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Botched engine replacement

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I had my engine replaced at a shop that a friend ran.  We had work done there previously and, other than the specific work done, everything was the same.   We had the vehicle towed there after getting a decent priced quote.   It took 3 months vs the 3 weeks we were told.   After we got the truck back, everything seemed fine but a light on dash was flashing

.. then, the third or 4th time we drove it every dash light came on!   So we took it back to the shop a 2 or 3 hour drive. Left it for another week or two and were told that ther was an oil leak on the engine and many bolts weren't even tightened.   We were also told that they would make it right and we believed the work was warrantied. 

  We were told to pick up truck again but now it's in limp mode. A pump has gone bad in the exhaust.   So this truck that wr still owe 6500 on, the same  one that we spent almost 4000 replacing the engine on sits in our driveway because of the new engine install and wiring issues. The autoshop says they know nothing of the work being done and it must have been the mechanic (who no longer works there) after hours work and they are not responsible.  So I showed them the paperwork for the engine delivery that was delivered there and asked him where that engine was.  He gave no answer.... this has made the 2007 Toyota tundra worth 500 dollars on a trade in and otherwise not drivable.  What can we do?

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It's not really clear what caused the problems you had after you got the car back. But if the shop did not put in the replacement engine as promised or did a shoddy job of it then it breached the contract you had and you may sue for that. In a breach of contract case, the damages you may claim are known as expectancy damages. This means you are entitled to get the amount of money it would take to put you back into the position you would have been had the contract been performed properly. In Colorado you may sue for up to $7,500 in small claims court.. The Colorado courts have a small claims page to help you get started.


Note that the shop cannot avoid liability here by claiming it knew nothing about it and that it must have been a side job by that now ex-employee. If that guy was an employee at the time and represented he was acting on behalf of the shop when he made the deal for the work then the shop is likely liable under the concept of apparent authority. You would want to sue both the shop and that employee to cover all your bases.

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