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Can they tow my car?

Eugene, OR |

A week ago my father went to Goodyear for some repairs on his van. He found three tires for my car for cheap and gave them to me as a gift. They were put on my car at Goodyear.They called today saying they want the tires back because they are worth more and want more money or they will tow my car to get the tires back. Can they legally take my car? We paid what they asked for and have receipts. Also the car is in my name and belongs to me not my father. While my father is in their system I'm not. Should I be worried? Or are they trying to harass me into paying more money?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. As long as it was a valid sale it's not your problem if they screwed up. Just make sure the tires on your car match the tires on the receipt. But if you got the tires that are on the receipt you should be good. Check the paperwork and make sure the the receipt lists the model number number of the tire and that the number matches the numbers on the tires installed on your car. If the numbers are different then maybe an honest mistake was made.

    No one has the right to tow your car to settle a debt or dispute absent them having a valid security interest where the car secures a debt.

    Note: Some tire shops have a lien on the tires they install if the tires are bought on credit so this could be tricky if the tires you bought weren't paid in full, although the lien is on the tires not the car so I don't see how they would get the right to tow the car -usually the secured creditor is on the car title as a secured creditor and that allows them to tow a car because they are on the title.

    It sounds like an employee screwed up and sold you tires at the wrong price and now they are trying to intimidate you to bring them in with threats.

    This sounds like an unlawful trade practice http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/646.607
    which includes unlawful debt collection practices: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/646.639
    because they are threatening to tow your car which they have no legal right to do. They could be held to pay you $200 or more for their unlawful collection practice. http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/646.641

    It's probably best to run this past an attorney before making any conclusions but my educated guess is that they may owe you money due to the penalties for unlawful trade practices which they might have committed against you because they threatened to take an action they legally can't take in order to intimidate you.

    This article discussed the unlawful trade practice laws: http://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/1046_ConsumerLaw.htm

    http://www.portlandlegalservices.com

    The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.


  2. You ought to give Ms. Reisman a call! She knows what she is talking about.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

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