I own a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe, AWD. Eight years ago, I went to a mechanic near my college in Florida (a Tuffy's) to check on my car and had a variety of maintenance done, including replacing two tires. I didn't realize until four years later (2014) that they had put the wrong size tires on my car (235/70/16 instead of 225/70/16). Another mechanic discovered this error and I promptly went back to the Tuffy's with the receipt in protest, but they claimed they were under new management and refused to replace the tires. I let the matter go and paid out of pocket to fix the mistake, replacing the wrong tires with the correct ones.
Last Saturday, my car started making worrying noises. I made it to the nearest garage and they took a look, said that it's the transmission, and asked if I'd ever had the wrong tires on my car. I had it towed to a transmission shop and they said it will be at least $2200 to make the repairs (assuming it can be repaired; he put that at 90%; replacement would be $3200). The mechanic said in his expert opinion, this was definitely caused by the use of the wrong tires, since on an all-wheel-drive vehicle all the tires need to be the same size to stay in sync. I take good care of my car, get oil changes regularly, etc, and always keep all receipts, so I can prove proper maintenance.
Is Tuffy's liable and can I sue for them to pay for the repairs? Is there any statute of limitations that might influence this case?