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Mechanic Damaged My Car

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by LawyerWantToBe, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    So put your demand in writing that he repair the damage he caused and give a deadline to do it before you seem another remedy.
    Don't answer phone calls- make him write back or leave recorded messages.
     
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  2. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the excellent advice.
    The secretary of state's office has issued him a letter and he has 15 - days to reply. Once that time is up I will issue him a letter as well and give him 10 - days to repair my vehicle.
    Take care...
     
  3. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello Team Awesome,

    Last week I sent a notarized certified letter to the mechanic asking him to fix the vehicle. I have given him until January 5, 2021 to respond to my letter and so far I have not heard from him.
    I am in the process of calling Ford dealerships in the area and receiving 2 - quotes from each. One is for replacing the head and the other is for replacing the long block as well as the head if they find that the cylinder is damaged when they remove the head.
    My plan is to go to the county courthouse and file a small claims case against this mechanic. I do not have a lot of written evidence against the mechanic. Most of it was he and I in conversation and maybe an employee or two of his. I am hoping that I can show that mechanic admitted to me verbally several times that he dropped a socket in the cylinder and that he admitted that he bored the spark hole out to remove the socket and then he installed an insert into the spark plug hole.
    If the mechanic flat out denies these conversations with me then the judge will have to rule in his favor. If the mechanic admits to these claims then I am hoping the judge will reward me a victory and force the mechanic to pay to have a Ford dealership in the area repair the damages.
    I am relieved that he has not replied because I do not trust him to repair the vehicle correctly.

    I am truly grateful to you all for helping me through this journey. It would be much simpler to just give up but I owe it to myself, my family and all of the other people who might be might be hurt by this crook.

    Best regards,
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That's not how it would work. If you win a money judgment, then it is on you to collect. So, if you are awarded $2,500 (just a number pulled from the air), then the mechanic will owe you that money, and it is your chore to collect that money from him. He is not going to be required to pay the dealership directly (although, that is certainly an arrangement you could negotiate directly with the mechanic).
     
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  5. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi Zigner,

    Do you think that it would be prudent to hire an attorney to help me through the small claims process including the collection of the money if awarded?

    I would like to put this fiasco to a close and do not mind paying the extra expense if it means saving me the time and hassle to take the mechanic to the next higher suit level.

    Thank you so much.
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What kind of car is this? It's entirely possible that it's cheaper to simply replace the engine with a rebuilt engine than it is to do a full tear-down, diagnosis and rebuild. Have you checked in to that option?
     
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  7. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have and the strategy that I am pursuing is as follows.
    I am in the process of calling Ford dealerships in the area and receiving 2 - quotes from each. One is for replacing the head and the other is for replacing the long block (engine) as well as the head if they find that the cylinder is damaged when they remove the head.

    Thank you,
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    An attorney might not be able to assist you in small claims but could help in other ways. You would certainly want to ask for attorney costs as part of your damages in court, if allowed.
     
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  9. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks Mighty,

    Would you recommend that I call an attorney before I go to small claims court in order to tell him/her the entire story, get his opinion about the case and get some suggestions as to whether or not I should pursue and how to pursue if I choose? I only know one attorney and he is too sick to communicate right now so I would have to do an online search for one.

    Gratefully appreciate you,
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you haven't done so already you need to put a dollar amount to your damages. That figure should guide they way to proceed.
     
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  11. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The total amount that I am suing for is $9,500.00.

    Thank you,
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    1) You aren't going to get more than the vehicle is worth.
    2) What do you base that number on? You don't even know your actual damages at this point.
     
  13. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    How are you arriving at that figure when you don't yet know what the actual cost to repair the vehicle will be?

    In any event, as Zigner noted, you can't win in a damages more than the car was worth prior to the damage, and you said that was $7,000.

    If the actual repair costs are more than the car is worth then replace the car and sue for the $7,000.
     
  14. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You sent a "notarized . . . letter"? Why would you have your signature on the letter notarized?

    That's not necessarily true. The court could rule in your favor if the judge finds your testimony to be credible and the mechanic's testimony not to be credible.

    If you prevail, you will be entitled to a money judgment for the lesser of the vehicle's fair market value or the reasonable cost of repair. The court will not "force the mechanic to pay to have a . . . dealership . . . repair the damage."

    In some states, if a defendant loses a small claims case, he/she/it can appeal and get what amounts to a do-over in a "regular" (i.e., non-small claims) court. I don't know if NC has such a rule. Nor do I know whether, if such a rule does exist, having an attorney in your small claims case would help you avoid that result.

    North Carolina does allow attorneys to represent parties in small claims court.

    This number appears to be something you simply made up. If that's not the case, what is the basis for it?
     
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  15. LawyerWantToBe

    LawyerWantToBe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you so much for the help zddoodah. The quote for replacing the long block on a 4.6 liter 8-cylinder Ford engine Is anywhere between $7,300.00 and $9,900.00 based on 4 - Ford dealership quotes. The mechanic also damaged the EGR and Autozone quoted that for a couple of hundred dollars plus probably a couple hundred dollars to have it replaced..
    Also, my wife and I had to drive to mechanic's shop several times to drop the vehicle off and then pick it up.
    Gratefully appreciate your advice.
    Sincerely,
    LWTB
     
  16. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    You can buy that engine (remanufactured) from Jasper for under 3K.
     
  17. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    This would not be compensable even if your damages were less than the car's FMV.
     
  18. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I agree with this. A rebuilt engine ready to be dropped in, some arguably better than the originals, can be obtained for 3k or less. There is a lot less labor to remove the entire engine and reinstall a new one than there is to dismantle the existing engine.
    However, the cost of labor to get this done would still likely be a couple thousand more.
    If you can obtain quotes to replace the engine that are lower than the cost to repair the existing one I would certainly pursue that. Rather than dealerships, get a quote from other mechanics. Try one that your insurance recommends.

    Rebuilt Ford 4.6 Engines For Sale
     

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