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Are You Obligated to Repair Unroadworthy Vehicles?

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge ETCG1 Video Discussions Are You Obligated to Repair Unroadworthy Vehicles?

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  • #884294
    EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

      This is an interesting one. I hope to hear your feedback.

    Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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    • #884298
      Zac AleksovskiZac Aleksovski

        Hello Eric.
        How are you doing? When I worked at a service station a looong time ago we ran into that situation quite a lot. Brakes, tires, suspension parts that should have fallen off the car a long time before we laid eyes on it. Customers would bring in tires to get a leak fixed with the cords sticking out of the tire & they get mad at you when you refuse to fix it. We just noted the repair the car needed on the invoice & had the customer sign it to note they had read it. Never had any problems. Of course that was before lawyers were allowed to run amuck like they are now.

        Juan Marcos LariosJuan

          Hi Eric, I can definitely understand both sides of this coin, still the responsibility lies with the customer as is their decision in the end. Most customers also distrust most mechanics unless there’s a long term history of trust between customer and shop, or if the problem is as blatant as tires showing wires. Still, must be nerve wracking watching a customer drive away on an accident waiting to happen.

          On another note, when are you going to do another live show?


            I am writing from Canada. I am a youngish old fart now, but I still remember what it was like to have limited funds and try to keep the old heap running.

            We used to have annual mechanical vehicle safety inspections conducted by government operated drive through stations here to check cars for brakes, tires, brakes, rust etc up to the mid 70’s or so. After that was discontinued, an emissions test requirement somewhat replaced the safety check. The thinking may have been if you could afford to repair the emission controls, you were probably maintaining the rest of your car and it was likely safe to drive.

            Now, there are no more emissions tests mandated, but gasoline is now almost $6 per US gallon.. so those still driving a car who can afford around $100 a fill up, and $1200 / year minimum to get basic car insurance/plates, a car owner is likely able to afford a newer car and to maintain it properly.

            So my long preamble illustrates how over the years, the annual inspections and cost of operating a motor vehicle have resulted in an odd mix of new cars or classic cars on the road, with worn and failing cars around 10-20 years old being taken directly to the wrecking yard whenever an expensive repair is required.

            What constitutes an expensive repair? An automatic transmission or electrical wiring fault / intermittent black box problem is usually what ends a late model car’s life on the road.

            Safety related items like tires, brakes and ball joints, and tie rods are dirt cheap these days, and there are no shortage of places for DIY’rs or smaller shops willing to fix cars cheaply using second tier parts or used parts from PNP.

            If I were running a shop and a customer came in with a heap, I would first inspect it for safety related faults before looking at any other issue.

            If the frame was about to break, or some other immanent part failure that could end the driver’s life or injure someone else on the road, I would try my best to talk the owner into doing a repair, or to agree to a tow home or a tow to the wreckers.

            Some provinces have given Certified mechanics the authority to condemn a car right away if it is not safe. That car’s not going back on the road before the faults are fixed and the car is inspected.

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