Lawyer recommendation / car dealer dispute

My neighbor brought his car to the dealership to change the thermostat. On his way home the car started to overheat and the dealer towed it back. It turns out the dealership service dept didn’t put some clips or fasteners in the correct places and my neighbors car leaked all the coolant and it overheated.

They “fix” the car and he drives off. A short while later the transmission overheats and is apparently toasted. My neighbor has the car towed to a mechanic that was a dealer tech for the same brand for years and now owns his own shop. The mechanic tells him that the transmission failure was a direct result of the loss of coolant (I’m not sure how that’s possible unless the car has a trans cooler that is linked to the engine coolant system. It’s an SUV so it possibly has a trans cooler for towing).

My neighbor returns to the dealership service dept to tell them what happened and they vehemently deny that their mistake could have caused a trans failure. My thought is that if a professional mechanic says the problems are directly related and the dealership service dept says otherwise, he may have a case for a lawyer. Can anyone recommend a lawyer my neighbor can contact?

Mar '23

Any attorney specializing in consumer fraud could review that situation. I don't see much of a chance as that failure could be caused by a myriad of things. Sure the lack of coolant and overheating of the engine could possibly cause an issue with the trans but unless it was a long term issue or the owner drove it an extended period in the overheated state, I don't see a direct correlation. I should add some VW's have plate exchanger coolers for the automatic transmissions that uses the coolant suppled from the radiator/engine system. I'm sure other manufacturers have similar engineering. So it's not completely out of the question. When you state a short while later the transmission failed do you mean the same day? If it is was weeks or months after then I feel the neighbor is out of luck. If the trans failure was the same day or the next then maybe only maybe could he attempt to connect the two. Unless the independent mechanic can produce other cases having the same cause and effect issues or written TSB's that detail that issue, it's simply professional opinions contradicting each other.

I say try like hell after a demand letter from an attorney (why not) to negotiate the repair/replacement of the transmission. Or bite the bullet and go with the independent guy as I would have zero confidence in the dealer service department for sure.

Year make and model of the car?

not sack
Mar '23

Thanks for the reply, Greg. I know it’s definitely a long shot but paying a lawyer $300 to write a letter sure beats paying for a new transmission. I just shot him a text asking how long after they fixed their mistake did the trans fail. I’ll follow up

Mar '23

Ok, so I assumed the trans failed on his way home. My mistake. He said it was about a week later. He also stated that the specialist independent mechanic has the specific brand’s computer scan tool and it shows the analysis of trans temps with dates and times. Apparently the Indy tech is convinced the problems are directly related. Getting back to the original question, if anyone knows of a consumer attorney, please leave the info here. Thank you!
Edit: spelling

Mar '23

Does said vehicle have a low coolant warning lamp?

An engine temp gauge?

Quite probably both?

Was this the same day? If not there is no much to do. You can contact the manufacturer and see if the dealership responds. To do this you need to have the ducks in a row. Have dates, times and details on how this happened.

BrownEyesGuy BrownEyesGuy
Mar '23

It may not be whether it was 1 day later or 5 days later, i would think it's t he amount of mileage driven.

maybe he didn't drive for 1-2 days. so discuss mileage.

Hackresident Hackresident
Mar '23

Back to the Top | View all Forum Topics

Leave a Reply

To comment on this topic, fill out the form below. If you would like to comment directly to one person, you may click on the envelope next to the posters name if they provided their email.

Re: Lawyer recommendation / car dealer dispute
Name (Required)
Email (Protected)
Add Photo (Optional)
By pressing Submit Comment, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.