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Faulty auto repair.

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? I live in Illinois.

My wife was driving her Ford Focus, and heard a noise and smelled gasoline. She pulled into a parking lot, and got out to see the car surrounded by gasoline spillling from the fuel tank which had fallen out of the car and was held underneath by the hose to the engine and a parking brake cable.

Someone called the fire department and before she knew it, there were police, fire engines and a hazardous materials team. They cleaned up the gasoline and put everything into a hazardous waste drum and told me, when I arrived, that I was responsible for the cost of the cleanup and I had to immediately call and contract with a hazardous waste hauler to come and pick up the drum.

Just a short time previous to this, we had the Focus worked on at the dealer because of a recall involving the fuel pump, which they replaced. To do so they had to remove the fuel tank because the pump is inside it.

For less than 300 miles all seemed well, but then the fuel tank falls out, and now I'm out over $715 for picking up the drum and although I haven't received the bill from the village for the fire department, they told me it could be over $1000 that I'm responsible for.

The dealer paid for the tow and has repaired the car at no cost, but says all he can do is submit the bills to his insurance company.

Do I have any recourse for anything beyond the charges for cleanup, and what can I do if he refuses to pay? Isn't the dealer responsible for this?


Junior Member
I'm in NC and I'm no lawyer, but I used to run a private garage. And I did stay a t a Holiday Inn once. :D

It seems to me that the dealership has already accepted the responsibility of the damages if he has made restitution in part. If his insurance company does refuse to pay I would think you'd have strong grounds for taking it to court. In which case I'd make the dealership understand you'd not only be wanting restitution; but costs of court, attourney fees and anything else you could prove you incurred for your trouble. But I'd let the insurance handle it if possible. But I'd also stay on top of it, as insurance companies will try and screw you and the waiting game is part of that. If I hadn't received satisfaction in good order my first step would be to go to the dealership and let them know I'd be going to the BBB and any "Action News" medias in your area. Be assured the dealership doesn't want this kind of publicity.

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