While most car accidents result from driver errors, carelessness, or inattention, mechanical issues sometimes cause collisions that result in serious injury. Whether improperly repaired brakes, tires, or other faulty repairs cause motor vehicle collision-related injuries, the auto repair shop that performed substandard services might be liable for the consequences of their poor workmanship. Vehicle repair center liability can arise out of inadequately performed work or the failure to warn patrons about a vehicle’s unsafe condition. An important issue that affects whether a court will make a vehicle maintenance business pay compensation to a crash victim involves the scope of the “duty of care” owed by the shop. In this blog, we examine factors that determine the scope and nature of the “standard of care” owed by a repair shop.

Area of Vehicle Serviced: The question of liability requires an analysis of the specific area of the vehicle that needs work performed. If a customer brings in a vehicle because the power window will not roll up, for example, mechanics at the facility typically would not be expected to notice a faulty brake master cylinder. The repair facility performing a specific repair does not have a duty to identify every potential issue associated with the vehicle. However, a repair person replacing a tire because of a blowout might be expected to notice and warn a customer about the master cylinder issue because of the proximity of the brakes to the part of the vehicle being serviced.

Nature of Repair Facility: The scope of the duty owed by a repair facility depends on the type of business performing maintenance or repair services. The law places the highest duty of car on the service department of car dealerships. The service center must go beyond the specifically requested repairs by addressing any safety recalls or service bulletins. By contrast, a car audio repair business generally would not be expected to notice issues related to the vehicles’ exhaust system.

Basis of the Car Owner’s Complaint: While the location on the vehicle of the repair can be relevant to the scope of the repair shop’s duty, the nature of the complaint also matters. If a customer requests that the repair center repair a flat tire, the cause of deflation could affect the scope of the duty of the repair center. If a piece of glass punctures a hole in the tire, patching the tire without further examination of the vehicle might be sufficient. However, the tire repair shop typically would be expected to examine the vehicle further if the deflated tire resulted from the vehicle running over a bulky metal girder in the road that fell off another vehicle

If you are involved in an auto collision with another vehicle because of a malfunction caused by the improper repair of your vehicle or a failure to warn of a vehicle safety issue, you should speak to a knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyer about your rights and legal options.

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