What expenses is a repair shop responsible for due to a faulty repair?

UPDATED: Jun 16, 2014

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What expenses is a repair shop responsible for due to a faulty repair?

I had my car transmission rebuilt about 5 months ago by a transmission repair shop. 1 month later I took my car back complaining it was dying on me. They found nothing wrong. My transmission has a 1 year warrantee and is still valid. I then took my car on vacation. Within 3 hours of driving my transmission broke down, I’m stranded, vacation ruined, had to rent a car for my family and tow my car to a local shop that found it was the transmission. The original repair shop is only willing to pay for 1/2 of the towing back to their shop as I am 3 hours away. I want them to pay for 100% towing , my car rentals as I had suffered and wasted time and ruined vacation. Are they responsible for these expenses as it was a result of their faulty repair?

Asked on June 16, 2014 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A negligent (careless) or otherwise faulty repair can result in a repair shop being liable, or financially responsible, for the typical or foreseeable expenses or costs you incur. That would include repair, towing, and likely car rental expenses; it would not include your time, since there is no compensation for inconvenience; and it will probably not include for the vacation, since that is not a natural or forseeable consequence of a problem with a car repair, since--

* It's unusual or atypical to be soon after a repair driving the car on a vacation--that's not the norm or something that regularly happens after a repair; and

* Even if you car doesn't work, you have other options, like renting a car, taking a bus or plane or train, etc.--that is, a car problem does not have to damage the vacation.

Therefore, the injury to your vacatin is not a consequence that naturally or necessarily flowed from the problem with the car.

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