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Auto repair rip-off

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My son (over 18) was driving my wife's car on a Monday night. Car breaks down; towed to repair place. Son signs work order to diagnose problem, agreeing to pay $30. Wife picks up son up at 10:00PM. Mechanic tells wife he would hold car over night and gives her his card, he would tell her next day the cost of repair. Mechanic not available to quote costs till Wednesday. Faxes repair bill for $438, but car is not repaired, not running. The parts replaced were "obviously fried", according to mechanic. He was unable to fully diagnose problem so it was taken to electrical system repairman who would not even look at car til we cleared our bill with the first mechanic. The work order was originally signed by my son but the only thing on the order was the $30 diagnosis with no bottom line total. The mechanic filled in the rest and did the work without consent. The main wiring harness may be fried or who knows what else. The car is '92 Nissan Minivan worth less than $2000. I would have scrapped it rather than spend $1500 for repairs or whatever. He wants to get paid for a misdiagnosis and incomplete repair that may cost more than it's worth. I should have been able to make that decision before he spent my money. What legal remedies do I have? How should I procede? Signed ripped off old man.



I am a law school graduate. What I offer is mere information, not to be construed as forming an attorney client relationship.

If your son only signed a work order for $30....that is all he is legally obligated to pay.

The mechanic did work without your consent...which means, no contract. In legalese, this is a unilateral mistake. You tell him that it is fraudulent and deceptive billing practice to charge for work not agreed to.

You tell him in a letter that if they attempt to collect, you will countersue for fraud. Also, aside from all of this, contact the Better Business Bureau in your county..Betcha they can take care of it, too!

Business people tend to get a bit scared when the BBB get involved.

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