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How can I recover my car from a mechanic who made unauthorized repairs to the car, never invoiced me and does not have a lien?

San Rafael, CA |
Filed under: Lien Used cars Car repairs

Left disabled car at the shop 9 months ago when previous repairs failed. Did not receive a written estimate, and could not justify pending several thousand more to repeat sub par repairs. Car sat in their lot for 6 months. Requested via phone that I pick up the car or they were going to start the lien process to be sold for parts... my return calls were not answered. No paperwork ever arrived indicating I had an unpaid balance, however I did just receive a toll violation in the mail dated last week (with photo). Drove by the shop and and shot several photos of my car (obviously repaired) in the street. If I had an extra key I would have recovered it on the spot. What process can I follow to stealthily and legally recover my property?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Typically someone who leaves their property like that for so long may lose a lot of rights to it. Here, regardless of "fix" they likely charged you storage and that can add up to thousands over 6 months. To hold a sale they have to properly notify you and post sale, the same. I do fear you are well behind the 8 ball here as it sounds like you have few if any writings. Maybe a B.A.R. investigation is the place to go?


  2. I strongly recommend that you hire an attorney who specializes in consumer rights. Good luck.

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