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Who is legally responsible.

The dealership claims to have lost my car after I took it in for service. They said to file a police report and that their liability waiver relieves them of all responsibility. What should I do now? Geoff:

Their liability waiver is rubbish Geoff. . Those waivers are mostly to save them from getting sued when items go missing out of the car. They aren’t really supposed to have to worry about your car’s belongings, BUT the car itself is their business and THAT they have a duty to care for. They should be filing the police report but if they refuse, go ahead and do it. Then sue them.

We had a petrol station behind our house when I was growing up and one day, some idiot stole a car from the petrol station, drove it around and ran into our back fence. The petrol station owner kept saying that he would fix it but he never did and he strung us along until the statute of limitations passed, one year, and then we were unable to sue. So whatever you do, don’t wait to sue. You would be better off getting a judgement now and forcing them to deal with this. They’ve already shown their proclivity to try and get out of this, so you can expect a fight. Play hard ball because that is what they’ll be doing.

Once they accept your car into their care - for whatever reason, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT. PERIOD.

Same goes with any company doing work for you.

I used Dolphin Bathrooms to put in two bathrooms into my London house and after it was all finished, some months later, there was a problem. Dolphin told me to contact the people who had done the actual work, and my answer was I DO NOT HAVE A CONTRACT WITH THEM, MY CONTRACT IS WITH DOLPHIN BATHROOMS SO IF ANYONE IF GOING TO GET IN CONTACT WITH ANYONE, IT IS ME WITH DOLPHIN AND THEN DOLPHIN WITH THE MEN WHO DID THE JOB. My contract was with Dolphin and no one else.

Never be passed off from your initial contracted company to some one else as that is when the real troubles can start.

Another time I left some jewellery with a jeweller for valuation for insurance and the jeweller was broken into and my items stolen and the jeweller claimed I would have to make a claim against my own insurance, when I informed him I would be suing him as my property was on his property and under his protection and insurance so HIS insurance were liable and not mine ( as my insurance premiums would sky rocket ) and anything from a car to a diamond ring, if left with a shop / garage etc. for any reason COMES UNDER THE PROTECTION FROM THE SHOP / GARAGE and THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR LOOKING AFTER IT and if ANYTHING goes wrong or it is stolen / damaged etc. then the shop / garage IS RESPONSIBLE.


It seems the shop had claimed fully on their insurance and had included my items in their claim but wanted to keep all the money for themselves and got into serious trouble with their insurance company when I made a claim against them in court and they admitted they had already paid out for the items and the shop owner got in trouble for trying to fiddle me and the insurance company. I got my monies and the shop keeper was prosecuted for insurance fraud.


John: read your piece about legal responsibility.

My car fell from the lift thing the garage had it up on to sort something out underneath and down it came, crashing into the hole underneath and - basically - destroying my car. They tried to claim it was my fault which was comical as I wasn't even there and their aggression towards me was astounding considering they had destroyed my car. I called the police and made a full police report - then reported them to the local councils Better Business department, and then took them to court for the full value of my car - and while they made every excuse under the sun at the hearing, the judge threw their defense out almost from the word go AS THEY WERE IN THE WRONG. My car was under their protection to repair and not write off after destroying it. The garage agreed to repair the car but the judge refused their offer and made the insurance company pay the full value as the garage had already lied, and the judge did not trust them to do a decent and competent job of repair, so I got the full value on the car and a free hire car for over 8 weeks while it was all sorted out. Good result






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