Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Can You Make an Auto Insurance Claim Over a Bad Auto Repair

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

    I took my car into a repair shop (by appointment) to have both rear brake lines replaced. Upon installing the new brake line, they somehow managed to strip the threads of the ABS module. This resulted in me needing a new ABS module. After I told them I refused to pay for a new one, which is over $400, they claimed they could get a used one for around $75. But the other issue here is that I brought the vehicle in before the shop opened up that day and the job was estimated to take 3.5 hours to complete. After about 5 hours they told me they had to STOP working on the car so that they could work on other cars. This resulted in me being without a car because they stopped working on it. I had to rent a vehicle for two days. I can't really prove that their negligence caused the ABS module to be damaged other than a peculiar chain of events:

    The only way I could prove this is by the order that things occurred: The mechanic shop told me the threads were stripped AFTER they ran the new line, suggesting that it happened when they were inserting the bolt only AFTER the new line was ran. They did not inform me the thread was stripped immediately after removing the bolt even though they said they saw "pieces of aluminum" on the threads of the fitting after removing it. I asked them if they cross-threaded the fitting when inserting it into the ABS module, and they went on about the car was "full of rust" on the frame, which had nothing to do with the ABS module itself. And the threads in the ABS module were aluminum which does not rust. Another mechanic I spoke to claimed that he was almost certain they cross-threaded the fitting.

    My main question is this an insurance claim against the mechanic shop for negligence, or should I make a claim on my insurance policy since the mechanic's mistake (and refusal to finish the job the same day) caused loss of use of the vehicle?

    I was charged the $75 for the replacement ABS module but not for the labor of removing it and installing the replacement. My auto insurance has rental coverage but only if a claim is made.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,670

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    You won't have coverage on your own auto policy. It wasn't collision and the perils listed for "other than collision" (formerly "comprehensive") are:

    Loss caused by the following is considered other than collision:
    Missiles or falling objects;
    Hail, water or flood;
    Fire;
    Malicious mischief or vandalism;
    Theft or larceny;
    Riot or civil commotion;
    Explosion or earthquake;
    Contact with bird or animal; or
    Windstorm;
    Breakage of glass.

    Loss of use has to be for a covered peril and what happened to your vehicle is not on the list, so there is no coverage for it.

    Your option is to go after the shop for the mechanic's negligence. I suggest you start with a demand letter written to the "owner" of the shop. You can find his name in the state's business registry.

    If he won't pay up, you have small claims court.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,176

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    Rust is a term generally applied to ferrous metals. It refers to oxidation. While aluminum doesn’t rust, specifically, it does oxidize.

    If they want to claim the damage was due to natural causes, it wouldn’t be a “pieces of aluminum” but aluminum oxide, which is a powdery white material.

    It sounds like they did cross thread the fitting or something I have seen too many times, used the wrong size fitting and stripped the hole.

    Proving it could be difficult. If you chose to sue (your only remedy if they refuse to cover the damage), whether you would be successful or not is something only a psychic could tell you. Given your max recoverable loss is $75, it probably isn’t worth it to pursue the matter in court.

    The rental isn’t likely to be recoverable as there was no guaranteed time of completion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Rust is a term generally applied to ferrous metals. It refers to oxidation. While aluminum doesn’t rust, specifically, it does oxidize.

    If they want to claim the damage was due to natural causes, it wouldn’t be a “pieces of aluminum” but aluminum oxide, which is a powdery white material.

    It sounds like they did cross thread the fitting or something I have seen too many times, used the wrong size fitting and stripped the hole.

    Proving it could be difficult. If you chose to sue (your only remedy if they refuse to cover the damage), whether you would be successful or not is something only a psychic could tell you. Given your max recoverable loss is $75, it probably isn’t worth it to pursue the matter in court.

    The rental isn’t likely to be recoverable as there was no guaranteed time of completion.
    Aluminum threads are subject to galling and can be be damaged by over tightening with steel fittings ( which would be crimped onto the hoses) and/or, being long connected, due to galvanic action. It's possible that the threads were damaged when the hoses were disconnected from the ABS module, due to the above. Also, you can't cross thread during the removal process.

    You will have to prove that the mechanics damaged the module and the chain of events, as you describe them, isn't terribly convincing to me.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,176

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
    View Post
    Aluminum threads are subject to galling and can be be damaged by over tightening with steel fittings ( which would be crimped onto the hoses) and/or, being long connected, due to galvanic action. It's possible that the threads were damaged when the hoses were disconnected from the ABS module, due to the above. Also, you can't cross thread during the removal process.

    You will have to prove that the mechanics damaged the module and the chain of events, as you describe them, isn't terribly convincing to me.
    i never said they were cross threads during removal. The suspicion is they attempted to install a new line and cross threaded it during that installation. If the port was damaged during removal, a wise mechanic and shop will stop at that point and show it to the customer before attempting any further work.

    I havent seen an abs unit that had hoses attached to it yet. They are rigidly mounted and have steel lines connected to them, not that it matters.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    It's not worth fighting over $75... Maybe I'll just call customer service and they might just give me a store credit. But I have yet to verify that the ABS module functions properly because there has been no rain or snow to test the actual anti-lock braking system. So I'm just going to to let this issue go unless I find the ABS module is non-working when the winter weather arrives. And if the ABS does not work, then we really do have a liability issue if it causes an accident but I don't expect that to happen.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,176

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    If you have an area where there is dirt along side pavement you might try there. Drive with two wheels on the dirt and two on the pavement and lock them up. The wheels on the dirt should start to lock up activating the abs system



    I have a dirt drive and can generally get mine to activate simply due to the differences in different areas of dirt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    i never said they were cross threads during removal. The suspicion is they attempted to install a new line and cross threaded it during that installation. If the port was damaged during removal, a wise mechanic and shop will stop at that point and show it to the customer before attempting any further work.

    I havent seen an abs unit that had hoses attached to it yet. They are rigidly mounted and have steel lines connected to them, not that it matters.

    No, you didn't. I was referring to the OP's OP. Perhaps I should've had the quote lower down. More to the point, though, is that if there were aluminum pieces in the fittings after the initial removal then it's not the responsibility of the shop and my post certainly applies.

    As to ABS modules, I don't know why, but I was thinking about the one on my motorcycle. In cars and trucks they are indeed rigidly mounted with steel tubing running out of them with Swagelok fittings for the connections. If the fittings aren't started by hand on aluminum threads they'll tear them apart as soon as you put a wrench on them.

    The rest of my post also stands, the OP would have to be able to prove that the shop did the damage and that, for $75, or even $400, it's not really worth it to my mind.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Mechanic Broke Part, then Stopped Working on Vehicle. Do I Have an Insurance Clai

    Most auto insurance providers do not cover human errors under voluntarily parting of the vehicle to a service provider. In case this is true for your insurance provider, you may either go after the owner or shop manager for a resolution or pay for whatever has been done, take your vehicle home or elsewhere, and either have the unfinished repairs completed or take the business to small claims court.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Service and Repair: Can an Auto Repair Shop Make You Tow Your Vehicle for Safety Reasons
    By lawfacts in forum Cars and Dealerships
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-16-2016, 09:31 AM
  2. Auto Insurance: Can You Make a Diminished Value Claim Under Your Own Auto Insurance
    By rblevi01 in forum Insurance Law
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-25-2016, 01:05 PM
  3. Business Insurance: Delay in Payment of Repair Claim After an Auto Theft
    By sbocanegra in forum Insurance Law
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-16-2016, 10:17 AM
  4. Health Insurance: Can You Make a Health Insurance Claim for Treatments Covered by Auto Policy
    By mrpeb in forum Insurance Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-11-2011, 05:02 PM
  5. Auto Insurance: How to Make an Auto Insurance Claim
    By venkatg in forum Insurance Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-07-2006, 11:28 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources