My truck was having transmission problems.I took it to AAMCO where I had gotten it (used). Over the phone, the manager said it needed to be rebuilt. I said never mind, it wasn't worth it. He said, "let us open it up and see what it would take to fix it." I said ok and I ased, "if you open it and I don't want any work done, willl you be able to put it back with no problem." He said "yes." Later he said it would cost over $3k for a rebuilt transmission and $2.7k for another used one. I said no and asked that they return the vehicle. When it was ready, he said that it cost over $800 to inspect the transmission. Never did he mention any cost over the phone. Do I have any recourse?
When it comes to car repairs, if you can't negotiate a solution with the garage, and your car is being held hostage, sometimes you just have to pay so you can get your car back - and then sue to get your money back. If you pay with a check, or sign a credit card receipt, I would write "under protest" in the memo box or on the receipt, so they can't say later that you never uttered a word of dissatisfaction.
Under no circumstances should you simply grab your car and drive it off the lot without paying. You could be charged with a criminal offense for avoiding the garage's lien on the vehicle, and that would cost you a lot more in defense costs than suing these guys civilly for your money back.
Many transmission places have been busted
over the years for DECEPTIVE PRACTICES.
There was a CLASSIC 60 Minutes episode
on this topic. Pay to get your car back. Then
SUE them for your money PLUS car rental
costs you incurred. REPORT THEM to your
state's regulatory division. REPORT them
to consumer posts (Angie's List, etc.).
THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.
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