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Car repair taking more time. Is it ok to leave car idle at dealer's place?


I have a 2010 Mazda 6 car. I received a letter for airbag recall. When I dropped my car for service they said it would 1 hr to fix the airbag.
Later they called me and said the parts are not available and it would take another 1 month for the parts to arrive. The provided me with an alternative car.
They parked my car in an open parking space.
When I called after 1 month, they said its an early stage for the recall. They are not sure when the parts will come.
Is it ok the leave the car idle for few months in an open space ?
Any damage will happen to the car ?

If it was under a lot of hot sun I would worry a bit but then given the season it is not very likely that this is the case.

If you have a loaner car, I say it is a fair deal, your car is not accumulating any miles.

Also, given the nature of the recall, I would like the car fixed before I drive it, so you kinda don’t have much of a choice here.

You can buy a car cover and see if the dealer would let you put it on, or maybe buy the service writer a box of chocolates and see if he would take the car to a covered area.

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Millions of cars sit out in the sun every year. Most people don’t own a garage. Long term (like several years) there’d be a problem. I surely hope the car won’t be in the shop that long.

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If this concerns you bring the car home and store it in your garage. This may leave you ineligible for a rental car.

In May 2016 Lexus issued an air bag recall on popular Lexus models with a rental car offer until the repair is available. The storage of the affected vehicle is often up the the vehicle owner, dealers don’t have space available for hundreds of vehicles. As of today there is no release date for replacement air bag inflators for these vehicles.

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It’s not going to be harmed by not being started for a month or so, if that’s what you’re asking. Any physical damage that happens to it while in the dealership’s custody (it gets rammed by another car, etc) will be on them to fix.

So I wouldn’t worry. You’re getting a month or so of driving without putting miles on your car, which is great!

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More than a month, I’d be worried about the battery discharging. And a totally discharged battery suffers some small amount of damage each time.

I’d ask them to disconnect the battery, charge it, and leave it disconnected.

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Added to the above advice I’d probably take a camera with date stamped photos & take several pictures of the car inside & out . If any physical damage occurs to the car while it’s sitting there , there would be no doubt where the car was when the damage occurred .

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Although the dealer is responsible for anything that happens to it under their care, I wouldn’t like my car sitting out idle that long. I’d like to at least get it home and in my own garage for safe keeping but maybe not at the expense of not getting a loaner. This is happening all over the country right now but I don’t understand why they started the work before having the parts in hand?

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probably because the car is unsafe to drive.

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Yes, it’s okay. The long-term parking lot at your local airport has cars that have sat for longer, and it’s common for new cars to sit longer between delivery and sale.

If the battery goes dead, it’ll simply be recharged and the “initialization” protocols run by the dealer to reset the power windows etc. You might have to reset your radio stations, but everything else should be back to “baseline”. These protocols, used by dealers in prepping cars for delivery, are a great idea to have. I wish manufacturers would include them in the buyers’ document packages. They’ll typically be listed in the category of “technical service bulletin” (TSB).

As regards possible damage, photos are never a bad idea. If anything happens, the dealer’s insurance will fully cover it.


The recall is for airbag. When I went for the service they said the parts were available for service.
After they removed by airbag they realised that they didn’t have exact airbag for my car.
So now my car is sitting idle in open space at the dealer with airbag removed.
I don’t think its safe to drive.
I asked them could they install another airbag, they said it will be a liability issue.
I don’t know what can I do.
I am sure it will take another few months to get it fixed.
I will definitely take photos by visiting the dealer.
I am worried about my car getting rusted. Covering the car will help?
What are the terms I can negotiate with the dealer ?

You can use a cover but I suggest that you get the one with breathable material.

Sounds like the service department made your decision for you as far as leaving it there. As far as terms with the dealer, the things I would want:

  • easy access to your car
  • a rental that does what your existing car has that you use. For instance, if I used my car for sales and have a navigation system, the rental should have a navigation system
  • you should be able to use the rental just like your regular car. I’m not sure how that works with insurance and rental agreements. You want to have some assurance that it’s insured and that you’ve not going to get charged for driving too many miles or normal wear and tear or the like.
  • if your car is there a really long time, say 6 months, maybe have them do the maintenance items for free that have a time interval that would have elapsed. An oil change is the only one that comes to mind

Practically, I think you’re going to need to visit your car periodically to inspect it (hence the easy access). I simply would not expect them to inspect or start up or really do anything to your vehicle while it’s there.

I would have thought that the dealer would make a great offer on trading for a new car rather than leave the car sitting on the back lot while furnishing a rental.