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Auto Mechanic Refusing to Perform Services after payment

3 posts in this topic

Edit: this is taking place in Los Angeles, CA if there was a question about state or city laws etc etc. 


I'll make this short and to the point.

 I entered into a verbal agreement with a store front auto shop, nothing written but we corresponded thru email and text message so there is proof of the job being accepted and there is bank statements that show payment. Agreement was for myself to provide all parts and the shop to provide all labor. I purchased the $2,500 in parts and had them all shipped to the shop. The shop quoted me $4,000 for the total job which was a complete engine and transmission swap, I paid $3,000 up front. They had a good reputation so no reason to think something was shady. 

its been over 3 months now, when I went to visit after a few weeks my car was already disassembled and he was saying he was waiting on one final part. Well the part arrived and my car has not been put back together. I've been calling every few weeks, but he has stopped returning calls and texts. I live here in the Bay Area and the car is in Los Angeles so it is a little hard to get down regularly, but I am flying down on July 30th to finally talk to the guy face to face. 


What are my legal options?. Mostly I just don't know what to do with how to get my car back, keeping in mind its totally disassembled. I feel like I have no recourse, that he could just keep my money and give me back my car in 20 pieces, tell me to take a hike. 


I got a quote from a nearby shop that was willing to complete the job for around the same price $4,000 and has been doing this engine work for 20 years and doesn't know why my mechanic wouldn't perform the service. They quoted me 2 weeks time for the total job. 


What should I do, what are my options, how do I recover my car and/or the funds as well?


 I do have all emails, texts, shipping receipts for parts, and bank statements showing that I have upheld my end of the bargain. 

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I don't know what to tell you. Your mistake was giving him the $3000 up front. He probably spent that and your car was no longer a priority because he had to work on his daily customers who paid on completion.


I learned that a long time ago with contractors and never pay them up front. Only when the work is completed. You'd be amazed how fast work gets done when you are holding the money until the work gets done.


Oh, yeah, taking your car to LA when you live in the Bay Area, also bad idea. Not enough mechanics in the Bay Area?

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