Brake line blew during inspection.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Brake line blew during inspection.

So two days ago I took my car to a new mechanic to get an inspection. Not five minute in the mechanic comes out and tell me my rear brake line blew. I ask him how much would this generally cost to fix. He gave me a list of prices ranging from $60-$500. I had to leave for work, gave him my number, and told him to call with HIS estimate. He never called. I show up the next day and the brake line is fixed and I’m smacked with a $500 bill. Note that I never told him to fix it because I have another mechanic. Without any other solution I had to pay to get my car back? Was it legal for them to touch my car without my day so? Can I take any legal action, epsecially since I already paid?

Asked on January 26, 2017 under Accident Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you already paid for the brake line, it will be hard for you to recover the money for it, since by paying, it will appear you agreed to the cost, as opposed to if you had refused to pay and legal action had resulted (him suing you for the money, or you suing him to get the car back and other compensation). Having paid the amount complicates the case. You would have to convince a court that despite having paid, you did not authorize or agree to the work.
You may be able to sue him for causing the damage to your car in the first place, if it was due to his negligence or careleness in how he conducted the test that the brake line blew. However, to do this, you'd have to have another mechanic inspect the car and the damaged brake line (which might not be around any more, if he disposed of it) and offer an opinion as to how/why it blew in court--which would also mean (presumably) having to pay that mechanic for his work, testimony, and time.
There might not be a good, cost effective, and practical option for you in this case.

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