Legal Question in Legal Ethics in California

My question is this, I bought a car last October and unfortunately my car was malfunctioning and had some mechanical problems the seller did not mention. I did not find out about these problems until a month later on November 22 when the engine light began popping up. A friend of my father recommended him a mechanic who we could take our car to, this mechanic is his friend. He came by to our home to check out the car and we payed him around $100. He took the car and changed a sensor. He showed my father the receipts of everything he had done to the car, but when my father was bringing the car home the engine light came on again, he took the car back and the mechanic checked the engine more thoroughly, he then told my father there were more major problems in the engine. He told us the car's gas tank or motor had sugar or soda residue. The oil pump had to be replaced as well as the turbo, and some other parts of the engine had to be cleaned. My father gave him a total of $1,400 through out 2 months and handed us no receipts. He took over three months giving us excuses of why he had not finished fixing our car. He also repeatedly informed us parts we had already payed him to buy. We are very frustrated because it has been 4 months since I bought this car, and this mechanic has not even done the minimal work on my car the whole engine is parted and on top of it all the same friend who recommended my father of this mechanic told my father that the mechanic had personally told him he had ruined our engine. He was supposed to take it to a professional place to get a head gasket I believe re-modified and he tried doing it himself and apparently ruined it. My father confronted him about this incident and he denied the whole thing. He now claims there are other things he must fix and that he had lost some of the parts. My father has gone to his shop many times, but sees no progress at all. My father saw evidence of him working on other cars, and has left ours there without even giving us any explanation of what is going on. My father also asked to see the part he was told was supposedly ruined by the mechanic, but he finds excuses to ignore the subject. I have payed insurance for 3 months and have to pay the next 3 months in a couple of weeks. I kept paying my insurance throughout the 3 months my car has been in the shop because I was many times promised my car would be ready about 4 or 5 different times. I have lost a lot of money since my car has been in this shop and he has not given us any receipts. He promised my father to give him all of the receipts of the money he has given him when all the work is done but I do not see this happening. I want to know what kind of legal procedure can I take in reference to this situation. I want to go one more time to see if he has finished my car how he said he would many times before and if he has not progressed in any way I want to take legal action against him. This situation is much more detailed but I have provided a short version on what is going on.

Asked on 3/30/13, 1:32 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

California has a state agency called the Bureau of Automotive Repair that accepts complaints against mechanics. You can find the form at

You can also take the car to a different mechanic -- there is no reason why you have to stay with this one.

You will undoubtedly end up in a dispute with the mechanic about the bill. This will lilkely end up in small claims court.

Read more
Answered on 3/31/13, 1:56 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility questions and answers in California