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Catalytic Converter Stolen off Car While Parked at Dealership

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by Anon-e-Mouse, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. Anon-e-Mouse

    Anon-e-Mouse Law Topic Starter Member

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    My daughter left her car at the dealership for recall repairs. They fixed the car and told my daughter to come pick it up; that it would be parked at a certain place in their outdoor lot. By the time she got there after work to pick it up somebody had stolen the catalytic converter off it. The dealer said she'd have to file a claim with her own insurance company ... that they (dealer) weren't responsible for what happened to it in their lot.

    Does that sound right?

    Could somebody please explain why - when the car was sitting where the dealer put it, in the dealer's own lot - the dealer isn't responsible for preventing the theft of the catalytic converter?

    Thank you.
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    The dealer isn't an absolute guarantor of customers' property on its lot (and I'm confident that the work authorization that she signed contains a clear statement to that effect). The only way the dealer would be liable is if the dealer was negligent. Is there any evidence of the dealer's negligence.

    The dealer has some obligation, but how far does it go? Does the dealer have to hire a team of former special forces soldiers to stand armed watch in order to prevent theft? Of course not, so what lesser efforts does the dealer have to undertake? The answer is that it depends on all relevant facts and circumstances. Have there been several dozen crimes like this over the past year or two or is the first one ever? What's the area like where the dealer is located? I don't expect answers to those questions, but those are some of the things that inform the issue of whether or not the dealer satisfied its duty of care.

    In addition to waiting for the dealer's insurer to respond, your daughter should make a claim with her own insurer (assuming she carried comprehensive coverage).
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Who said?

    In what position was the person who said it?

    Service writer, service manager, dealership manager, owner/president of the dealership.

    I suggest your daughter find out the name and address of the dealership owner, and demand that the dealership cover the replacement. He may care more about his dealership's Yelp reviews than his employees.

    If she has no success, then she can get her own insurance to cover it. Her insurance may seek reimbursement from the dealership if they believe that the dealership is responsible.

    By the way, the arrangement with the dealership for the repairs was a mutual benefit bailment which requires greater than ordinary care by the bailee (dealer).
    Anon-e-Mouse likes this.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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