Car Broken Into Outside Mechanics Shop

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rtwo, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Never heard of a shop being liable for damages to any vehicles parked on the lot. Most places have signs posted and disclaimers to sign.

    If he locked your car and secured the keys, his responsibility ends there IMO.

    If it were my car, I'd be pissed that it happened, but not at my mechanic. Nothing he could do about it past locking it up right.

    We always have the option of not leaving our vehicles out of our care.

    I can't imagine why'd he'd be responsible.
     
  2. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If your car was broken into at the grocery store parking lot would you expect their insurer to pay?

    Unless your car was within his control some how, like a fenced locked lot you're out of luck.
     
  3. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have an auto upholstery business, we have a fenced in lot to park cars in and a locked gate.
    I have Garage Keepers insurance.
    Last week I left a 08 Tahoe parked outside, sometime duringthe evening of New Years Day some no goods broken in, they took the gate apart to get into the lot, stole the tires and wheels , broke out a window to get the lock for the lug nuts, broke the battery to disarm the alarm.
    I thought I was covered, my insurance said because it was inside a fenced lot with a locked gate that I wasn't liable.The customer that owns the Tahoe didn't feel that way.
    I'm trying to work out something with them, it's not really my fault, and it's not theirs, just some @?*# no good thieves.

    I'll be looking into a different insurance company that's for sure!
     
  4. Warren Pederson

    Warren Pederson Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    If he locked the car up properly I think he did his part. I wouldn't expect him to participate in fixing anything.
     
  5. rtwo

    rtwo Tele-Meister

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    I can definitely see the other side of this. It's not possible for him to bring all the cars at any given time into his garage. There's just no room. Not his fault that some lowlifes picked his parking area. I am going to suggest to him that he put up some signage about the limit of his liability.

    I really appreciate everyone who's waded in on this. It help's to get another perspective.
     
  6. flathd

    flathd Poster Extraordinaire

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    My brother had a similar incident happen. He brought his car to the dealership where he bought it to have it serviced. While it sat in the parking lot, someone keyed up the paint job, real bad. When he showed them what happened, they refused to repair it, and more less told him that's his problem.

    He ended up taking them to court, and the judge ruled in his favor. That was a poor decision by the car dealer, not only because they lost, but because a lot of people around town heard about it. This was a big GM dealership, so probably a different situation than the OP has.
     
  7. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I can't describe how I just felt when I read that line! I also can't imagine how you must've felt...:confused: Did you ever get it back?
     
  8. xStonr

    xStonr Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had a similar situation once. Mechanic was waiting for a part that wouldn't come until the next day. My car was left on his lot over night. He calls me in the morning tells me that the drivers window was smashed, dashboard destroyed and my Alpine car stereo and
    EQ were stolen. Pissed and upset as I was, he told me not to worry as they would take care of everything. Which they did.
     
  9. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I didn't get it back but it was later recovered by the police and insurance company. It was found in the snow behind someone's house in upstate NY in rural farm country. It was totally stripped and someone threw a 318 back in it.

    Just for giggles.....It had two tone paint and interior from the factory. PW, PS, PB and quadrophonic stereo from the factory. Complete tinted glass from the factory. She was tan and black and mean as snot. Torqueflite automatic that ran 12.50's with stock tires at Estes Drag strip. I was getting headers put on at that shop. It had to be towed by the thieves because the exhaust manifolds were already off of it. I can't afford to buy one to replace it. But if I win the lotto, you bet your azz I 'll have one just like it!
     
  10. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

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    A similar thing happened to my niece whose car was in a body shop after an accident.
    She had called on a Friday and told it was almost ready. They found the frame just off a nearby highway Monday. She had a heck of a time getting insurance to pay for it regarding investigations and such.
    I can tell you from my experience of working in a custom car shop nights as a second job, insurance costs and up here, heating costs are astronomical.
    I often thought and often recommend that people avoid small repair operations.
    Honest dealerships have the tools, the knowledge and the experience to handle specific makes and the best thing of all is they have insurance. Often they have seen the problem before and they have a full list of service bulletins and recalls that get repaired that you may never even know existed. Only safety related recalls warrant a letter to the vehicle owner. As a case in point, in a particular year some Ford pickup trucks had a problem with their tie rod ends. The Ford dealerships checked the front end parts at every oil change for that specific issue and replaced the defective parts. Did Mr. super quick super cheap oil change facility do that? Was it worth saving 5 dollars to use them instead of the dealership? Read between the lines. The trick is to find an honest one. Rare indeed. A good dealership wants your return business. They want your family's business. They want your friends business. Your results may vary.
     
  11. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sorry to hear about this. I never leave my truck at a garage overnight unless it's spending the night inside the garage. Otherwise, I bring it in in the morning. Too many lowlives and drug addicts on the loose these days no matter where one lives.
     
  12. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I agree. I have a 2006 Toyota Tundra with 250,000 km (150,000 miles). I take it to the dealership for the regular maintenance checks and fluid changes. Last year, the dealer found a bad ball joint while doing an oil change. Yes, I pay more but the truck is in excellent condition and it's worth the extra cost for the peace-of-mind. I plan to drive this truck forever.
     
  13. Ben Bishop

    Ben Bishop Tele-Meister

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    To get back to the OP, I'd say you should offer to cover the wholesale cost of the glass if he'll kick in the time to do the repair. Give a little, get a little, keep this low key and the relationship should stay adult. It took me three years to find a good mechanic when I moved here, and my only disappointment is that he has no helper or apprentice to learn what I learned doing company books - if you don't have the time to do it right, how are you going to have the time to do it twice?. His shop is clean, his tools organized and I pay a little more than a kiddie-shop but he gets it right the first time.
     
  14. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You can get Garage Keepers that pays for damages regardless of liablity as long as the car is in your custody but of course it will cost more.
     
  15. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'm shocked by all the undercooked reasoning going on here.

    This is Bailment Law. You turn the keys and car over to the mechanic and he's the custodian of the car until you get it back and can inspect the work done.

    You see, "things" happen while you're not there to do anything about it sometimes, and if you absolve the custodian, then he's rewarded for doing a crappy job of watching over the vehicles he works on. Things disappear out of the car; damage pops up because it is too tempting to push the cars out of the garage and out towards the street. You want to encourage the mechanic to keep all cars inside that he can, to hire security when needed, to get a decent sized shop when he can upgrade, and the "better" mechanics thrive and the sketchy ones get pushed out of business.

    This is the way Valet parking works or should work. Sure we put Waivers on the stub given to the car's owner, but this is no different than the guy who puts "BAD DOG" signs on his fence who has a chihuahua or no dog at all. Those waivers can be defeated when the claim is substantial enough. The Parking Garage outfit I worked at always paid when things (guns, etc.) got ripped off from cars in our custody. It was our wake up call that we'd hired the wrong person or had a problem with our security perimeter.

    With all due respect, this fractured logic that "break ins can occur anywhere" totally misses the fundamental understanding that the car is in HIS custody, you as customer have no control over it, and the mechanic is taking a calculated risk parking cars he's responsible for off premises; outside the gates or locked building.

    And this linkage between whether he can get/afford insurance on outside cars and whether he is responsible for them, is weird. Really.

    This is a situation where "common sense" gets you an lousy result. Nothing sensible about "common sense".

    Now, my disclaimer about the O.P.'s case and California law. No idea how badly messed up CA law is by now. CA has this thing about having no interest in what outsiders think about their stupid laws. :neutral:
     
  16. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I know my insurance agent. I would call him, tell him what happened and he'd take it from there.. my car would get fixed and no more fuss. I would have no idea who paid or how or whatever, I'd just get my car back fixed.
     
  17. rtwo

    rtwo Tele-Meister

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    Thank you everyone for your comments and opinions.

    The problem with the insurance angle is that the repair is less than my deductible. I've done a bit of research about mechanic liability in this type of case. I could find no definitive answer. This seems to be somewhat of a grey area. Weird.

    I'm also trying to maintain an 8 year relationship with a very good and honest mechanic. So, I'm looking at the big picture. Do I really want to ruin all that over what will be around $250.00? No. Am I disappointed? Yes. I'll get over it.
     
  18. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    you've got it right. I would do the same thing.
     
  19. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    This would be a bailment of mutual benefit so only ordinary care is due. There has to be negligence on the part of the shop for them to be liable.
     
  20. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

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    Yep.

    Side issue is what kind of moron leaves a gun in a car they valet park?
     
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