At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our Charlotte, Hickory, Greenville and Columbia attorneys assist clients with two types of automobile-related fraud: repair fraud and used vehicle fraud.
Getting in a wreck is frustrating enough without having to worry about your repairs being done correctly. Unfortunately, a large number of vehicles are incorrectly repaired following a collision. In some cases, the bad repairs are a simple mistake. However, in other cases, repairs are either done improperly to save the repair shop money or because the body shop doesn’t even bother to research the proper way to repair your vehicle. In either of these situations, the end result is the same: improper repairs that jeopardize the safety of your car.
No matter what type of car you drive, the manufacturer of your vehicle has come up with repair specifications for your vehicle. The specifications provide repairs shops with the blueprints they need to perform a proper repair. However, these specifications and repair guidelines are constantly changing as technology changes and techniques are improved over time. In addition, specifications vary from one model to the next and in many cases, there are changes from one model year to the next in many vehicles. As a result, it is imperative that for any repairs involving anything more than something very minor, that the repair shop take the time to research what the manufacturer says needs to be repaired and how it should be done. But here’s the problem: repairs shops don’t get paid to research. So rather than pull up the repair specifications and create a repair plan, most repair shops just start the repair and hope for the best.
For any repair involving moderate or greater damage, performing body work without looking up the manufacturer’s specifications is all but guaranteeing that your vehicle will not be repaired properly. Simply put, the specifications are too precise and vary so much from one vehicle to the next, that no repair technician could have them memorized. Modern vehicles are built to precise measurements and even a variation of a few millimeters could cause a vehicle to not respond in the manner it was intended to in the case of a crash.
The scary part is that very few vehicle owners know when their vehicle has been improperly repaired. For most people, they just look to see if the paint looks good and as long as everything is in order, they consider it a good job. Bad repair shops know this and are banking on it.
Another common tactic used by unscrupulous repair shops is to switch out new OEM parts for after-market or recycled parts. In some scenarios, the repair shop will charge a customer for a new part but actually install a used part or just try to repair the part altogether. Either way, it is a way for the repair shop to profit at your expense.
So how do you know if you’ve been the victim of repair fraud? Unless you are a trained repair technician or your vehicle is exhibiting obvious problems, you probably would never know that your vehicle was improperly repaired. Therefore, if you have any suspicions about the repairs or just want to make sure they were done properly, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion on the repairs you had performed. There are businesses around Charlotte who will perform a post-repair inspection on your vehicle. Otherwise, most of the cases we see are from situations where a second collision occurs, and previous improper repairs and/or unrepaired damage is found.
If you believe you are the victim of repair fraud, the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor may be able to help. With offices in Charlotte, Hickory, Greenville North Carolina and Columbia South Carolina. Call us today to discuss your case and see if we can help you.
Used Vehicle Fraud
When you buy a used car, you buy it without the knowledge of the vehicle’s history. Has it been in any wrecks? Has it had a lot of repairs? Does it have any title issues? As a result, a smart used car buyer should do as much research as they can before buying a used vehicle and try to get the previous owner to give them as much information as possible as to the vehicle’s history. Unfortunately, some vehicle owners are dishonest and fail to mention past problems or in some situations, make blatant misrepresentations.
Whether it is a private seller or a dealership, all vehicle sellers have a duty to be honest about the information they are providing you. If you purchase a vehicle in North Carolina or South Carolina and find out that the seller was dishonest with you, then contact the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor to discuss whether we may be able to help you with your used vehicle fraud case.