Dealership ruined my brand new car

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Dealership ruined my brand new car

I just purchased a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee a week ago, took my car to the delarship to have a clear coat put on the paint and my entire car is scratched. My headlights have water in them, the black trim around my windows is scratched and much more. Can I legally make them buy me a new car, or return the car?

Asked on December 22, 2016 under Accident Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't force them to take the car back or to buy you a new car. When soomeone damages your property, their obligation is to pay the repair costs, not to buy you a new item, if the existing one is repairable (the law minimizes damages and compensation, and requires only the minimum to correct the situation; it does not give you a new item when the old one can be fixed). Therefore, if they are willing to repair it, they are doing what they are legally required to do, and you can't force them to do any more than that.
You can, however, also recover the cost of your rental, since in addition to repair costs, you can also recover other foreseeable, or logical and reasonable predictable, costs flowing out of the damage. Since it is reasonable that you'd need a rental while your car is being repaired, you can  recover rental costs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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