Window mechanism broken during smog check

civic
honda
repair

#1

Tech rolled down window for smog check and now it won’t roll back up. Tech refuses all responsibility for broken mechanism. Suggests I pay him to fix it. It is starting to rain. Car is 12 years old (1999 Honda Civic) Is he right?


#2

What Does The Writing Say (Fine Print) On The Repair Order Where You Signed Your Name ?

CSA


#3

PARTS AND LABOR WARRANTIES 100 PERCENT FOR 4000 MILES OR 90 DAYS, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. THIS WARRANTY LIMITED TO THE WORK ON THIS FORM ONLY. VEHICLE MUST BE RETURNED TO OUR SHOP, AT CUSTOMER EXPENSE TO HONOR WARRANTY.

I HEREBY AUTHORIZE THE REPAIR WORK TO BE DONE ALONG WITH NECESSARY MATERIALS. YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES MAY OPERATE VEHICLE FOR PURPOSES OF TESTING, INSPECTION OR DELIVERY AT MY RISK, AN EXPRESS MECHANICS’S LIEN IS ACKNOWLEDGED ON VEHICLE TO SECURE THE AMOUNT OF REPAIRS THERETO. YOU WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE TO VEHICLE OR ARTICLES LEFT IN VEHICLE IN CASE OF FIRE, THEFT, ACCIDENT OR ANY OTHER CAUSE BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. TAG MUST BE PRESENTED FOR CREDIT OR WARRANTY WORK.

BECAUSE OF THE EXTENT OF THE TEARDOWN AND INSPECTION, THE VEHICLE MAY NOT PERFORM AS WELL AS BEFORE.

ALL PARTS NEW UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

BY LAW, YOU MAY CHOOSE ANOTHER FACILITY TO PERFORM ANY NEEDED REPAIRS OR ADJUSTMENTS THAT THE SMOG CHECK TEST INDICATES ARE NECESSARY.

NO RETURN ON SPECIAL ORDER ITEMS. ALL SPECIAL ORDERS PAID IN ADVANCE. 20% CHARGE ON ALL RETURNED ITEMS.

WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ITEMS LEFT OVER 10 DAYS.
MUST REQUEST RETURN OF ANY OLD PARTS AT TIME OF CHECK IN.

Capitalization from original. I am not a lawyer, so i don’t really know what it means. And they broke something not related to repair, so I don’t think any of it applies.


#4

I think before you place responsibility on the tech for the failure, you need to get a diagnosis and repair. It could be that a plastic belt or some other part of the mechanism failed, and that failure happened coincidental to the tech rolling down the window.

See if a trusted auto body shop can look at it, or give you an estimate of cost to repair. This may entail some labor charges to get to the mechanism for inspection; by then you might as well get the repair done.

In cases like these you want an independent repair done and an independent evaluation of the situation. We already know what the tech will say, regardless of what may have actually happened.


#5

Windows are designed to be rolled down, this point favors the tech as he was not doing something with the window it was not designed for, keys get locked in cars a lot in these fast moving smog check facilities, I submit that the tech was only taking precautions to prevent a key lock in, again I side with the tech. If it was going to break it would have broken if you were the one turning the crank or if it was the tech, it just happened to be the tech,again I side with the tech.

All that being well and good it is in a mechanics best interests not to operate any thing in the car unless it is absolutely required, prevents situations like this.


#6

If you rode with me in my car and you rolled the window down (assuming that I had not told you not to do so), would you pay for the repair of the window when it wouldn’t roll back up?


#7

yes, or at least offer to. But the situation is different between friends versus someone I am paying to fix my car.


#8

The cable broke, so it is likely that the failure happened coincidentally. So the idea is that it was going to fail anyway, and since no negligence was involved, the repair shop is not responsible. It looks like it is going to cost more than $150 to fix this ($60 labor, $90 part).


#9

The mechanic did not cause this problem and should not be responsible for a 12 year old, poorly designed cable operated window regulator.

If the ignition switch failed would this be the mechanic’s fault also?
If the car refused to start due to a dead battery that turns out to be going downhill would this be his fault also?
One could carry this out to the point where a mechanic should not even lay a finger on anyone’s car due to this kind of convoluted logic.

If someone knocked on your door and you told them to come on in would you hit them up for repair costs if the door handle broke when they opened it?


#10

Well, I used to repair computers and never returned them working less well then when they came in. But opinions differ and that is why I asked the question.


#11

The thing is that window regulators eventually break with use. The guy did nothing you wouldn’t have done. If he hadn’t rolled the window down, it would have broken the very next time you rolled it down. You put all the wear on it that lead to this. He only used it once.

Your theory seems to be that I could take a worn out car to a mechanic to change the oil, knowing that the door would fall off when he tried to open it, the starter would likely fry when he started it, and so on. Then for only the price of an oil change he would have to do thousands of dollars worth of repairs to my car.


#12

I’m not arguing. If the situation were reversed, I would feel some responsibility. I asked for your opinion and I see your point of view. Mechanical devices wear out. If I take a 12 year old car to a mechanic, it may not work when I get it back. Presumably, the answer would be different if it were a newer car.


#13

I really don’t think that new or old makes a difference.
If your car were new, and the window broke during normal operation, then it would be a dealer warranty repair, not the smog check mechanic.
The mechanic wasn’t working on the window or anything related to it, so it is not his fault. It would be different if he were working on something inside the door and the window broke, even if it was only because of wear and was going to break any way.


#14

Mechanics roll windows down to avoid locking keys in cars. Not hsi fault, unless you can prove he was somehow negligent in THE WAY he rolled it down. Not likely.


#15

My daughter used to own a 4 door Mitsubishi that used those cable operated window regulators. Even with a lot of use on the drivers window and little use on the other 3 they all failed outright or became very balky to the point of being near unuseable.

There’s a lot to be said for a scissors mechanism.


#16

There’s a lot to be said for a scissors mechanism.
Amen.
If you keep a car with the cable type regulators long enough, they will all have to be replaced.


#17

I was introduced to window regulator replacement with scissor regulators (using those really big pop rivets).GM seems to have a problem (but it was good for me) with any window regulator method they choose. There were more motor failure than scissor mechanism failures but they would bend or the plastic pieces would wear out. With a body style change in full size pickups around 2000 GM went to a cable system, then the failures were with the cables(motors OK). S-Blazers had more motor failures than regulators. A guy could really keep his day full with window regulator work.