If you rely on your car to get around and run your life, you know that having to get repairs made can be a pain. If you get your car back from the automobile mechanic and you still have problems, it can create even more difficulties. Defective car repairs are car repairs that have been done poorly or with dangerous results. If the repair hasn’t been done properly, you can end up with disastrous results.
For example, if the car is unsafe to drive as a result of the faulty repairs, it can present risks to the driver, passengers, and other motorists on the road. Defective car repairs can also result in actual physical damage to the car itself, making further repairs difficult or nearly impossible. If you are injured in a car accident as a result of faulty car repairs, this can lead to even more issues like the cause of medical care or lost time at work.
What actually counts as a defective car repair likely depends on the circumstances of your case and the make and model of your car. However, some examples of common defective car repairs can include:
- Faulty mechanical repairs;
- Bad wiring jobs;
- Improper replacement of parts;
- Leaky hoses or other parts;
- Substandard cosmetic repairs (like with bumpers or fenders); and
- Defective paint or body work.
You may not be able to avoid defective car repairs 100% of the time, but there are a few things that you can try in order to protect yourself. Mechanics are held to specific industry standards when it comes to repairing, upgrading or adjusting your vehicle.
If you are not sure about the status of a certain mechanic or repair shop, do your homework before you allow them to start work on your car. Ask the employees or supervisors of the shop for certificates, licenses, or business operating certificates.
Some mechanics’ shops may actually display these licenses in the shop, either behind the counter or in the waiting room. Verifying these certifications can help ensure that the people working on your car are qualified mechanics who are capable of doing the proper repairs.
Car repair fraud frequently ranks among the top consumer complaints. If you are considering filing a lawsuit over defective car repairs, you are probably not alone.
Most of the time, mechanic work will be done according to a contract between the shop mechanic and the customer — there is an agreement in place regarding the terms of payment, time of repair, and other concerns even before the mechanic begins work. If you have an issue with the repairs that have been done to your vehicle, you may want to review the contract first to see whether there are any clauses that may be helpful to you.
If you contact an attorney for help, your attorney will also want to see the contract in order to best determine the rights and responsibilities of both you and the mechanic in the situation.
If you do decide to file a lawsuit over your defective car repairs, it is important to remember that a large part of the success of a lawsuit relies on the evidence in a case. You may want to keep track of all the documents in your possession that relate to your claim.
These may include repair receipts, purchase and repair warranties, insurance documents, copies of any written communications you have regarding the repairs, and other documents or legal instruments.
You should also keep in mind that more than one party may be responsible for losses resulting from defective repairs, and it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint who should be liable. Some parties that may be responsible for potentially defective car repairs may include
- Shop mechanics;
- Owners of the car repair shop; or
- Manufacturers (especially if a company mechanic is working under a warranty agreement).
Most of the time, these lawsuits are based on the legal theory of negligence, which makes things a little more complicated. They may require an in-depth investigation and analysis of each party’s potential role in the situation in order to determine who is at fault, especially if the faulty car repairs result in a car accident.
If you’re in a situation where you’re having to deal with defective car repairs, it can be difficult — especially if you need your vehicle to go to work or school or run your errands. A defective car can also present safety issues, and limit your freedom to come and go as you please.
It is in your best interests to consult an experienced product and services attorney to help you with your situation. The right attorney can talk you through your specific situation and advise you on how the laws may affect you and the best way to proceed. If you decide to file a lawsuit, your attorney can also guide you through the legal system and represent you in court, working to get you the best possible outcome in your case.