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liability and bad repair work what would you do?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by hosenfeffer, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. hosenfeffer

    hosenfeffer Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 127

    Would like to hear some opinions from both sides like a shop owner and customer.
    Recently had a shop install a Cognito Idler/pivot arm support in my GMC with some dangerous results causing me to lose ALL steering capability.
    The problem is that I brought him the part since they did not carry that brand and he does not want to hear about my problems with my part.
    The install instructions plainly call for loctite on the threads and even comes with it. It was not used. The bolts backed out on a long drive and ended up trashing several other parts and basically scaring the S#$%t out of me. Had to have vehicle towed and repaired.
    Should I expect some satisfaction from him? An apology at least or just sign him up for every gay dating service,hair club for men , Obama campaign volunteer, and fill out every email/junk mail marketing thing I can find?.
    Considering small claims court because he has caused me about 2 thousand dollars of labor and repairs at this point and the owner wont even return my calls.
  2. Cover Guy

    Cover Guy Senior Member
    Messages: 224

    Take him to court if he dosent want to talk to you I mite try sending a certified letter first though
  3. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,677

    Do you have pictures of the damage, old part or backed out bolts? With out this you will find it hard to have any type of recourse against the shop owner. If I was the owner I would of never taken the job in the first place and most shops I know of do not install parts customers bring in. How does he or us know the part itself did not fail? Or that you have not done any other work yourself? Just a lot of variables. But wish you the best of luck which every route you take, but I would avoid the childish crap.
  4. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I can think of at least 3 shops who have agreed to install my parts, some do some don't. If it's clearly an installation error, he's still responsible for HIS repair, that he agreed to install. If it were a product failure, that would be a different story.

    Save all parts, lots of pics, get a written statement or have it explained on the receipt what happened or why it failed. I can appreciate his frustration because he probably didn't make much w/ doing the job, yet it was still his job.

    Not wanting to hear about it, is not an acceptable answer. He can ignore it all he wants, let him ignore a court summons. Spare everyone the pranks, that will only bite you.
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Just to play devils advocate: I don't see where it says you must use lock-tite http://www.cognitomotorsports.com/product_images/installation_123.pdf . Was the front end aligned after the installation.

    If you can come up with a different set of instructions requiring the use of lock-tite you will need to prove it's authenticity. Then you will need to prove the chain of evidence on the bolts you claim where used and show no signs of lock-tite. You could have changed or cleaned them.In my shop you would not open the little tube of lock tite you would have used the big bottle.

    Did you modify the truck in anyway after he did the work? Did you use it commercially, off roading, snowplowing? Larger tires, different wheels? anyone else work on the vehicle safer he did, even change the oil?

    I don't know who's right or wrong don't want answers to the questions don't care BUT if you are suing a business for a couple grand and they have insurance then you are going to face a lawyer. Some state (DE for example) require a inc. to have legal representation unless they have filed for permission to represent themselves. Be prepared for a lot of questions, if the lawyer is even half a$$ed you will receive a set of interrogatories containing at least 150 questions, expect at least a half a dozen to contain language designed to confuse and illicit a reversed answer, at least another half dozen designed just to make you mad and failure return them in time is reason to reschedule as will a failure to complete them in full will result in a request for dismissal. Rememeber the longer it takes the longer they get to keep the money even if they lose.
  6. hosenfeffer

    hosenfeffer Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 127

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Got the pictures of damaged parts and the new part came with the loctite and it is common practice to secure critical parts.
    Lesson learned :stick with guys you know and support your local garage.
    These guys have a reputation as a specialty car sales and service and was one of my customers. My bad.
    Will stick with the childish stuff. Anyone for a cruise or timeshare? Have you read the Watchtower today? Avon? Kirby vacuum? Peta,the list is endless....
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    You can tell the judge that it's common practice and the manufacturer implied it should be used by including it but don't state "the instructions call for" if you cannot provide the court with the collaborating document (you will need to offer it as a labeled exhibit.) The courts do not accept heresy.

    I'm not suggesting you not pursue this I am saying it's not at all like Judge Judy.

    You can send interrogatories also, it is a two way street:D.

    Talk to a local lawyer he maybe more reasonable then you think.

    Just remember our legal system is slow, cumbersome, and does not offer much advice you need to do some research. You can talk to a lawyer about this, most will give you a free consultation. Don't let the defendants get you into arbitration without a lawyer. insurance companies love to use a non-binding arbitration as discovery.

    buy this book if you are considering small claims court even if you hire a lawyer knowledge is power.


    While I don't mean this as a recommendation for this particular company a service like these can be very helpful if you are going to represent yourself. They know the pitfalls, language and the right things to include in the filing, like asking for your legal costs. The court will only reward you costs if you include it in the filing.