Most people rely on their cars for everyday life. Most people also know car repairs can be costly, inconvenient, and often difficult. There may be times the car is returned from the automobile mechanic and is still not repaired properly. This can be a major inconvenience, especially when you rely on a vehicle to get to important places such as a job.

Defective car repairs occur when a repair is done poorly or with dangerous results. If a repair is not properly completed, it can result in further damage or even injury to the passengers. A defective car repair can render a vehicle unsafe to drive.

A vehicle that is unsafe to drive can result in physical damage to the vehicle itself, making further repairs difficult or impossible. It can also present risks to a driver, passenger, and other motorists. 

An unsafe vehicle can also result in an automobile accident. If an individual is injured in a car accident that is a result of defective car repair, they can be faced with further suffering, such as medical care and bills or lost wages due to missing work. 

What are Some Examples Of Defective Car Repairs?

The type of issue that is considered a defective car repair depends on the circumstances of the case and the make and model of the car involved. Some common examples of defective car repairs may include:

  • Improper wiring jobs;
  • Faulty mechanical work;
  • Improper part replacement;
  • Leaking hose or other replacement part;
  • Defective body work;
  • Substandard repairs of cosmetic issues, such as on a bumper or fender; and/or
  • Defective paint jobs.

It will likely not be possible to completely avoid defective car repairs. There are a few steps an individual can take to protect themselves. Automobile mechanics are held to specific industry standards regarding any repairs, upgrades, or adjustments made to a vehicle

One important step an individual can take to protect themselves is research the mechanic or repair shop they plan to use. Do this prior to taking the vehicle in for repair, especially if it is an unfamiliar mechanic or shop. A potential customer is permitted to ask employees and/or supervisors if they can see certificates, licenses, and/or business operating certificates. 

Many car repair shops will display their licenses and certifications in the shop or in the waiting room. By verifying these documents, a customer can help ensure that a qualified mechanic who is trained and capable of proper repairs will be working on the vehicle.

What is the Difference Between and Defective Car Repair and a Defective Product Recall?

A defective car repair is a repair that is improperly done on a vehicle, as discussed above. A defective product recall is different and may be caused by a car defect which is the result of the vehicle’s manufacturer. 

An automobile recall or car defect recall usually only refers to flaws which create safety hazards, may result in injury to the operator, and/or passengers. In most cases, a cosmetic issue such as a poorly done paint job or a misplaced decal are not subject to recalls. 

Common examples of issues that will be included in an automobile recall often include:

  • Defects in the brake and/or gas pedals, including getting stuck or jammed;
  • Defects in safety equipment, such as safety belts and/or airbags;
  • Flaws in the fuel, exhaust, and/or cooling systems;
  • Steering mechanisms that are misaligned;
  • Structural problems with the frame, body, transmission, and/or engine assembly; and/or
  • Computer and/or electrical issues, such as defective keyless fobs.

There are federal motor vehicle safety standards in place that set the minimum performance requirements for car parts that will most likely affect the operation of the vehicle. This includes:

  • Brakes;
  • Tires;
  • Steering wheels;
  • Lighting; and/or
  • Any other component in place for the protection and safety of the driver and/or passengers.

An automobile recall may become necessary when a vehicle part does not comply with the federal motor vehicle safety standards and/or there is a safety related defect in the equipment in the vehicle.

What Should I Do Regarding a Defective Car Repair?

One of the top consumer complaints is often car repair fraud. If an individual is considering filing a defective car repair lawsuit, a vehicle attorney can help. It may be possible to recover damages for faulty repairs. These may be even more important if the faulty repair resulted in an automobile accident. An attorney will be able to review the facts of the case and determine what damages may be recoverable.

In most cases, mechanic work is done in accordance with a contract between the shop mechanic and the customer. There will be terms of payment, the length of time the repair is expected to take, and any other concerns prior to the mechanic beginning work. It may be helpful to review this contract if any issues arise from the repair work done.

What Documentation Do I Need When Dealing with a Defective Car Repair?

Documentation is going to be the foundation of a defective car repair claim. Any time a vehicle is repaired, it is important to keep all documentation. This may include:

  • Repair receipts;
  • Purchase and repair warranties;
  • Insurance documents;
  • Copies of any written communications with the shop; and/or
  • Copies of any other documents or legal instruments relating to the repair. 

Who Can be Sued for Defective Car Repairs?

An individual can sue a mechanic for defective car repairs. This occurs when the mechanic negligently makes repairs that results in damage to the vehicle or injury to those who operate or ride in it.

It is also important to remember that multiple parties may be responsible for losses occurring as a result of defective repairs. It can sometimes be difficult to determine who is liable. Some parties that may be liable for defective car repairs include:

  • A shop mechanic;
  • The owner of a repair shop; and/or
  • Vehicle manufacturers, especially in cases where a company mechanic is working under a warranty agreement.

In most cases, car repair lawsuits are based on the theory of negligence. Negligence allows for recovery when another individual is careless given the circumstances of a situation. Negligence claims may require an in-depth analysis into each party’s role in the situation in order to determine fault, especially in cases where the fault repair leads to an automobile accident.  

Examples of negligent work done by an automobile mechanic may include:

  • Installation of the wrong parts;
  • Failure to perform the correct repair procedure;
  • Failure to completely repair damaged parts;
  • Failure to identify needed repairs that a mechanic acting with a reasonable standard of care would have noticed; and/or
  • Causing damage to one or more parts of the vehicle while performing repairs.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer for Help with a Defective Car Repair Claim?

Since vehicles play such important roles in our everyday lives, it is important to have the help of a consumer lawyer in defective car repair situations. Car repair issues can inhibit your ability to work, take care of children and complete everyday tasks. 

Defective car repair cases can be difficult and complex since multiple parties may be involved. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and advise how best to proceed. Should a lawsuit be necessary, a lawyer can ensure your rights are protected, claims are properly filed and represent you during court proceedings if necessary. A lawyer will work to provide the best possible outcome for your case.