What if a dealership totals your car? | EngineBiscuit

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For many of us, our vehicles represent the culmination of hard work and countless hours determining which vehicle is the right one to buy. Buying a car can be a stressful business, but it is an investment. Cars depreciate quite quickly once they stand out, but have a loan can help build or repair credit, and having the car of your dreams you’ve worked so hard for is a point of pride. When you do everything right and bring your vehicle in for scheduled maintenance, it’s a big blow if accidents occur while in the care of the dealer. Unfortunately, this has happened to a few people. So if a dealership totals your car, what happens next?

What if a dealership totals your car?

A totalized vehicle surrounded by police gangs | Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images

Hope that never happens. However, there have been instances where someone dropped their car off for routine maintenance or repair at a dealership, and they came back to find that their car had been damaged, destroyed or, worse yet, destroyed. How can this happen?

Often times, when diagnosing a problem or taking a test drive after routine maintenance or repair, technicians drive the vehicle on the roads and streets around the dealership. This is common practice, as a quick trip around the field usually won’t do much. However, anything can happen on a short drive.

This is what happened to a woman in houston. She dropped off her new 2020 Ford Escape for a routine oil change and came to pick it up only to find it had been completely complete. In his case, the dealer would not take any responsibility, nor the technician’s insurance. She had to file a claim with her own insurance and let them work it out with the dealership and the other insurance company.

Dealers have their own liability insurance which should cover such an event. Every dealer should have this coverage. It covers anything that might happen while they have the vehicle in custody, whether they own it or not. Another policy they should have is a mechanic’s policy. This policy would cover any vandalism, theft or damage to the garage that is not related to driving the car. For example, if an elevator broke and dropped a vehicle, it would be covered by the mechanic’s policy.

The process can be long, if they do not cooperate

Dealing with insurance companies can be a problem anyway, but if the dealership doesn’t cooperate, it is even more so. In the case of the Houston woman, the Tomball Ford dealership did not cooperate. She had to contact several people before finally leaving everything to her own insurance company.

However, even when the dealers cooperate, you might lose money. According to Hartford Current, a Mustang Shelby GT500 was purchased by a dealer and the owner lost money in the incident. Dealer insurance covered the incident, but Marc Mastroianni, the owner of the Mustang, claimed the vehicle was actually worth around $ 60,000. Dealer insurance only paid $ 39,385.

The Litchfield Ford dealership was nice but didn’t offer more. They responded that Mastroianni could buy a much newer vehicle with the settlement, but that doesn’t take into account the sentimental value of the vehicle or the money Mastroianni had already invested in it. The 2008 Mustang Shelby GT500 was one of 20 produced and was Mastroianni’s dream car. There is nothing to replace.

What can you do if a dealership damages your car?

Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer if you feel that you are owed more than what was initially offered to you. All dealerships should have general and garage liability insurance policies, but don’t forfeit the first offer if you think it’s not enough to cover the value of the vehicle. After all, it’s up to the vehicle owner to get the best negotiated settlement.

Hope this never happens to you!

RELATED: 5 questions you shouldn’t answer when you walk into a car dealership


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