Lessons From One Woman's Problems With Her Mechanic

Car Damaged At The Mechanic - What Now?

GREENSBORO, NC -- At one point or another, it happens to all of us: your car breaks down at the most inconvenient time and now you have to take it to the shop.

One woman took her car in with one set of problems and it came out as evidence in a felony hit and run case.
It's unbelievable and so uncommon that even workers at the state attorney general's office say they have not had to deal with a case like it.

But they say we can all learn something from this woman's experience.

It started when 2 Wants 2 Know viewer, we'll call Kim, dropped off her car at the mechanic.
The mechanic fixed her car and Kim gets a call to pick it up. 
Except when she got home, she noticed scratches and dings on the car she said weren’t there when she dropped it off.

And her back bumper was barely hanging on.
Turns out, a mechanic took her car home and somehow it was involved in a hit and run felony accident.
No call to tell Kim.
No apology.
Nothing, until she raised a stink.
The shop owner is now apologizing, saying he dropped the ball.

Here's what you need to know:
According to the attorney general’s office, once you drop off your car with a mechanic, the shop is responsible for it.
That means, if someone breaks into the car or damages the car in anyway, the shop should pay; unless you sign something saying the shop isn't responsible.

This year alone, 2 Wants To Know has worked 57 cases involving car repairs.
We asked Patrick Olsen from Cars.com how to pick a mechanic and what you should expect.
He says:

•Use Cars.com, Yelp and other sites to read reviews before you go. Consumers are usually very frank, and it's easy to see patterns of behavior in their comments.

•Good mechanics will give you an estimate of how much the work will cost before doing the work. Most will charge you just to look at the car first, so be prepared for that.

•Use Cars.com's estimator to see if your mechanic's quote for a job is line with other local shops. If not, call around.

Along with a cost estimate, get a time estimate, too.
Keep in mind, you can always ask for your car your back if the work is taking too long.
But, you will be on the hook for any work that they already did on the car.

The state attorney general’s office has more tips and information on how consumer laws protect you.

You can find them here.

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