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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4798
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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I took my 2013 ford fiesta in to dealer as overhead light would

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I took my 2013 ford fiesta in to dealer as overhead light would not go out. Dealer checked it out and repaired vehicle, says it was door lock switch. Wants $486.00. I was not advised of cost . Dealer still has car and wont give me keys until I pay bill. Car has 45000 warrantee was 35000 or 3 yrs.

Chris T., JD :

Good morning. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Chris T., JD :

If there wasn't a written contract with the cost listed, things get a little trickier. Ultimately, your main recourse would be to refuse to pay and sue, keeping in mind that your damages in your lawsuit can include the cost to you for being without a car for the time you were without a car.

Chris T., JD :

The main thing you would have to prove is that their charges were above market value. To prove that, you would have to get estimates for the same repair from other mechanics.

Customer:

The service manager said he has a record that we were notified of the cost and it was written on the ticket. Can we require that the service individual take a lie detector test. My wife and I know that he is lying and only indicated the information on the ticket after my wife signed to have the car checked out.

Chris T., JD :

You may consider going ahead and get the estimates now and present them to the dealer in an attempt to get them to lower the price to avoid litigation they would likely lose.

Chris T., JD :

No, you can't force him to take a polygraph, and they are not admissible in court even if you could.

Customer:

So what I have to do is pay the $486.06 then sue?>

Chris T., JD :

If you had to sue, your wife would have to testify that there was no writing on it when she signed it, and the judge would have to decide who to believe.

Customer:

ok thanks

Chris T., JD :

You could, or you could refuse to pay and then sue, keeping in mind that you could sue for the costs to you to get transportation when you were without a vehicle.

Customer:

I need the car and using a rental would cost more then the 500 bucks waiting for court date, atty and so on.

Chris T., JD :

I understand. It isn't all that practical, but I just wanted to keep you informed of all your options.

Customer:

I think that the service tech is just trying to keep his job. He forgot to tell us that the car is out of warrantee, that there was a charge of $90 to check out the car. and that they ordered the part and it was very costly. To pay 500 bucks to fix a defective door lock is rediculous. thanks for the advise.

Chris T., JD :

Again, my suggestion would be to get other estimates and present those to the dealer in an effort to get them to come down.

Chris T., JD :

I agree with you. He could very well be doing something shady.

Customer:

Other estimates?: The overhead map light stayed on even when you shut and locks the car. The light would not go out. The ford dealer said it was a defective door lock and wasn't sure of the cost until they took it apart. How do I gert more estimates. The vehicle is repaired and sitting at the dealer and I have to pay 500 to get it.

Chris T., JD :

Go ask another mechanic what that would cost them to fix. That should give you some reasonable estimate on what it should cost, if you think you are being overcharged. If you aren't being overcharged, you would not have a good lawsuit either way.

Customer:

ok thanks.

Chris T., JD :

Glad to help. Can I do anything else for you?

Customer:

No thanks.

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