My 2002 Ford Explorer broke down with a transmission problem on 5 Dec 2007. I had it towed back 'home' by AAA, 25 miles to a local AAA approved shop. I had used this shop in the past and thought them fair, but they had only handled minor repairs for me. They told me that they repair transmissions and quoted me on the job. The head mechanic quoted me '$1,700 - $2000' over the phone for a transmission rebuild. Fair enough, I thought. Again, the head mechanic told me 'It would not cost any more than $2000 and if it did (he) would call me'.
Well, days have turned into weeks. I have gotten one excuse after the other and even though they rebuilt the transmission, it still isn't working. My wife and I were (overly) patient. We asked about using their 'loaner', only to repeatedly be told it was down. This was while we paid for more than 3 weeks of car rental out of our own pocket. They finally got 'the loaner' to us and I was immediately concerned over the condition of the vehicle. It was riding on a donut tire, which they replaced later with a real wheel. It made load noises when braking and all the door handles had to be pushed back down after opening the doors, in order to get them to latch. My wife, having to go to work one eve, ended up breaking down on the interstate about 10 miles from home.
I called them after hours to recover their vehicle and they had the nerve to ask my wife 'what did you do to our car?'. Needless to say, I was irate. I asked them when we were going to have our truck back. It has now been 6 WEEKS since it was dropped at their shop. The owner calls me up today and says, it is a computer problem. It needs a $1000 computer, but the new bill is $4,300. Not to mention I just rented another economy car for a week for $300, with about $1,700 now into rentals. He wants my approval to have the computer 'installed' (at least another week).
Where do I stand in a law suite against this guy? What can I recover in damages and is there any consumer fraud involved here?
P.S. This guy advertises a policy on his invoices that if he can't fix the vehicle, he'll buy it. Unfortunately, we love the truck and wouldn't want to go through the hassle of buying a new vehicle over this. That's if he would even honor his own policy.
AAA has put pressure on him, but I have not heard back from them. What can they do?