My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: New York
My household's vehicle was serviced by a franchise tire company in November. A routine oil change and tire rotation was completed. At that time, it was brought to my attention my struts were leaking and need of replacement. This was not financially viable at the time, so they completed their work and returned me our vehicle. I just recently had funds to replace the struts and took it to our family's mechanic for repair on Thursday. When he put the vehicle on the lift and attempted to take the wheels off, he noticed they were installed incorrectly. He was unable to remove the front wheels using a 200 foot pound impact gun, which should have been well above required strength. Recommended for the lock nuts on our wheels is 80-100 foot pounds. He managed to get one of the two front wheels off eventually, not without wheels studs breaking off with the lock nuts. Due to the excessive force these were tightened with by the service shop, they more or less molded together. At this time, our mechanic brought me back to show what was done, not only had they over tightened the lock nuts, they bent the wheel studs. The wheels which our car has on, has several hole alignments for different size cars, the mechanic from the service shop forced the studs into the wrong holes therefore bending and weakening the studs. This directly endangered myself, my wife and our toddler son as we proceeded to drive the vehicle 3,300 miles since they serviced the vehicle. The service shop also had the car in their possession once more following the time they incorrectly installed our wheels, because of being aluminum wheels they require you bring it back in 4-5 days to ensure the were tightened properly. I did this and they still failed to notice their error. So after our mechanic got 1 of 2 wheels off, he had me call the service shop and inform them of our findings. They said to bring it on down and they would take a look at it and repair it, this was at 4pm an their shop closed at 6. He told me they wouldn't be able to get to it until morning so I had AAA drop in their parking lot and left the keys for them to look at first thing in the morning. I spoke with the service shop manager and about reimbursement for the $10 extra for tow not covered by AAA membership, the one hour of labor from our family mechanic when he was unable to replace the struts due to their negligent work and lost wages due to not having a vehicle and having to call off of work. The manager apologized up and down for his employees work, but he could only speculate on why it happened. He could not authorize the reimbursement so I spoke with their regional manager who was more than willing to have the struts installed for no charge to offset the costs and above for the inconvenience. I was not comfortable with their work and did not trust them to install the struts, because of this, they only reimbursed the hour of labor and $10 for tow and not a penny more. They replaced only the studs which were clearly bent despite other being stretched damaged which was due to their excessive force. After agreeing to replace all the studs, they attempted on multiple cases to get out of replacing all, which boiled down to they didnt have enough studs in the shop and had to wait for more to come in. They even threatened to bill me for the ones they didnt deem damaged. I spoke to the regional manager and asked for wage reimbursement instead of strut installation, they declined. All in all, they replaced all studs and lock nuts at their cost and paid cash out for the hour of labor and tow. I asked to escalate further and spoke to the head of customer service who I left a voicemail for. My call was returned around 4pm only to have their customer service department decline further compensation and more so deny any responsibility for the damage to the car. Despite the service shop manager and regional manager apologizing for their service techs poor job, the corporate office claims it was only a good will gesture because I am a customer. He said there is no proof they damaged the wheels. My feeling is that how is reimbursing for the tow, mechanics labor, comping their repair and continuous apologies from both the service shop manager and regional manager not indicate they claim responsibility? I personally feel this is an insult after what they have put me and my family through. All I am looking for is what wages my wife and I lost. Our employer is putting in writing, our call off and lost wages. Is this worth pursuing? What are my options? Any advice is appreciated!