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What is required before the car is junked?!?

If a shop junks a vehicle that they do not own, and without authorization from the legal owner, they are subject to being ordered to “make the plaintiff whole”. We’re debating whether the law requires a title to scrap a vehicle, but not whether the shop will be liable for the cost of the vehicle. They will. And if fraud is involved (which I don’t believe it is in this case), there could also be criminal charges.

The shop is liable.

Let me clarify here. In Tennessee, a junk yard will pay to the bearer of a 10 year old car, the junk value and then crush it, no title needed. The junk yard will not be held responsible. If your car is stolen and junked, and if you can track down the thief, the thief can be held criminally and civilly responsible.

In the case here, the mechanic could still be held responsible, but not the junkyard. Laws vary from state to state but scrap metal thieves are getting to be a major problem around here and so far, the lawmakers have not been competent enough to pass an effective law to stop them. They not only steal cars, they steel working air-conditioners right off the pad or out of the windows of peoples homes, churches, businesses and even public buildings, wiring and water lines out of buildings under construction, even manhole covers and storm drain grates.

It doesn’t help that Arkansas has even more lax laws than Tennessee, that’s where most of the scrap metal goes. Scrappers in AR do not even have to ask for an ID, and they don’t.

Take him to small claims court. Show no mercy. Don’t meet him in the middle or compromise somewhere. Take him for the KBB value. First he tells you that he thought you took the car and then says that he has your plates? The guy is clearly a parasite.
He may have done something shady like try to take your car with a mechanic’s lien but you would have had to have been notified.

Is it shady to place a mechanics lein on a vehicle? How much time should pass before a car is considered abandoned? It doesn’t take long for a shops parking lot to fill up with disabled vehicles that the owners simply forget about.

Laws will vary by state, but generally if a car has current plates and inspection stickers, and can be traced to the owner, it isn’t considered abandoned.

Whoa, this happened in MA? Very tough laws protecting the consumer here. Rather than try to figure out all the angles and issues yourself (age, mileage, time passage etc) I would just call someone like the State’s Attorney General’s office and explain your situation. They may know or point you in the right direction.

Thanks all – I have just cancelled the insurance & plates (it was still titled, registered and insured).

I am going to call the office of consumer affairs. I’ll let you know how it all goes.