Legal rights at repair shop?

Hi there, I own a 1999 Golf 2.0 (4 cylinder). I had the clutch replaced 3 months ago by my local Firestone for 1000$. I got the car back after a few days, and since then - it’s been making a noise whenenver the vehicle’s momentum changes. For instance, when I begin to accelerate - it will make the noise - or when I first start to brake - it makes the noise. From a dead stop, as soon as I ease off the clutch and begin to inch forward… it makes the noise. Here is an interesting thing to note, it only does it after I’ve driven for about 10 minutes and the car is warmed up.

At first, they said it was the heat shield rattling - then they said it was the splash panel - then they said it was the motor mount. They keep returning it to me, saying they’ve fixed it… the truth is, they’re not letting it warm up enough because every time I drive it home, it starts doing it again. I’d love to know what it could be, but short of that… what are my legal options? Can I just say “You have to take it to a VW dealer and let them look at it - and you’re going to pay for it”. It’s been 3 months, and 4 or 5 trips back there. What do I do? The sound resembles a lead bar, wrapped in a thin sheat of felt being tapped on the undercarriage. I can almost feel it in my feet. what do I do?? please!

Independent VW specialist diagnosis.
Just as good as a Dealer opinion.
Ride in the car with the mechanic till the noise is heard.
Don’t just drop it off.
For that matter you should have the first shop ride with you until the noise shows up.
If you get nowhere with Firestone,you pay for a disassembley diagnosis if a problem is found you have your evidience.
What if no problem is found?

I wouldn’t ask for legal advice on a car repair forum but that’s just me. I’m not saying any advice you get here is necessarily bad but I wouldn’t be citing it in court if it got that far.

I agree w/oldschool. One thing you have in your favor is that they have more or less admitted there was a problem since they claim to have “fixed” it. That should work in your favor. I would call in advance and suggest that it would be in both sides best interest to go on a ride and that you would have the car warmed up so they don’t waste time trying to replicate it. Set up a mutually agreeable time to stop in and then the mech jumps in and off you go. If it’s as repeatable as you say, it should happen immediately and then take it from there.

One suggestion, be nice about it and non-confrontational but insist on a resolution. It may turn out to be unrelated to the repair and you’ll have egg on your face. Besides, people are more inclined to help if you’re nice…

I don’t plan on taking the quotes from this forum to court with me, just trying to get some general thoughts on the situation.

I have been more than nice to these guys, I’ve bent over explaining to them “Sorry, I don’t want to sound like a jerk… but this really can’t go on like this.” and I did have them in the car the last time I went, so he could hear the noise… he agrees it’s there, but after “repairing it” he is not letting it warm up enough… he also says he can’t hear well. the whole thing sucks…

If it only started when they replaced the clutch, my money is on a bad throw-out bearing.

Moral of the story here… don’t take your car to Firestone for repairs. They can’t even get tires right.

Worst Case Scenerio:

Should you find that nothing else works out, for a few bucks, you can file in small claims court. It’s a roll of the dice, but you sound more credible, to me. Sad to say that judges often can relate to your feelings toward this car repair shop, through personal experiences. I won a case at small claims, mainly because the other party acted like a jerk.

You need to do your homework. You will either have to get an accurate estimate and opinion of the problem from a competent mechanic, elsewhere. Hopefully, a diagnosis can be made without actually beginning the repairs. You need to have receipts, affidavits, witnesses, etc.

Often times, you will get the attention of the questionable repair facility when they receive their notice to appear in court and they will contact you to work things out.

Were you given an accurate estimate? Is the mechanic’s name and State Certification
number on your repair order. Where I live, a shop can’t exceed the estimate by 10%, without additional authorization or fail to put mechanic name and certification info. on repair order without being in violation of law, as regulated by the Secretary of State’s office.

I hope TwinTurbo doesn’t mind my borrowing a quote, but proceed carefully: “One suggestion, be nice about it and non-confrontational but insist on a resolution. It may turn out to be unrelated to the repair and you’ll have egg on your face.”