have to drive out of town to a repair shop. What are my options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If they charged you for repairs that did not fix the problem, but they are covered by warranty, then your first step is to contact the dealer and take it for the warranty repairs. You need to file a claim under the warranty to cover the $3000 you paid to find it was something that was a warranty issue. Also, if when the new mechanic examines the engine, if they find the original mechanic did not do work they were supposed to do, then you can sue the original mechanic for negligence to recover your money from them if the warranty company refuses to pay for the work, since this is supposed to be a warranty issue.

The thing with mechanic repairs is that when someone brings a car in for work, the mechanic must make reasonable repairs and efforts to repair. The fact that their repairs may not work is not automatic reason that they are not entitled to payment. If the mechanic made reasonable efforts to repair and did work, under the equitable legal theory of "quantum meruit" it is entitled to get paid for their reasonable efforts. It is only when the mechanic was negligent that the owner is entitled to sue the mechanic for negligent repairs to recover their money back.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know find out that the warranty they told me about does not cover the work they did to my vehicle. The warranty covered says it does not cover engine work or transmission work. So what are my options now? They said I could bring it back in and they would fix it but they've had it three or four times and couldn't fix the problem. I can't afford to be without my vehicle for a month or more again.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If this is not covered under the warranty, then the same principle still applies above, if they made reasonable efforts to repair and could not fix it they are still entitled to quantum meruit for the work done. You need to bring it to a new mechanic and if they tell you that the mechanic made improper repairs you can make a demand for payment refund from the first shop or sue them for negligent repairs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
are you saying that if I take it to another mechanic I have to pay the expense? I'm confused. I just want clarification. Because every attempt they tried to fix it they haven't been able to fix it. She's tell me I told her everything was OK and at one point I thought it was because I did not see oil On the floor of the garage but the mechanic told me that the pan probably caught it.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, if the first mechanic made reasonable efforts to repair it, even if they ultimately could not do so, the equitable law called "quantum meruit" entitles them to pay for the time for their reasonable efforts to make repairs, even though they may not have worked. You have the choice to let them try to repair it again or go to someone else. I would go to someone else. It would be at your expense, but if that new mechanic finds that the first mechanic did improper work, THEN you can demand the first mechanic refund your money or you could sue them in small claims for negligent repairs.