Legal Question in Product Liability in Illinois

On March 16th 2010 I bought a used 1995 Toyota 4runner from a used car lot in Chicago.

I also bought a 3 month 4700 mile extended warranty from C.A.R.S protection plus, inc.

Since I had my truck with me when I bought the Toyota the car lot sent one of their people to drive one of the vehicles to my house and I would bring them back.

The car lot person was driving the Toyota and I was driving my other truck, about 15 miles from the car lot, the Toyota over heated and the driver pulled off the side of the road, I drove him back to the car lot in my truck where they had the Toyota towed back to the lot and did some work on it which included putting in a new radiator.

On April 3rd 2010 as I was driving the Toyota it over heated again and I pulled over along side the interstate, I had the Toyota towed to a repair shop, gave them all the info of my extended warranty.

I received a call from the repair shop a few days later stating the heads were warped on the motor and the Warranty company would send a agent to see the damage and approve the work that needed to be done.

On April 12th 2010 I received a call from the repair shop that the warranty company declined the claim for the reason that there was a new radiator put in and this caused the over heating.

I didn't put in the radiator it was replaced by the car lot before I even took ownership of the Toyota.

Is there any legal actions I can take on the car lot or extended warranty company?

Asked on 4/12/10, 5:27 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Nima Taradji Taradji Law Offices

You need to read your policy and see what the procedure is to follow when there is a disagreement regarding the coverage issues. First, request in writing from the adjuster the exact reason why the claim is denied and request them to show you where in the contract they find the basis for the denial. Two, you then read that clause and then read the rest of the policy and see if there is any argument you can formulate to counter the adjuster's basis for denial.

If the amount of the money involved is significant enough, you may want to have an attorney review this. I have successfully fought unjust denials in the past and be more than happy to help you out.

I hope this helps-

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Answered on 4/17/10, 5:51 pm
Bruce Burdick Burdick Law Firm

Mr. Taradji gave you the middle half of your answer. The first part of your answer is that you had the radiator replaced after you took ownership. You took ownership when you concluded your purchase and the car left the lot the first time, not when the car finally made it to your house--unless there was some very unlikely clause to the contrary in your sales contract. I am guessing you took the car "As Is" otherwise you would not be purchasing a third party warranty. After the review of your policy, you are probably going to find that there is a clause in the warranty policy that says if you have repairs made without notifying the warranty company, the warranty is void as to any damage caused by the repairs you made. So, if there is sufficient money involved to go further, you will want to have a reliable mechanic review the warranty company's statement of the mechanical reason why the dealer's repair of the radiator caused the heads to become warped. If none, and the money is enough to justify paying an attorney (which I doubt), contact Mr. Taradji and go after the warranty company, perhaps in small claims court. If, however, the warranty company is right and the radiator repair caused the damage, then you should be going after the dealer for a defective repair, unless you took the car "As Is" following the radiator repair, which I bet you did. If you took it "As Is" and the repair violated the warranty, and the dealer knew that, then you might still have a claim against the dealer. If you got the warranty independently and the dealer did not know about it, and you took the car "As Is", and the warranty has a clause you broke by having your car improperly repaired by the dealer, then, my friend, you are probably "hosed", perhaps doubly hosed if a busted radiator hose was the cause.

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Answered on 4/18/10, 11:01 pm

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