• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

National Auto Service Center Goofed...

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



I'm in Washington State.

National Auto Service Center Goofed on their estimate. Said it only needed new clutch. Verbal okay on guaranteed clutch job.

Called back later and said transmission is blown. Repair will now cost four times as much. I can't afford four times as much. They were the ones that blew the estimate. They can't perform the work they promised in the first place until the transmission is fixed.

Can they charge me for half the guaranteed clutch job now, since they found out they now can't finish the work they promised?
They were the ones that blew the estimate.
My car has been sitting at their location for over a month now. I'd like it back.


Senior Member
Some random thoughts:

1) Check with your state Consumer office. Find out if all repairs require written estimates and written acceptance before work.
If so, you might have an out there.

2) Your claims that they 'blew the estimate' are pretty weak. Two problems: It was an estimate not a final statement. And they can easily claim that the problem was hidden and wasn't noticable until opening the tranny.

3) Take a look at their estimate. I am sure that there is some wording in there like "this is an estimate only and subject to change upon further inspection."

4) You say that they can't perform the approved work without the transmission repair. Tell them that you agreed to pay for specific work. If they can't perform that work, they need to return the car to you in 'as delivered' condition. If they insist on money to release car, pay it, then consider litigation in small claims court.

5) You might consider contacting your local consumer media (papers, TV). Generally they love these stories where a chain might be mistreating consumers.

Barring any of the above, you will need to get the car out so that it can be repaired somewhere else. Refuse their bill (since they haven't completed the work). If that still doesn't work, pay the bill with a credit card, then you can dispute the billing and/or file on them in small claims to recover your costs.

Final thought.... my sons car had a transmission problem. We took it to a local well-known tranny shop. After doing their free "22-point inspection", they advised that it would cost $1400.00 to fix. Needless to say, this was devastating for an 18 year old. We decided instead to purchase a used tranny (about $600.00) and our GOOD regular mechanic (Jack) was going to install for another $250.00. Saves a bunch. When our mechanic got the car, he looked at the tranny and noticed that the tran fluid was gone and then diagnosed that the 'vacuum modulator' diaghragm had a leak. Replacing this modulator fixed the problem. Total cost: $75.00 (labor and part). Moral: ALWAYS, ALWAYS double and triple check transmission diagnoses and estimates!!!

Steve Halket
Judgment Recovery of Houston
[email protected]
This is my PERSONAL OPINION and is not legal advice! Consult your local attorney for your specific situation and laws!

[This message has been edited by Halket (edited July 09, 2000).]

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential