Can I seek financial compensation for my time and for the depreciation of my car as a result of faulty exhaust products that were sold to me?

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Can I seek financial compensation for my time and for the depreciation of my car as a result of faulty exhaust products that were sold to me?

I installed an after market exhaust system on my car last year. The valves on the first system expanded and started to cause a squeaking sound, which resulted in the check engine light coming on as well. The manufacturer sent me a new system but the check engine light came on again because one of the valves is stuck open. They said they would send me a 3rd system but I was on my own, they will not provide a warranty if something goes wrong. I have been wanting to sell my car

for months now but haven’t been able to due to the faulty products that the manufacturer has sold me I have also spend around 100 hours dealing with this. Is seeking financial compensation for my time and the depreciation of the car something I can pursue legally?

Asked on March 13, 2018 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue for the depreciation, though proving it can be difficult and may not be economically worthwhile: the law doesn't let you just produce something like the Kelly Blue Book or a CarFax report. Rather, you need live expert testimony, such as from an experienced auto appraiser or insurance adjuster who values cars, to establish how the extra time that has passed (or the parts installed) has caused your car to depreciate. Since you'd have to pay this person for their time (e.g. to examine your car, write up their conclusions, and testify in court), you could spend more on the lawsuit than you'd get.
You cannot get compensation for your own time: the law does not provide that.


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