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Can a mechanic do work on a car WITHOUT permission and then keep the car if we refuse to pay?

Miami, FL |

We bought a car from a dealer. It had several issues just days from taking the car home so we called and he told us to bring the car in. We took the car and he told us he was going to send it in to a place to have it checked, we then waited over 3 weeks (of course we called several times but they keeped telling us to give them more time) one day out of the blue they called and said the car was ready, we went in and they told us we had to pay 900 dollars for repairs. They worked on the car without telling us and they are now refusing to return it. We looked at the car and it now has other problems it did not have when we took it in. On a side note, they are also refusing to give us the title of the car until we pay, eventhought the car is paid in full. What can we do? They also put a lien

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

You can bond out the lien with the court (without filing a suit) and they have to release the car to you. As for the title, if the car is not financed, then title is supposed to be transferred rather quickly. All transfers of ownership must be completed within 30 days of the sale date on the title. Failure to do so will result in a penalty levied at the time of transfer - I believe $20. I'd have to check, but I also believe it is a serious violation when a dealer does not do the transfer within that period of time. Never buy a use car again without a mechanic looking at it first. It's worth the few dollars.

The law is complicated and although the facts expressed may seem to be all that is relevant, there may be many other important facts to consider. Also, the law is constantly undergoing change, so what may be correct today, may not be accurate tomorrow. Only a full consultation with an attorney experienced or knowledgeable in the specific legal subject matter is likely to result in the optimal course of action. My practice has entailed more than a 30 year span of many real estate, personal property, and bankruptcy issues. Find out more about me at: FloridaPropertyLitigation.com.

Rex Edward Russo

Rex Edward Russo

Posted

On further thought, once you bond out the lien, they should also release the title to you.

Posted

Sounds complicated. Posting a bond to remove the lien is a good idea, however you will have to pony up $900 for a cash bond or have a bond company provide the court with bond. Then you are likely to face litigation with the repair company over the repair bill. On top of that you will be stuck with possession of what sounds like a lemon. You best best may be to try to have the purchase agreement for the car voided. If the dealer is reputable, they may work with you. If you financed the car, you should contact the finance company, they may be able to help.

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James Adrian Cueva

James Adrian Cueva

Posted

Correction. I see you paid in full for the car. File a complaint with the BBB.

James Adrian Cueva

James Adrian Cueva

Posted

You can also file a complaint with the Miami-Dade County consumer protection division. Their website is http://www.miamidade.gov/business/consumer-protection-complaint.asp and the phone number is (305) 375-3677.