Could I sue my mechanic for potentially installing an aftermarket catalytic converter?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by pri4u, Nov 21, 2022.

  1. pri4u

    pri4u Junior Member

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    I just went to the mechanic shop, the technician said that the mechanic (owner) will be back on 12.5.22 (I guess that’s why he told me to come back on 12.6.22, maybe he’s on vacation or something). Should I try to call him (the con with that is if he says it’s new, I can’t ask him to show me the receipt for it) or it’s better if I wait to discuss with him in person?

    I’ll probably just have to collect evidence in writing in the interim...
     
    #81 pri4u, Nov 26, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
  2. pri4u

    pri4u Junior Member

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    UPDATE: I went to the mechanic, and told him it's used and I want a new one.
    He sent me to get the part from Toyota dealer. He charged $100 for the labor because he was claiming that the one he installed was new as well lol which is obviously a lie... I figured not to argue and paid it, as this alone might be the cost to fill an application to the small claims court.

    Lessons learned: Get the insurance money, pay the mechanic yourself, inspect the work that was done, ensure the parts that were installed are new, ask for the new parts receipts, better yet ask upfront the mechanic to produce you all that ahead of time before even selecting their shop and be at the shop to see what they actually do with your car. Thanks again for all for your help!
     
  3. rogerthat

    rogerthat Active Member

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    Good to hear it worked out! Count yourself lucky it only cost you $100. If it's covered by insurance, no reason to go anywhere other than a Toyota dealer and even then make sure they install an oem unit. One question... I thought it was back-ordered?
     
  4. pri4u

    pri4u Junior Member

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    Good question: Turns out different Toyota dealers have different stock items availability and pricing.

    The closet one I spoke with initially told me that there is a 6 months wait for the part (it’s also possible the specific person I spoke with gave me the wrong info, and maybe talking to another one in the same place might have given a different info).

    I incorrectly assumed that this was the case for ALL Toyota dealer. Then I started to call few more Toyota dealers around my area and turns out that they had the part available with varying pricing. Some had the same price as my insurance mentioned in the report estimate, others had a more expensive price.

    So when I went to the mechanic today, I told him exactly which Toyota dealer had the part available for the same price as my insurance mentioned in my report estimate (which is ironically the closet one to him). Another interesting thing was is that when he sent me to get the new part, he somehow was able to get a 20% discount on that price by me showing them his business card with the max amount he wrote on it which he’s willing to pay for it.

    It’s just outrageous that not only he makes so much money from the insurance getting the labor and parts at a cheaper price than what they write in the insurance estimate but he also tried to scam me and get me a used one so he can profit even more.

    I asked BAR if there is a case for me to fill a complaint with them even that he resolved the situation for me, and they said I can, but it’s unlikely to do much if it got resolved. But I said: “But the fact that he initially tried to scam me with a used one breaking the law?”, so the BAR agent said that yes it will end up showing on his record if I make the complaint. But not sure how solid the complaint going to be now given I only have pictures of the used part now, and the mechanic took the his part back, so not sure how much BAR can do at this point other than taking my word for it which I doubt they will (when they couldn’t even get me in writing that the part was 100% used). I just feel like the system, laws (it’s illegal to sell used catalytic converter) and organization (BAR) is very flawed when it comes to trying to report a misconduct and actually punish these people in a way to deter them - it’s too gray area to prove and even deal with, unfortunately that’s how we have it today... Maybe there is some way to teach him a lesson too... For me, the additional lessons learned about Toyota dealer: Call to different Toyota dealers, compare prices, talk with multiple agent in the same location to confirm, etc.
     
  5. pri4u

    pri4u Junior Member

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    Btw I’m able to avoid paying him the $100 as I’m getting a new credit card sign up bonus (bonus is even higher than that so should be enough to even pay for new cat protector to experiment with) which I will use to repay the new cat with, so it all turns out for the best at the end :)
     
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