Financial recourse options regarding a deceitful mechanic?
March 23, 2014 1:05 PM   Subscribe

A mechanic who replaced my bus's radiator removed parts of the transmission's cooling system, said he replaced the parts, and got paid for the parts and the labor. After several months, I took the bus out for a trip, and the transmission overheated repeatedly and finally lost all but first gear. It turns out that the parts the mechanic said he installed are not there -- the pipe that should connect to them just connects back to itself. What steps can I take to get my money back?

Besides what I paid the guy ($1100), the other costs I've racked up because of his straight-up lying are the towing ($150), and whatever amount it's going to cost to fix the damage to the transmission ($400-$800). The bus is getting fixed this week by a different mechanic, but if it doesn't get fixed in time I will lose another $400, since it was scheduled to be rented for an event next weekend.

The bus is insured only with accident insurance. The mechanic was a small business (not a chain that would care about the Better Business Bureau). Both the mechanics and the bus registration are in Georgia.

What do I need to do to get compensated? I have no idea where to start!
posted by Pwoink to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Best answer: This sounds like a matter for small claims court. I'd document/photograph as much as possible, particularly before the new mechanic does his or her thing.
posted by axiom at 1:10 PM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

The problem is with the gap in time between when he did the work and when it failed. I assume you drove the bus home from the mechanic, yes? If you haven't spoken to the first mechanic yet, I recommend you do so. If he stonewalls you, I'm afraid your only option to recover any money will be to haul him to court. Definitely have the new mechanic document everything he's discovered.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:11 PM on March 23, 2014

The first mechanic has insurance. He should use it. You should make him use it.
posted by notsnot at 2:01 PM on March 23, 2014

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