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Auto Repair Q&A

shop.jpgHere is the situation presented to us…

Q: One of our contract holders allowed a friend to take over his car payments for 6 months while he was out of the US. A notarized contract was signed by both people. A month later, after the car was put in the shop for repairs incurring a $750 repair bill the person who took over the payments lost his job.  He claimed he was broke and moved out of the state, abandoning the car at the repair facility. The shop refused to release the car to the original owner saying that as the car’s owner he was responsible for the bill even though all repair paperwork was signed by the person who had assumed responsibility for the car.Is the repair shop in the right?

Is it worth the effort of taking legal action against the shop to release vehicle since taking the other party to court is not an option?   

A: Legally it really depends upon the laws regarding an auto repair in your state. In most states the person who authorized the work is the one that is liable to the repair facility for the repairs. Since this person had possession of the car with your consent (and by your “contract” arrangement), they were the one acting as your agent and had authority to contract with the shop for repairs. 

The shop is entitled to get paid for the work they did. They’re under no obligation to release the car to you without any charge. If they wanted, the shop could even get technical about the situation and require that they will only release the vehicle to the party who brought it to them in the first place and for whom the work was performed in good faith.

Obviously, in the future you would be many dollars ahead of the game by simply purchasing a comprehensive auto warranty.  This would keep you form worrying about any used car warranty law issues in the future.  There are many excellent aftermarket auto warranty programs to choose from.  In my opinion the best of the best is Auto Advantage Incorporated at 

Good luck with your current situation.

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 9:31 am In Auto Warranty  

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