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Need advice regarding dealer negligence

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May 25, 2011, 9:48 PM

Post #1 of 3 (1729 views)
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I'm a regular customer at a dealership in my home town. I have a fairly new pickup truck and have all my service work done by the dealer. On a recent visit to have my oil changed and tires rotated, the service department sent me out the door just before closing time. I travelled approximately 1/4 mile when "all hell broke loose". The rear wheel came completely off my vehicle. I had just crossed a major intersection. Apparently, the technician failed to installed the first lug nut on that wheel. Luckily, no one was injured. I called the service manager and they sent a tow truck to pick me and my vehicle up.

When the wheel came off it lodged in the fender well. Wheel hub hit the pavement at 40 mph. Damage that we could see on the street included rear fender buckled, tailgate jambed into fender, trim destroyed, leaf springs look damaged, calipers bent, rim beat up and gouged, and who knows whatelse. The service manager apologized over and over again and assured me that my vehicle would be fixed. They gave me a base model rental car worth half of what I paid for my pickup. They plan to debrief me tomorrow on the extent of the damage and how they are going to fix it.

Here's my problem. What problems can I expect to occured from this type of accident? Will a cursory inspection indentify a handfull of items that need to be corrected and other problems go undetected visually and create issues for me down the road? What about the resale value of my vehicle? I'm assuming a car fax report will be generated indicating that the vehicle has had body work. My correspondence to date has been strictly with the Service Manager. I feel confident that they can fix the vehicle for the short term. Everybody is extremely lucky that noone was injured. My wife and children could have been driving the vehicle. I'm thinking long term. What options do I have? Obviously, I'm going to have time and finanical implications in having the vehicle repaired and then I'm stuck with a repaired vehicle. No one has so much as offered to reimburse me the $90 plus for the oil change, tire rotation, and air filter replacement that I paid prior to the accident. Has anyone had a similar situation? Any advice would be appreciated.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

May 25, 2011, 10:01 PM

Post #2 of 3 (1725 views)
Re: Need advice regarding dealer negligence [In reply to] Sign In

This stuff is more common that you would think. Most shops have experienced it at one time or another. The shops carry insurance for this type of thing and they will either make an insurance claim and proceed at the direction of the insurance company or they will elect to repair it themselves and absorb the cost to keep the insurance premiums down.

There isn't much you can do except make sure it is repaired correctly. Accidents happen and they are responsible to repair it properly. That's all you are entitled to.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

May 28, 2011, 9:14 AM

Post #3 of 3 (1693 views)
Re: Need advice regarding dealer negligence [In reply to] Sign In

Oh crap! Nobody means to do this. Guess is truck can be fixed like new and a brake drum may have taken a hit - both should be replaced IMO as a matched pair.

Not good but probably an honest mistake. Let them make it good. Be firm but collocated.

Been in biz alone since the 70s - check, check and double check and things can still happen. Good luck with a correct fix,


PS: If no body got hurt - that's a 10!

(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on May 28, 2011, 9:23 AM)

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