Auto repair gone wrong

acura
tl

#1

What shall I do??? The mechanic has ripped me off of $1200 also charges me for parts that he has not replaced. My car isn’t fixed and is in much worse condition. HELP!!


2005 acura tl oil pressure light on dash
#2

Some actual details regarding your plight would be helpful.


#3

Is this an established shop with a business license?

Or somebody working out of their garage?

Tester


#4

April 7th I went in for smoking out of exhaust tail pipe.
The shop owner tell me that it’s my head gasket. Did not perform any diagnosis but look under hood of car and asked my to turn on my engine.

Upon stating it was the gasket he asks what was my budget. And states he is willing to work with my budget. I explained to him that this was unexpected and a reasonable price is best suitable He then tells me my car would be in his shop for 3 days for repair I agreed to. Well when day 3 nears no hear so I decide to contact he tell me my car shld be ready by that following Thurs which wld be day 5.

April 12 Day 5 I recieve a text from the shop owner stating my car was fixed and ready charging me $980. I told him that I have 700 and would contact him when I have the other money. I contacted him a day or two later to make payment and he quoted me a different price for $1200 leaving me in a bond to come up with the other portion.
I asked why did the price go up he says bc he changed the radiator. Now this is all after he tell me my car is fixed. Red flag

I went back to his shop on April 18 to get everything in writing bc the first day he only tell me sign a work order with no detail description in it. Once I arrived I didn’t see my car I asked where was my car he told me that he have a storage where he transport cars that’s done to a different storage for space. Red flag I didn’t know how to go about to handle it.
He writes the order tell me to sign it but bi cld not recieve it until I paid the whole bill red flag

I leave frustrated knowing that something is very fishy but didn’t know what to do about it.

I then recieved a message from him a week or two later that he tried to contact me but couldn’t which is a lie and he will be putting a mechanics lien on my vehicle I contacted him right after letting him know that I will surely be there to get my vehicle by the end of that day. He tell me as long as I can make it there before his shop closes he will stop the paper work.

Once I arrive he took the $1000 cash payment but wld not take the $200 from my card stating he only take cash. Doing all I cld to get the money from my card but cld not I left frustrated just knowing what the guy is doing is unjustly. He tells me since I did make a payment it secured my car from the mechanic lien. I told him I wint get paid until May 15th and will be there to pay the $200
Two days later I recieve another text from this guy asking about the $200 payment I reassured him once again that I will be coming by the following Monday May the 15th to pay off rest of the bill. He said it was fine.

May 15th I get there he said he was shocked to see me and that it wld be a moment before he cld get to me. 2-3 hours later I asks him what’s going on and he asks me to step outside to speak to him “customers were in the waiting area” and he didn’t want to be exposed. We walk over to my car my car hood is semi open. I tell him he said it is. I proceeded to ask him for my old parts and receipts of purchases for my parts. He tell me in an anger intimidating tone that he will add $1500 to my bill if ask him for such things. Then tell me to come back the next day. I asked why he says bc the mechanic has to tighten a few bolts etc. Red flag. Remember when he stated my vehicle was fixed and ready to go? :disappointed::disappointed: I get there the next day May 16th I waited again practically the whole day again while they work on my car.
I get my car and my car stalls on startup. The now oil pressure light is now on that was never there before. Car idles on its on in traffic now it just shuts off on me in traffic I have contacted the shop owner on every instance he won’t cooperate.


#5

Its an established shop with licensing here in Texas


#6

April 7th I went in for smoking out of exhaust tail pipe.
The shop owner tell me that it’s my head gasket. Did not perform any diagnosis but look under hood of car and asked my to turn on my engine.

Upon stating it was the gasket he asks what was my budget. And states he is willing to work with my budget. I explained to him that this was unexpected and a reasonable price is best suitable He then tells me my car would be in his shop for 3 days for repair I agreed to. Well when day 3 nears no hear so I decide to contact he tell me my car shld be ready by that following Thurs which wld be day 5.

April 12 Day 5 I recieve a text from the shop owner stating my car was fixed and ready charging me $980. I told him that I have 700 and would contact him when I have the other money. I contacted him a day or two later to make payment and he quoted me a different price for $1200 leaving me in a bond to come up with the other portion.
I asked why did the price go up he says bc he changed the radiator. Now this is all after he tell me my car is fixed. Red flag

I went back to his shop on April 18 to get everything in writing bc the first day he only tell me sign a work order with no detail description in it. Once I arrived I didn’t see my car I asked where was my car he told me that he have a storage where he transport cars that’s done to a different storage for space. Red flag I didn’t know how to go about to handle it.
He writes the order tell me to sign it but bi cld not recieve it until I paid the whole bill red flag

I leave frustrated knowing that something is very fishy but didn’t know what to do about it.

I then recieved a message from him a week or two later that he tried to contact me but couldn’t which is a lie and he will be putting a mechanics lien on my vehicle I contacted him right after letting him know that I will surely be there to get my vehicle by the end of that day. He tell me as long as I can make it there before his shop closes he will stop the paper work.

Once I arrive he took the $1000 cash payment but wld not take the $200 from my card stating he only take cash. Doing all I cld to get the money from my card but cld not I left frustrated just knowing what the guy is doing is unjustly. He tells me since I did make a payment it secured my car from the mechanic lien. I told him I wint get paid until May 15th and will be there to pay the $200
Two days later I recieve another text from this guy asking about the $200 payment I reassured him once again that I will be coming by the following Monday May the 15th to pay off rest of the bill. He said it was fine.

May 15th I get there he said he was shocked to see me and that it wld be a moment before he cld get to me. 2-3 hours later I asks him what’s going on and he asks me to step outside to speak to him “customers were in the waiting area” and he didn’t want to be exposed. We walk over to my car my car hood is semi open. I tell him he said it is. I proceeded to ask him for my old parts and receipts of purchases for my parts. He tell me in an anger intimidating tone that he will add $1500 to my bill if ask him for such things. Then tell me to come back the next day. I asked why he says bc the mechanic has to tighten a few bolts etc. Red flag. Remember when he stated my vehicle was fixed and ready to go? I get there the next day May 16th I waited again practically the whole day again while they work on my car.
I get my car and my car stalls on startup. The now oil pressure light is now on that was never there before. Car idles on its on in traffic now it just shuts off on me in traffic I have contacted the shop owner on every instance he won’t cooperate.


#7

I’m sorry you were taken advantage of by this shop.

If a shop threatens to pad the bill for asking to see the replaced parts and the invoices for the so-called replacement parts, that’s fraud.

All you can do is file claim in small claims court, pay the fee, and sue the shop.

But get your ducks in a row.

Get every piece documentation that you have to present to the judge.

Then when you prove your case before the judge for damages, you can ask for punitive damages.

Punitive damages is when you ask the court not only to repay for your losses, but also to punish the offender for paying more money to you so that they don’t do it again.

I’d ask for $5,000 in punitive damages.

Tester


#8

Thanks so much! That’s what I’ve decided to do. I am now sending him a demand letter to pursue the matter legally. Now I’m without a car. Bc of this gut I’m afraid to drive it. Does it mean my engine is seized if I hear some what of a knocking while the engine is on?


#9

Don’t forget!

If you win the case, go to clerk of courts to show that you won the case.

That’s when they send the sheriff out to collect.

Tester


#10

Ok thanks you so much!


#11

For a 2010 TL, v6 3.5 L, I’m seeing about 10 hours labor to replace one of the head gaskets, and $300 in parts. So $1200 seems a reasonable price for the job, parts and labor. If both head gaskets required replacement, $1200 is a bargain basement price.

Not dissing you OP, but you understand the shop has expenses, the employees need their paychecks, so the shop needs to be paid every dime they earn for their work; they can’t just let you take the car from the shop until you pay them. And if they complete the job, but you can’t pay the full bill when they ask, they have the added expense of storing your car until you can pay, so they have to charge for that too. They do have the right to place a lien on the car if the non-payment goes on too long also. I’m not saying this is how things would work in an ideal world, but we don’t live in an ideal world.

Next up, there’s the delays, they said the work would be done after 3 days, but it took longer than that. It’s a pretty big job to replace a head gasket, and unless they offered a written guarantee when the job would be done, I don’t think they are obligated to compensate you for the delay. It is possible to get a guarantee for the completion date but you have to negotiate that up front, and get it in writing. So what the shop did is indeed annoying, but there isn’t anything super-unusual that happened. Sometimes it takes longer b/c they shop doesn’t have the part it needs, and the part isn’t available locally, so has to be shipped. Or the shop breaks one of the tools it needs, has a delay to buy a new one. Or the shop tech who is doing the job gets the flu, etc etc. Lots of reasons why a job like this could take longer than estimated.

You do however have the right to expect the work they do for you, once you pay the total bill and the car is delivered to you, is good quality work. You have the right to expect the shop will stand behind their work, correct any mistakes they made while doing the work. You can’t expect them to be responsible for something that was about to break anyway.

You can of course try to seek recompense at the local small claims court. But I think you may have some difficulty b/c of your failure to pay in a timely manner. That will go against any counter-argument you make. Whether you have an argument about the oil problem, who knows. the court won’t take your word for it. You’ll have to get another professional to write an evaluation, and that will cost you even more money. So I think your best bet is to remain calm as you can, and work with the shop to get the remaining issues resolved. Suggest to tell them they can keep the car for 3 weeks so they can work on it during time they wouldn’t otherwise be billing, that will save them some money, and is a compromise you should be willing to make. In the meantime, rent another car, or take public transportation. I think this is your best bet, given the situation.

Going forward, next time you need a shop to do some work for you, come back here and post a question how to find a good shop. Best of luck there OP.


#12

This OP has three threads about the same car and same problem all with in a short period. They are legal problems so they need legal help.


#13

You can only ask for actual damage in small claims court, I believe.


#14

For the record, I’m siding with either party

Here’s a few thoughts . . .

ANY shop owner would not be please if the work is completed, and it then becomes clear the customer can’t pay the entire bill in full at that time

storage fees are not unheard of, but they may have come into play rather early in this case, as the car was only there a few days, not several weeks or months

there are definitely communications problems, and I believe it’s on both sides. For instance, unless the customer expressly stated he wanted his old parts saved for inspection right at the beginning, the shop owner shouldn’t be expected to save them. Maybe it would have been a good idea, nonetheless, but that’s not the point. And if this one-sided story we’re hearing is completely accurate, the shop owner called the customer too soon, before the repair was even properly verified.


#15

On the other side, what kind of shop can’t take credit card for large amounts? Where is that acceptable?

When someone won’t take anything but cash, my immediate thought is tax fraud. Maybe not, but that’s how it profiles. We do billions of dollars in credit card business in the USA, including car repairs.


#16

A lawyer licensed to practice in Texas reviewing the details of the case can tell you definitively what recourse you have under Texas law. If you cannot afford one, perhaps Texas will have a system for assigning a pro-bono lawyer, but you’ll need to pursue that possibility yourself, probably through your state Attorney General’s office.

You can also document the compete details of the situation and file a formal complaint with the Texas State Attorney General’s office of Consumer Affairs. They’ll review the complaint, do a bit of preliminary checking, and if you’ve been wronged they’ll open a formal investigation. Businesses who do people wrong have been known to do everything possible to avoid an AG’s investigation. I once had a car involved in such an investigation (not resultant from a complaint by me personally) and the dealer, a major car dealer, ended up closing down. The AG’s office has the knowledge, the resources, and the power to pursue a case wherever it needs to go.

Be aware, however, that none of us can determine whether you’ve actually been wronged, there’s a misunderstanding that led to a mechanic’s lien, Texas law regarding such a lien (states can be very different in their tort laws), or if this is something else entirely. Only a lawyer doing a preliminary review and possibly an investigation can do so.

I urge you to pursue the advice of a lawyer. Let us know how you made out. We do care, but this is a legal issue that only a lawyer or the AG’s office can help you with.

Sincere best.


#17

Thanks for the responses.
I don’t agree with the shop owners deceptive ways. My sue towards this shop owner will be under the DTPA law. What he has done towards me as a consumer in my opinion was fraudulent luring me into business and changing prices even changing parts without my authorization. He did not charge me storage at the time my car was there bc he said he wld not im assuming giving the fact that he quoted me for one price buy gave me another price.

I have even tried to work with the shop owner and
he does not want to cooperate. Considering that I may not want to pursue a legal matters towards his business. I have made complaints to the AG office,FTC and also to Consumer Affairs project.


#18

That is where the confusion comes in. Bc he lied and said my car was fixed but when I go to pick up my vehicle after being threaten with a mechanic lien my car isn’t ready and on top he refused my payment by CC (credit card) and only wanted cash


#19

Exactly…my point. This owner must have something to hide. He has given me such a hard time with my vehicle. I believe it’s something that can be done about a business that’s ran like his.


#20

If he does, the AG’s office opening an investigation will terrify him. His consequences could be not only financial, but criminal.