Dealer-created Damage Reappears -- Need Advice

This is a bit of a story, but I feel totally out of my depth and need advice, please.

I drive a van adapted so I can drive from a wheelchair. Brand new, with all the modifications, these vehicles run around $60,000.

Five years ago, the dealer was adding a lock to secure my wheelchair in place, and he inadvertently drove a bolt through a wiring harness. We didn’t discover the problem until two years ago, when all sorts of electrical problems were happening, culminating with the side curtain air bag deploying while the van was parked. We took the van to our local mechanic, who discovered the electrical damage.

To the dealer’s credit, they acknowledged their mistake and attempted to fix the damage, and we accepted. But the dealer’s mechanic is more versed in fixing the modifications, not the inner workings of the van itself. He was often on the phone with our local mechanic throughout the two months it took him to finish.

Now, less than two years later, some of the electrical problems are happening again. We took it back to our local mechanic, who thinks the new problems are likely related to improperly completed repairs. But proving that would likely be costly and difficult. The only thing he certainly discovered was that the wiring to the side curtain air-bag was not connected.

We have contacted the dealer’s parent company who have offered to have the dealer diagnose the new problems, or pay $500 to a different facility to do the same.

I need ideas. Is it worth repairing significant issues on a ten year old minivan with 50,000 miles? Should I be aiming for a good deal on a trade in? Please help.

I would think the repairs are the way to go. Get an estimate, these days and prices that is cheap.

Reminds me of a bud with cerebral palsy, took his van in for an oil change, they had moved the seat back and he could not reach the pedals, ran smack dab into a power pole!

It seems like it’s going to be in your best interests to get the problem(s) fixed, whether you decide to buy a new vehicle or not. So yeah, best to go ahead and get the existing problem repaired. then you can decide on your own schedule if you want to continue driving, or sell. If it has been well maintained, and with only 50K miles, I’d expect that vehicle to remain fully functional for at least another 5 years.

Here’s a related story: I needed to screw a small piece of trim back into place that had come loose, located below the door-striker area of my truck. I didn’t have the old screw so I found a new one to use. Wondering what was underneath, I first took a look only to discover the top of the fuel tank was in that area, and the screw I was about to use might have punctured it. Found a smaller screw.

The prices are even higher now. Corrosion has probably set in on the repaired wiring so fixing it may be easy. Now is a good time to get a new van if you plan on living for another ten years. Prices probably won’t come down much and unmodified vans cost quite a lot. I believe that there will be enough modified vehicles to go around. Modifiers seem to be springing up everywhere.

I like the transfer seat system in mine.