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insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 55467
Experience:  Practicing lawyer for 31 years
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I took a vehicle in for a transmission repair five weeks

Customer Question

I took a vehicle in for a transmission repair five weeks ago. The owner of the shop told me it would be a three day project. He was supposed to have it done in three days so I could take it on vacation. He did not complete it and I had to rent a car for the week for $700. I have been to his shop for different times since then to check on my car. He keeps breaking other parts of the car such as axles, struts and most recently the rear driveshaft. Every day I call him and he says it will be done today. I asked him to return my money are you and keep my deposit of $750 and give me my car back and I will take it somewhere else to get repaired . This is the fifth week. He will not return my car until I pay him the balance of my contract ($750)and says if there's any issues after that I will have to sue him to get it repaired. I want to go to the hair shop with the tow truck and take my car. I have been told by others that he can file a mechanics lien and repossess the car if I do not pay him. Is that true? What other options but I have to get my car back without having to pay for incompetent work and added damages that he has caused. The shop is in an industrial park in a high crime area. I asked him to keep it inside a shot for me to prevent any further damages by vandalism. He said he would but three different times I have driven by and my car has been outside two blocks away from his shop. Can you help me please?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 11 months ago.

Hi! My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 11 months ago.

Yes, you absolutely have recourse here. What you want to do is raise the stakes on him. Send the owner a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the history and and demand he return your car, refund your money, and pay you the cost of a rental car for the period beyond the 3 days period that was promised and pay you anything over $750 in cost it will cost to have another repair shop to repair your car completely job properly since you no longer have confidence in him. Inform him that if he does not comply with your demand within a short specified period of time, you will have no choice but to file a suit for your damages. BUT, be sure to specifically mention that if forced to file this suit you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as gross negligence, deceptive trade practice, and fraud causes of action, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Even if you have to file the suit, that's likely all you will need do. In my experience, he will settle this to your satisfaction without a hearing rather than risk punitive damages and the judgments being on the record.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (hopefully Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
is this true according to Colorado law? if he does not comply with my demands and it goes to trial is he legally able to keep my car until the trial date?
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 11 months ago.

Yes, I noted you were in Colorado and gave you information applicable to Colorado. As part of your suit, you will want to ask the court to order the car released immediately.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can I just go retrieve my car on my own?
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 11 months ago.

If the car is sitting out, you can do so. But, you would not be allowed to do so if in doing so you would either breach the peace or break and enter.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If I take the car while it was sitting out can he file a mechanics lien and repossess the car and again are you referring to the laws of the state of Colorado?
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 11 months ago.

Yes, I am providing you information applicable to Colorado. Once you have possession of the car, he would have to file suit against you and prevail before he could place a lien on your car.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If I do take the car he will still have a key what should I do about that, change the ignition and add the cost of that to the suit?
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 11 months ago.

I would not go to that length. Rather, if he tries to take the car, call the police. The title is in your name!

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