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DWYM: What to do if a repair shop damages your car

DWYM: Oil change done wrong flummoxes women
Posted at 1:02 PM, Jun 15, 2021

Imagine dropping your car off for an oil change and the mechanic drops the ball and damages your car.

That's what one woman claims happened to her.

John Matarese looks into your rights, so you don’t waste your money.

You bring your car to the shop for an oil change and assume they do the job right.

But what if something goes wrong as you are driving away: are they responsible?

"This flew off," said Crystal Wheeler, who says she will never forget what happened while she was driving home the other day. "I was terrified."

She said she had just gotten the oil changed when her hood flew up as she was getting onto the highway,

"I'm like I gotta get off this highway, and my daughter is screaming," Wheeler said.

Can you imagine this?

Wheeler said she couldn't look through the windshield because the hood was all the way up.

Instead, she had to look out the side window to get her car off the highway.

"I'm looking through the hole right here," she said.

Her boyfriend, Gregory Allen, showed me the damage.

"The grills, gone, the hood is messed up," he said.

With a bungie cord holding the hood down, Wheeler went back to the shop manager.

"I showed him the pictures, and he said, 'Oh my God,'" she said.

So we went to the auto center, where a manager said he's sent her case to corporate.

The legal resources site hg.org says:

If a shop is negligent -- such as failing to latch the hood, or forgetting oil -- they may be legally responsible.

So don’t let this happen to you by following these tips:

  • After an oil change, walk around and inspect your car.
  • If it doesn't look right, sound right or an engine light is on, shut it off immediately.
  • Damage? Take pictures, and file a claim.

Lawyers say most major shops will cover damage they caused to your car, if there is enough proof they did it.

That way you don't waste your money.