(WSVN) - If you took your car in to have the sway bar bushings replaced, would you know if they did it? Most of you would not. You would trust the repair shop. What can you do when you feel the repair shop is not treating you fairly? A South Florida woman who went through this problem called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Most people have a car. Not everyone is as happy with theirs as Betty is.
Betty Heisler: “For me at my age, this is perfect. Makes me feel younger, too! It’s not extremely sporty, but its sporty looking.”
Betty has driven her Volvo for six years, with regular maintenance at the dealer.
Betty Heisler: “I take very good care of my car. I’m very proud of it. I love it.”
Then, the other day, it started making a strange noise.
Betty Heisler: “I didn’t take it straight to the dealer because I was afraid to drive it that far.”
Instead, she headed to a nearby repair shop in Aventura, who gave her a price to fix the problems.
Betty Heisler: “Two hundred dollars for the sway bar bushings and $375 for the shock absorbs.”
The rear sway bar bushings give your car a smoother ride. After she was told the parts were replaced at the repair shop, she drove away.
But her ride was still rough, so this time she headed to the dealership, where she saw her shock absorbers had been replaced. But…
Betty Heisler: “When I took the car to Volvo, they put it on a lift, and they showed me that the sway bar bushings were still there. [The mechanic] said they never replaced them. ‘They’re damaged, and they need to be replaced.'”
Betty took pictures of the broken sway bar bushings, and a repairman wrote, “I hereby certify the rear sway bar bushings were never replaced.”
Betty Heisler: “You know what hurts? It was $200, it hurts, but being taken because I’m a woman, and i’m an older woman that knows nothing about this, that is what really hurts.”
Betty sent the repair shop a letter with pictures of the old bushings still on her car.
Betty Heisler: “I haven’t heard from them. They just ignored the whole thing.”
Betty now wants her money back so she can take it to the dealership to get the job.
Betty Heisler: “And trust me, I’ve learned much more about sway bar bushings than I ever need to know in my whole life.”
Well, Howard, how does the law look at something like this?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “The law is simple: When you pay for something and you don’t get it, it’s a breach of contract, and you get your money back. And if they offer to do the repair and you don’t want them to, they have to return your money.”
We contacted Aventura Auto Specialists. The owner claimed the rear sway bar bushings were replaced, but he said they must have been faulty sway bar bushings.
He did tell us they would replace the bushings again. We said no; Betty wanted her money back. That day he wrote her a check for $200.
Betty Heisler: “I am elated that I called Help Me Howard. You guys are great.”
Betty told us she’s happy she won, and has an idea for any person getting repairs made.
Betty Heisler: “What I suggest is, take a picture of the part they’re supposed to change, and then ask to see the part that they actually changed.”
Good idea, because a lot of people don’t know much about auto parts. How do you avoid this happening to you? Go online and do research before you take your car into a repair shop. Go to a place that’s been in business for a long time. They last a long time because they do a good job.
Broken down trying to solve your problem? Ready to get up and running again? Contact us. It’s no accident people call us. We are driven to help you.
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