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Is it worth $5,500

My 2003 Pontiac Vibe was recently towed and the tow caused damage to my rear differential. I am told repairs will cost me close to $5,500. My Vibe only has 60,000 miles on it and I’ve taken very good care of this vehicle. Is it worth the 5K to fix a 10 year old car or should I invest in a new one?

Why are you paying for the repairs? If the towing company damaged your vehicle while towing it, they should pay for the repairs. Afterall, you’re paying them a fee to tow your vehicle as professionals without doing damage to your vehicle.


Isn’t Vibe a front wheel drive car? What is the “rear differential” exactly?

Galant- they were availible with all wheel drive

Tester is 100% correct, who ever towed the car is responsible for the repairs. An AWD vibe must be flat bedded.

If the towing was by a company a few things. Keep the tow slip which contains equipment used.

They ALL carry insurance to cover damages. Easy case to prove if you have the tow slip in hand typically.

Lets say it is not covered. A used part if available seems like a good choice although AWD was not as common in Matrix/Vibe. Remember Matrix and Vibe share these type of parts under their skins and interiors.

Why was the car towed? I think most towing companies deny or decline any responsibility if they’re towing a car due to driver negligence, like towing a parked car out of a fire zone or an illegally parked car out of a lot.

Other than that, keep your paperwork and ask them for partial responsibility for the repair. A good used part should be available for your car, and if it’s been a good reliable car you should get some more life out of it for less than $5500.

Aside from the liability issue, $5,500 for a Vibe?

And here I was thinking I was getting pretty well reamed ten years ago when I paid $2,500 to replace the differential on my Suburban in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma during an extended trip.

I guess machined steel parts prices have gone up a lot since then…

You need to file a damages claim with the towing company. As already stated, they’re responsible and insured. You may need to attach a repair estimate as well as the tow slip.

While agreeing with the other comments, I can’t help but wonder why the vehicle was towed along with any other possibly relevant details.

Interesting question. Nice catch.

@asemaster, absolutely false. A tow company is required to take care in towing a vehicle irrelevant to how it was parked. This is simply a mistake by tow operator or not taking proper care to read the tow manual which prescribes the equipment required to tow a specific vehicle.

A sign at tow company or lot is absolutely meaningless.

"A sign at tow company or lot is absolutely meaningless. "

Just as the posting of a sign in a valet parking garage stating, “We are not responsible for damage to your vehicle”, is a meaningless attempt at preventing customers from filing damage claims, anyone who tows your car is responsible for damage that is done by their actions or their inactions.

All of that being said, proving that the towing company did the damage might be difficult.

Oh I agree that towing services should exercise care and common sense. However, they regularly post signs saying they are not responsible for damage resulting from towing from an illegal park or impound and you’re going to have to spend time and money taking them to court to prove otherwise. Towing companies I have dealt with generally take responsibility for damage they cause during a “breakdown” tow.

My point was that if I park in front of a fire hydrant and my car gets impounded, any damage to my car really is my problem, isn’t it.

The tow slip for the vehicle should list vehicle and type of equipment used.

It was cut and dry when a college friends AWD drivetrain was ruined by a tow company who used improper methods (left rear wheels on the ground) for an illegally parked car. The tow insurance company covered it.