When your car breaks down and has to be towed to a dealer for repair, you brace yourself for the bill that’s to come. But you don’t expect to be hit with a further $2,000 to replace an item that was working fine when the vehicle arrived at the dealership.
However, that’s exactly what happened to Diane Reid of Orangeville, Ontario. Reid had her Hyundai Veracruz towed to Orangeville Hyundai after the alternator failed, but when the dealer called, the news was far worse than she’d imagined. A thief had stolen her car’s catalytic converter for the precious metal contained inside while it was parked at the dealership.
A dealership employee left the bad news on a voicemail to Reid, letting slip that the garage had suffered the theft of three other converters from cars five months earlier. Orangeville Hyundai has no gates or fencing to keep thieves out at night, doesn’t even have any security cameras keeping an eye on the lot, and appears to have taken no extra precautions since the previous thefts occurred.
Those factors might lead you to presume the dealer would cover the cost of the repair, and Reid probably made the same assumption. But that’s not what happened. When she called the dealership to find out more she was told she, or her insurance company, would have to shoulder the estimated $2,000 repair costs.
Related: Steep Rise In Catalytic Converter Theft Is Alarming Automakers
The dealership boss, Phil Richards, explained to Global News that customers are told about the risks involved in leaving their car when they drop it off and sign paperwork. But because Reid’s car was towed she didn’t get any paperwork and wasn’t warned verbally about the risks.
When Reid’s daughter, Jamie-Lee Higginson, confronted Richards he told her to leave, and after she began telling other customers at the showroom about the theft he called the cops. Richards told Global News that he was refusing to shell out for the repairs because of Higginson’s “demeanor” and the fact that she created a Facebook post describing her experiences. But it sounds like he had already made that decision long before things reached that point, or they might not have got there at all.
Who do you think should pay for the repairs? Leave a comment and let us know.