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MA Auto repair -shoddy mechanic/dealer work

We bought a used vehicle from a dealer in MA in mid March 2012. It turned out to have a few issues and we kept dropping the vehicle off to fix the issues that were coming up. The last time we dropped it off (about mid April) , they decided to replace a part on the exhaust system that was leaking. We picked it up and two days later when the local VW dealer was doing some service work, they noticed the exhaust was leaking again. I called the used car dealer right away and told them what the problem was and asked when I could drop it off. I was told that the person who could authorize the repairs wasn’t in but would call me back. I kept calling for the next few days and got the same result-he'll call me back. A week later, im finally told that I can bring the car in for repairs but I would have to pay for it myself since the car was out of warranty. I was livid at this point this was something they had just replaced and were the only ones who had touched the exhaust system and I pointed this out. They again reiterated that the car had passed inspection and was out of warranty with this them. This is where we have an issue- we were on top of everything and kept calling these guys as soon as we noticed something. And outside of the warranty issue, the way we're looking at it, if we had taken the vehicle in to a mechanic of our choice and this had been the result, we would have taken the vehicle right back. From our viewpoint, they're refusing to own up to an issue they're responsible for.
I checked with another mechanic and im being told its about a 700 fix but the part itself is about $10. Mostly due to the labor (a lot of parts have to come out). If we have to suck it up and pay for it, so be it. But im wondering if this could be covered under 97A as shoddy work from a mechanic or what other options we have in terms of taking action. Any help is appreciated.

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Generally speaking, a seller of a used car, or any product, can not avoid his obligation under the warranty or under Massachusetts law by  making ineffective attempts at solving a problem covered by the warranty.  In other words, once the problem is established as something that is covered by the warranty, the merchant is still required to fix the problem even if the warranty period passes while he is making multiple efforts to repair.  If the law were otherwise, merchants would have a strong incentive to drag the repairs out past the date the warranty ends.

If you are not already, you need to make yourself aware of the Massachusetts Used Car Warranty Law.  Finally, you are correct, this situation has the potential to create liability on the part of the car dealer under MA 93A.  See, for example 940 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 3.08:

(2) Warranties. It shall be an unfair and deceptive act or practice to fail to perform or fulfill any promises or obligations arising under a warranty. The utilization of a deceptive warranty is unlawful.

 



thank you. This definitely helps


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