What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California.
I need to sue a mechanic who recently worked on my car. I'd taken it into a shop and was told the head gasket was probably blown, and quoted $2100.00. I took the car to a shop that gave me a better quote -- big mistake on my part. Its worth noting that I called the new shop and asked what their recommendation was, and a mechanic names Willie Jr. told me that the head gasket was indeed blown.
After five days and $1100.00, I drove the car off. The same night the car started blowing smoke, and exhibiting the same symptoms as before. After three more days, and $350.00 later, I was told that the intake manifold was warped, and that was the cause of the problem. Never mind that the part had already come off when they did the first job, and was told that they don't inspect the manifolds when they take them off, and I'd have to pay the labor again. The shop manager told me that it probably didn't even need the valve job (the $1100 job). Letting that go by the wayside, I took the car. They mentioned that my throttle position sensor was throwing the check engine light, and I needed to replace it. So I did. And the light still came on after multiple resets. I still can't believe that they'd send me home with a new problem.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I decided to replace the sensor with a top of the line sensor, thinking that maybe the replacement was bad. Unfortunately, the light is still on, and a call to the dealer confirmed that the code doesn't call for the replacement of the TPS, but that the engine idle speed is wrong, and was probably due to a shoddy job putting the manifold back on. I can't believe that they sent the car home with me with a NEW problem. Then about a day later, the engine started to squeal, and looking under the hood, I can clearly see the belt (which they removed and put back on) is actually weening its way off of the pulleys.
In total, I'm out $1500, and the car still doesn't work properly. I've had to take the train to work everyday (and for those of you that know Los Angeles, I have to go through Watts around 12:30 am to get home.
I'd like to take them to small claims court, but I don't know what to sue for. Tomorrow I will take the car back in and demand that they fix it, or take it to someone who can. Or, give me my money back, which they won't do.
I'm not looking to get away with a ton of money; I'd really just like the car fixed, and to come back to me running right (at least without a check engine light on). If they could just fix the car, I'd be happy. If someone else could fix the car, and they'd cover it, I'd be happier. I'd really rather have it repaired than receive any monetary damages.
If the court date is more than a few weeks away, for my own personal safety, I may rent a car. While the trains do go to my work, I've been mugged once, and attacked a few other times in Watts or Compton. Would I be able to ask for a percentage of the car rental fees in the suit?
Also worth noting, there's a 30 day warranty on the job, noted on my reciept.
Thank you for your time!