Who Should Pay? What is Fair?

I’ve an 11 year old bmw I took in for service. They replaced the tubing for the radiator. A few days later after light driving, my car overheated. I had it towed to my mechanic, and we saw the new (top) tube split in two, and inside were fragments from the radiator’s neck.

They said the radiator was 11 years old, and apparantly broke under pressure from installing the new hose. I suspected negligence, and asked if they examined the neck before putting on the new hose (they didn’t do a pressure test). My position is that I would have paid the full price if advised of a problem before the new hose was attached.

They offered to split the roughly $700 cost of replacing the radiator, but some have recommended they cover the cost completely (which they are willing to do). Or should I offer something since it is an 11 year old car? What do you think? I just want to be fair.

I vote 50/50 is very fair. Your radiator could have been worn out otherwise as 11 years old is way past the typical life of the average radiator.

Given that 11 years old is what they were working on they are responsible for the type of repair they recommended. You are expecting that they are professional and do the job correctly as they recommend. You gave them hard earned cash in return. A minimum warranty on this work is 30 days. They own it. The system is designed for brand new hoses. The system they installed did not work, period. Now what exactly did they replace and what exactly broke? Normally we refer to tubing as the internal parts of the radiator(metal) and hoses as the rubber parts that connect it to the engine. If the radiator (metal) parts failed and they did not pressure test the system I would say that they failed to inspect the radiator and recommend a replacement at the same time. This would have saved some labor but not much. If you want to work with them again I would say(if you need a new radiator) that you ask a refund of the labor on the other job and pay for a radiator part cost to get you up and running. Basically parts are money. Time is money. They didn’t take the time to test the radiator(or properly inspect it) and recommend the correct job in the first place. They can give the time to make you happy but don’t expect them to pay the parts.

Thanks for clarifying. They originally replaced the hoses. The top hose was split (with remnants of the radiator neck inside) and the car overheated. Former mechanics I’ve had (in another city) said they wouldn’t charge me saying, as you did, that it was their responsibility, but I’ve generally been pleased with my current mechanic and would ideally like to keep the relationship.