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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Illinois

    Ok this is going to be a somewhat long post...

    This all started when I took my 1991 Dodge Stealth Twin Turbo with already over $26k in performance mods invested into it to a local shop on 1/15/2007 to do some minor upgrades to the car including suspension, gauges dressing up the motor and what not.

    (Not to mention when they first got the car they put it together and fired it up as is before they started on it and it didnt crank over so.... what did they do? they did some diagnositc to see why it didnt crank then charged me $300 for it and I didnt know that until after aug came up... so anyway after they did that and it still didnt start THEN they decide to call me and I told them the car had been sitting for like 6 months it had bad gas, they drain it put new gas in and it fired right up)

    So I get an estimate of right around $3500 (Sadly I dont have the est. paper anymore so thats not good) anyway so i add a few more things on and the cost is going up and by 3/15/2007 I've paid them exactly $5155 but my bill to even up was $8599 and so 7/2007 comes along and they finally get it ready to start it up and It starts but runs like absolute crap.... then they call me over (Basically im starting to feel like the mechanic) and I knew exactly what had happened because its done this before, It was my ECU the capacitor had blown and leaked all over the circuts. So they say "Ok we'll look for a new ECU" so im like "ok" then leave and a few weeks later as i call and check up on them one day they tell me "You have to find a new ECU otherwise we will have to start charging storage fee's" and At the time I really was tight on money since im a mortgage broker and the whole guidline crisist was killing me. I told them ill look for one (as im trying to work at the same time) then they start charging me for a month and at that time i dont have the money to square up with them, They start asking me to send them the title to my car month after month after month. So i only owe'd $3069 starting July right? Nov. comes along and I have $4500 to settle and they were telling me i now owe over $7200 and im pissed.... So im trying to catch up with my own bills and make money for these ass holes and now to date I now owe them $10,245.... Please help me im really really just stuck here. I mean I have other people telling me to just go there with the police and get my keys and tow it out and settle the original cost, Legally I just dont know what to do because IDK if that is even legal. They keep asking for the title to my car, they wont put a lein on it, I've never signed a thing, not a estimate or a reciept NOTHING, but i do want to pay them for the work they did, just not this crazy shit. The car isnt even done, I didnt know they could charge me or repo my car if they didnt even finish the work. The car will not start, They also told me they lost my ECU... My car with over $32k invested in performance now sits outside in crazy weather for months... I've owned it for over 4yrs and always did my own work to the car and i took a leap of faith because i because busy to put it in a shop. They wonr budge on stirage fee's they told me this a month after they started charging them.

    Please Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic (Invoice Inside)

    And they also charged me $375 to street tune the car.... I was actually wondering how they did this if the car doesnt run...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,906

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic (Invoice Inside)

    When you're told that you have to get the part to fix your car, or the body shop will start charging storage fees, that's a good time to either get the part or pay the bill and take your car to a different location. You've left your car there for almost 1-1/2 years, and for about ten months after you were told that you would be charged storage fees - what did you expect?

    If you wan to read the Illinois law governing mechanic's liens, you can read the statutes here.

    As for how they charged to street tune the car? You said the car "ran like crap", but perhaps it ran well enough to street tune? I can only guess, though - try asking them how they street tuned the car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    The thing is that i had the money to even up with them withouth storage at the time, but they did not notify me on what date they would be starting to charge until after it was a month in, I didnt have the full amount to pay them at that time with storage so what are my choiced? 1 of them is Certainly not to go and pay what i can and pick the car up so they stop chargin storage... No no no... The car stays with them until everything is paid up so no matter what, as soon as i wasnt able to clear the bill with storage i was caught in a damn loop hole in the system there was nothing i could do but to leave the car there and try and find some kind of legal advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    And no, the car was only firing on 4 cylnders out of 6.... It could barely hold a damn idle, A good compairison is trying to Windows defragment on your computer only the computer doesnt ever load into windows.... So how would that be possible? Its about the same as trying to prove someone wrong that claims that they arnt bound by gravity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    How long do you think they should have stored your car without charging you for it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    How long do you think they should have stored your car without charging you for it?
    IDK how fair would you say it would be to at least notify me of the exact date that they would start charging so i could have paid them up front the org. amount instead of sneaking an additional $1440 onto the bill so i wouldnt be able to pay it. What do you think?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    Quote Quoting n0denine
    View Post
    IDK how fair would you say it would be to at least notify me of the exact date that they would start charging so i could have paid them up front the org. amount instead of sneaking an additional $1440 onto the bill so i wouldnt be able to pay it. What do you think?
    I think you should have asked.

    I think you have a problem. I think that the mechanic has a pretty good case.

    I think you should think about paying them... because the clock is ticking. And a year and a half is getting pretty easy to claim abandonment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    I think you should have asked.

    I think you have a problem. I think that the mechanic has a pretty good case.

    I think you should think about paying them... because the clock is ticking. And a year and a half is getting pretty easy to claim abandonment.
    Abandonment of a car that does not run?

    Here how about this, you give me your car that doesnt run, I will tell you i will diagnos and fix the car so that it runs perfectly for an est. of $3500 (that you did not sign but have a copy of.

    5 months later I tell you that you owe $5800 and if you dont find this (random) part to complete the car then i will start charging storage fee's of $25/day.

    Now see'ing as you had the initial 3500 maybe even 4k but not $5800 to spare then you have become in a little pickel now havent you? So who has the case?

    Oh not to mention that I have just been informed that they have sold some parts off of my car and selling them. (all parts bought from the shop were paid for in full the remaining balance was for labor) They have sold (hard to find) parts that were on the car previous to them having it. They have NO Lein, No abandonment issue (not that they could if they wanted to because im down their throat every week), and no Title, So how can they part my car out with all parts paid for then still expect me to pay the full labor of installment of the parts that they took off and sold. They want the full 10k w/storage now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Car Held Hostage By Mechanic, Invoice Inside

    Fine.

    Then they sold the parts off your car.

    Take them to court for the 1000 in parts. They will show a bill with seven times that and counting.

    This is not going to be a good day.

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