How to Proceed After Shoddy Scottsdale Car Repair
It’s safe to say that everyone dreads needing car repair. Where can you find a reliable Scottsdale car repair mechanic? How can you know if a car repair mechanic is being truthful? How can you know if you’re being overcharged? Trying to figure it all out can leave you feeling worried and confused.
There is a good reason for that. According to the Arizona Better Business Bureau, car repair scams continue to remain among the most prevalent consumer complaints they receive. Improperly performed car repairs and high prices charged are the major problems most people report. If you believe you have been the victim of a dishonest car repair mechanic or shoddy car repair work what recourse is available to you?
The first thing you should do is take a few deep breaths and attempt to remain calm. You don’t want to overreact simply because something the car repair mechanic said or did made you angry. In order to take any action against the car repair mechanic you need to decide if you have suffered any actual loss, and whether or not you can prove that your loss is due to the actions of the car repair mechanic.
If you paid to have your car repaired and the mechanic did not fix the problem, then you have lost money due to his negligence. Now it comes down to your word against the mechanic’s. In small claims court he will probably maintain that he did in fact complete the repairs agreed upon, but that your car had additional problems and requires additional repairs. There is a fair chance that the judge doesn’t know any more about cars than you do, so to win your case you will have to prove to the judge that the repairs were not done properly.
If you have ever watched any of the TV court shows you know that the judge is not interested in “he said she said.” They are interested in facts and evidence. One of the first things you can do to help prove your case is to have your car inspected by another car repair mechanic. If they find that your car was improperly repaired, ask if they would be willing to either appear as a witness or write a letter on your behalf stating their findings for small claims court.
Collect any possible evidence, such as parts that were removed from your car. If the car repair mechanic will not allow you to have them, then send a certified letter requesting the parts. Retain a copy for your own file and if the mechanic continues to refuse to give you the parts then it may give the judge reason to think he has something to hide.
After you have had your car inspected and diagnosed by another mechanic, and especially if the original mechanic has refused to give you your old parts, the original mechanic may realize that you aren’t just going to let this go, and may decide to go ahead and do whatever repairs are necessary. This time insist on a written agreement specifying parts and labor and the date the job is to be completed by. Ask to be shown what exactly needs to be done and ask that the old parts be saved for you.
Although you would probably much rather use another mechanic, the fact is that you are much more likely to get work from him than you are to receive your money back.
If you can’t get anywhere with the mechanic or car repair shop you should write a letter of complaint stating any estimates or assurances that were made to you. Add a copy of this letter and any written estimates and bills from the mechanic to your collection of evidence. Then file a claim with the small claims court in the county where the car repair mechanic is located.
When you appear in court, have all of your evidence such as estimates, bills, letters you have written, car parts, pictures and statements from the second mechanic describing what was not repaired properly. If anyone was with you to hear any of the promises made by the original mechanic, bring them as a witness. Remember, the judge is only interested in facts and evidence, not hearsay. Small claims court is often your best recourse, although you have no assurance that you will win your case. Your best protection against shoddy repairs and dishonest mechanics is to know your repair shop’s reputation before you let them work on your car.
Consumer agencies find that although consumers have unhappy experiences at all types of car repair shops, whether big dealerships, smaller chains, or independent car repair shops, the greatest number of complaints are against big dealerships, with smaller chains coming in second and independent car repair shops having the least amount of complaints.
It’s similar to comparing a big box store with the corner deli. At an independently owned Scottsdale car repair shop you generally aren’t dealing with someone that hired in last week and is just punching a clock to get a paycheck. You are often dealing with the owner or a member of their family who takes pride in their work and their reputation.
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive is a family owned and operated business. We were born and raised in the area and have strong ties to the community. We have been in this business since 1997 and our reputation and loyal customer base speaks for itself. If you’re looking for auto repair, maintenance or customization, call us for all your car care needs.
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.