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  1. #1
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    My question involves an incident that occurred in the state of: California

    Earlier this morning, my mother was driving to work. As she was on the freeway/highway, she noticed smoke coming out of the hood of her vehicle.
    My mother had taken the car to the dealership just a few days ago to fix a "Engine Light" issue. She had just got the car back about two days ago (day before yesterday.)
    It turns out that the dealership service technicians left a cleaning rag inside the engine somewhere, which had caught on fire this morning causing the smoke to come out of the hood! The fire department came out and discovered the rag. My mother has the rag in her possession to show the dealership.

    Is there any legal action that can be taken? Clearly, it was negligence and someone could've been seriously injured and/or died due to it.

    By the way, the topic I chose was "Defective Vehicles and Parts." Unfortunately, Professional Negligence was not an option.

    Thank you in advance for any and all insight!

  2. #2
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    There's no money in almost.

    There's no money in could've.

    Have your mother go complain to the dealer manager.

    She might get some free stuff for customer goodwill.

    But no money.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    If the car was damaged by the rags, she has a claim for the cost of repair.

    You cannot recover damages for injuries that you did not experience -- you need an actual injury to recover damages. If she has suffered a significant degree of emotional distress, she can discuss with a personal injury lawyer whether she might have a viable claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    There's no money in almost.

    There's no money in could've.

    Have your mother go complain to the dealer manager.

    She might get some free stuff for customer goodwill.

    But no money.
    Well, the car DID catch fire. Of course, it wasn't engulfed in flames but fire did catch to the rag which caused the smoke to come out of the hood. The fire department came to the scene and even took a look at it; they were the ones that discovered the rag.
    My mother was able to drive to work, and she called the dealership (it was a Honda automobile) and they asked for her to come in so they can take a look at it.

    In regards to future engine issues, is there any way that I can get a lifetime warranty from Honda Motor Co. so that damages/issues down the road are covered?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, is it possible to get reimbursed for the initial repair in which they left the rag? It was a $400+ job.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    Your mother can ask Honda for whatever it is that she wants, but they have absolutely nothing to do with your issue with the dealership. If they offer her something, it will be purely a matter of customer relations.

    Your mother can ask the dealership to refund the cost of the original repair. However, as the repair was apparently both necessary and performed, they may say "no". If they offer her anything off of the original repair, it will be purely a matter of customer relations. If additional repairs are needed due to the presence of the rags, and your mother wants the dealership to perform those repairs, it appears that the are willing to do so.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    Andys562;906216]Well, the car DID catch fire. Of course, it wasn't engulfed in flames but fire did catch to the rag which caused the smoke to come out of the hood
    .did the rag catch fire or did the car catch fire.

    The fire department came to the scene and even took a look at it; they were the ones that discovered the rag.
    if they weren't hosing something down (they love to do that) there was nothing on fire nor did they deem it a danger of catching fire.

    In regards to future engine issues, is there any way that I can get a lifetime warranty from Honda Motor Co. so that damages/issues down the road are covered?
    this is absurd. You will never get a lifetime warranty from Honda or the dealer. If her car was driveable there is likely nothing seriously damaged.

    Also, is it possible to get reimbursed for the initial repair in which they left the rag? It was a $400+ job
    You can ask. I wouldn't expect it. In fact, I would be surprised if they reimbursed her for the repair.

    what it sounds like is nothing actually caught fire but the rag smoldered. If so, there is likely nothing damaged at all or very minimally.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If she has suffered a significant degree of emotional distress, she can discuss with a personal injury lawyer whether she might have a viable claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
    I thought emotional distress isn't compensated in court?
    "If it's too good to be true, then it most likely is."

    Do not put spam in your signature.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    You cannot recover emotional distress in a contract action, but you can most certainly recover for emotional distress in a tort action. The tort described, if you note, is called "negligent infliction of emotional distress".

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Dealership's Mechanics Left Rags by the Engine Bay, Almost Causing a Fire

    If the Fire Dept sends a bill then Mom will have something to sue about.

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