What Happens If The Mechanic Doesn’t Fix My Car?

Your car has been performing erratically, so you’re taking it to your local repair shop. The charges are tremendous, but you’re willing to pay to keep your car in good working condition. Unfortunately, you don’t drive away any sooner than the problems start again. Or, the mechanic charged you with a diagnostic test, but did not find or fix the problem. You feel ripped off, not just because of the money, but because incorrect vehicle problems put your safety and the safety of passengers and others on the road at risk.

Even if your mechanic does not fix the problem, you may still be charged a diagnostic fee.

Consumer Complaints

According to the 2016 AAA survey, two-thirds of U.S. drivers did not feel confident about their car repair shops. Seventy-three percent of respondents said auto repair shops were overloaded with services, and 76 percent said they thought shops recommended unnecessary services.

Pay the Bill

The mechanic expects payment for diagnostics, work and parts, even if you are not satisfied with the result. You are unlikely to drive the car away from the garage without paying, so the question is whether you can legally stop paying or recover what you have already paid.

Ask the mechanic to remove any parts and keep your receipt. Run an online RepairPal test to see if the repair charges are appropriate. If you pay by check, please contact your bank to try to stop the payment. Consider that there is likely to be a stop-payment fee and that your check may have already been cleared.

Get a Second Opinion

Take your car to another mechanic to check that the original mechanic did the job. If you suspect that the necessary work has not been done, show the second mechanic the parts removed. Mechanic No. 2 might be willing to write a description of what’s wrong with a car if you’re planning on finding a legal solution.

Ask for a Fix

Call your first repair shop, explain that you still have a problem, and ask them to fix it properly. Get your written estimate. Talk directly to the mechanic to find out about the original problem and what’s still going on. If your check has been paid or your credit card has been charged, state that you will expect a refund if the problem is not corrected this time around.

If the mechanic is not willing to try again, or insists that you have to pay additional fees, send a formal request letter outlining what you have been promised. Keep a copy, in case you ‘re going to court.

File a Complaint

Please file a complaint with your State Attorney General’s Office, your Consumer Protection Office or the Better Business Bureau. The Bureau shall mediate disputes through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Division.

Go to Court

The Small Claims Court will be the last resort if your negotiations fail. You have to prove that you’ve lost money because you’ve paid for work that hasn’t been done. You ‘re also going to have to prove that the mechanic did a bad job or did nothing at all.

The mechanic may reply that the job has been done correctly or that the vehicle needs additional work that you refuse to allow. Prepare for court by discussing the problem with another mechanic, or looking at the original problem, what would fix it, and what’s wrong. Bring along any written statements you’ve got from another mechanic.

By Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3177569

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