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I"m sorry I logged into the site and the opening page was legal. I wasn't sure if I should direct this to legal or mechanics or some sound emotional support/psychological.
I honestly don't know the best way to proceed. I'm not a mechanic. The guy now has my car in his possession. I'm trying to see if he will make amends before going the legal route.
Do you think I should be consulting with car mechanics in order to get a sense of what their experience is with how this guy is conducting himself and if there is a best way to approach this? I have a Ph.D. in my own field, but I feel like a novice in the mechanics shop.
Please feel free to redirect me if you think this is not yet a legal matter, but one of gathering information. I was totally overwhelmed by the situation today and may not have directed this question properly.
Thank you for getting back to me, barrister. After reviewing my saga above, I want to hone in on the question(s) I have.
I guess I'm wondering if what my mechanic is suggesting went wrong is a hands-down impossibility. Until today, I had never even heard of a sending switch. I am not an informed consumer. That's problem number one.
If what "Bob" is saying is completely and obviously false acc. to experts, have I put myself at risk of losing any potential legal footing by having brought my car back to him. Also, best way to proceed....from a personal level, pragmatic level and then, yes, perhaps legal level.
Thank you for your time. I'm sorry it's not such a direct legal question. Please redirect me, if you would....I didn't even get to the page that offered options on categories.
If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.
I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.
That is really excellent and helpful advice. Thank you for sorting the issues out clearly. You are right about his character and the unlikelihood of his handling this properly, especially if Im indirect.
My car is in his shop and he has already begun looking at the bearings and had my permission to do so,when I was flustered today over the damage and hoping he could correct it.
I could try to get there in person to speak to him face to face, as you suggest. My car may already be up on the lift.
I am okay with standing my ground with him as you suggest, but I want to walk in very prepared given the situation at hand.
In the event that he gets defensive and I say I want my car back, I assume I should be prepared with a towing company name at the ready? I am inclined to use my local shop, a place where I've gone before and the
work has been fine. The head mechanic there was the one who spoke to me at length about how he would approach it and he is informed about the situation.
Would you suggest I call in advance of going in and say I want to come in and speak with him? There's already been a fair amount of back and forth. My inclination is to go in person and just take it from there but I can't get in until 8:30 or so, about an hour and a half after shop opens and work may be continuing on my car.
The damage, I already know, is pretty extensive, since motor has been affected. So I'm going to need to be prepared to lay out money for a rental car for indefinite amount of time and I'm also looking at having this other shop charge me several hundred dollars for possible repair/replacement of motor (if repair is possible at this point.) I very well may be looking at needing to get a new vehicle.
All this will be as I wait for a legal case to commence. I'm assuming you think I have a fair amount of a leg to stand on.
Do I hire a lawyer now or do I proceed with the DMV complaint/registry that also seems to have a legal component? The local guy recommended I start there and he seemed to think that would be an impactful move.
I want to wake up with a clear action plan since I'm pretty certain he will be defensive. Also, he has my car all taken apart at the moment. His shop opens early, I can't get there until my kids are dropped off, as I mentioned. Can you recommend a best approach?
I can definitely call local shop, get a towing company rec from them, and also see if they would be ready to receive my car if I have it removed from Bob's shop.
But I'm looking at a costly battle, aren't I? I apologize for redundant questions. I am just clarifying my concerns and hoping to have a very clear idea of what this is going to entail so that I am not floundering at any point. I don't expect him to back down. I'm exhausted and was not anticipating having to have this emotionally draining fight at this point...and it won't be quickly resolved...
Thank you so much for your time and assistance.
In the event that he gets defensive and I say I want my car back, I assume I should be prepared with a towing company name at the ready?
Yes, you don't want to make an idle threat. My other unspoken concern is that he may be unscrupulous enough to try and doctor the vehicle so it appears as though something else was the cause. Not to give more to be concerned about, but the thought crossed my mind.
Would you suggest I call in advance of going in and say I want to come in and speak with him?
Honestly, no. If he is not "manning up" and admitting his mistake, then he will try to run and hide and try to throw up a smokescreen to divert attention. I would show up when they open in the morning and ask to speak to him at that time.
I'm assuming you think I have a fair amount of a leg to stand on.
Once you get another mechanic to confirm what we already know after inspecting it, then yes, the term "slam dunk" comes to mind.
Do I hire a lawyer now or do I proceed with the DMV complaint/registry that also seems to have a legal component?
I would start out with the DMV complaint. NY has a $5,000 limit in small claims court, so you might not even need an attorney if the eventual repairs and rental car costs are less than that.
Just remember to stay very calm even if he is getting defensive and raising his voice telling you that he has been in business for X years and you don't know what you are talking about. Calmly tell him that you understand his position and that if the other mechanic you take it to finds another reason for the damage other than the oil plug then you will apologize to him and bear the full cost of the repairs.
If he has a shred of honor, he will grow a backbone, admit he was wrong, and then do whatever it takes to correct the problem, even if he has to put a new engine in it.
You have been extremely helpful. I have a clear plan and your words of advice on staying calm as he gets agitated...very, very helpful!
I am definitely concerned that he may have doctored/would be capable of doctoring the vehicle. I saw him grab a new gasket very quickly after I walked in. He has also been scolding me "now that he's taken a better look" at my car, for "neglecting" it...acting as if this was bound to happen because there is a lot going on
I have already reached out to my babysitter (at this late hour...no reply yet) to try to get out the door to his shop first thing in the morning. I am actually dreading it, but I'm up to it. I believe shop opens at 7.
There's nothing I can really do at this point if my car is up on the lift and he has it in him to doctor my vehicle, though, is there? That possibility worries me.
Any precaution I can take?
I promise this is it! You've been extraordinarily helpful and I'm brimming with anxiety as you can see. Despite being a psychologist, I'm totally floored by this man's behavior and being able to talk it through with you has been invaluable....I can't thank you enough!
Thank you very very much! I did what I could in terms of tip and payment given my current finances, but I want you to know you were extremely helpful and I"m very grateful!! Will be happy to write a great review!!
(am collapsing to sleep now, but I think I will get an email requesting feedback which I will do tomorrow)
You're a great lawyer!
It was my pleasure to work with you tonight and help with your questions. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do my level best to help or get you to someone who can.
Quick update: I arrived at the shop in the a.m. and Bob was sticking to his story about the oil pressure sending switch.
He was varying that with stating this was just an unfortunate coincidence. That my car had a lot of miles on it and something was bound to happen.
He started giving me estimates for putting in a new motor, ranging from 4300 dollars to 4800. I calmly asked him to take my car down off lift and I had it towed once I realized he was not going to take ownership over this error and I no longer trusted him to do the right thing. The new shop is very reputable and they are in the process of looking it over.
I will file a complaint with the DMV. New shop will offer report that I will also submit.
At the new shop, when the towing guy showed up with my car, he said Bob had approached him and told him he kept my oil sending switch (which he had replaced after the oil leak) because that would be his story if I took him to court. What grandiosity!!
I had to get to work at that point, so I had my fiance go over to pick up my part. Bob was defensive and did not want to hand it over since it was "my vehicle," not my fiance's. Fiance said calmly he did not want to get into a contest over this and could we please have our part. Bob reluctantly handed it over. The pictures my fiance took of the part look like it was banged up (i.e., not deteriorated).
Bob expressed anger at my fiance that "if I was going to pursue a law suit, why did he have to hear it from 'his' tow truck driver, not from me," to which my fiance did not reply.
I do hope that this (doctored) sending switch story (which he actually wrote into the receipt he gave me, which I had signed when I was trying to get the hell out of there) does not become my downfall. This guy knows his stuff and and he's anticipating a fight.
I do hear that the DMV investigators are pretty smart and savvy and usually side with the consumer. I'm anticipating laying out a fair amount of money. I am told the cases with the DMV have a 10 week waiting list. In any case, I was given no choice but to fight this.
Thank you again for all your help, esp with the psychological approach (as well as the legal). I remembered your words and stayed completely calm throughout the whole exchange, in which he said every single thing you predicted.
Relieved that this part is over.... now my poor car and what will happen to it is the next chapter. Meantime I'm driving around in a muscle car Dodge Avenger that is hilarious...lol. Life brings such funny twists and turns.
was so relieved to get your assistance and that this service exists! Thank you for listening to my saga! You helped man and womankind!!! :)
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