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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I am a auto repair shop owner in Salem Oregon I had a

Customer Question

I am a auto repair shop owner in Salem Oregon I had a question regarding a customer that had some work done here back in December of last year. After completing the work the end total was a little over 9000.00 we allowed her to pay 7000.00 and out the rest on account. After a few months past and a few phone calls and promises to pay we had to turn the account over to collections. The customer called today(now 8 months later) and said that her car is in another shop with issues that could be related to our work and she wants us to cover those expenses, I told her that since she didnt pay her bill there was no warrenty here and that we would not cover anything. After our conversation she has since called the collection agency and payed off the amount owed. I would like to know if I have any legal bounds to honor the warranty and her request? Can you help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To answer directly, you absolutely have a duty to cover the warranty. Since your debt was ultimately covered, be it by her or after you sold her debt to a third party, the warranty is independent of payment. For example, if you agreed to do a wheel alignment on a vehicle and agreed to let that person pay in 30 days, and that person got into an accident which could be traced to the alignment work, you would still be liable. The payment is unrelated to the warranty. So yes, you still have to honor the warranty, but the burden is on her to prove that the cause of the issue was your poor work and not her own use or her own regular wear and tear of the use of the vehicle (or for that matter any use or cause that is unrelated to you).

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the quick response. I understand about the warranty however it is now 8 months later and she has never contacted us to address the issues that she says the car has and she says these are issues that have been on going since she has had the car back from us. We believe that driving the car for such a long period of time has compounded the problems she is describing and yet she has waited till now to address them. Wouldn't this void the warranty?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

No, it would not. Now, you can argue that past use exacerbated the issue, but if you gave her a 12 month warranty on the work (for example), then the work is still protected even if she came 8 months later. You can defend her claim by arguing that she denied you the opportunity to make repairs if she took the car somewhere else, but the actual warranty concern is still something for which you are liable. Her defense would be that as she is not an expert and does not often know if something is running properly or not, she waited because she was unaware that it was improperly installed or otherwise faulty, and that again comes back to you and your liability.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
you believe that I am responsible for her repairs at another shop? If so can I deduct the amount that collections charged me on her previous bill. (which was 40% of 2009.43) Because we were never able to get what was owed to us completely.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

You cannot charge them for what you underpaid--you had the ability to file suit or pursue personal collections against her without selling the debt for less. So you cannot deduct the amount you were owed because once she paid, there is no further debt owed to you. As far as your responsibility, I cannot tell you yes or no because I do not know what the issue was. But if they can prove or show that it was due to your error or neglect, then you are responsible for the repairs.

Sincerely,