The Dealership Damaged my Car. What Do I do?

The dealership damaged my car


I got my vehicle serviced by Jeep and noticed they scratched the one of the wheels. When I brought this up, they said the damage was already there and I can come in and see the video. 

The footage showed a person checking the wheels, who continued walking as if there was no damage to the wheel. I’ve asked the service advisor if I can have a copy of the video but have not had a response.

How should I approach this? - Ronny


Ronny, it’s tempting to treat this like a Sherlock Holmes mystery, maybe Hercule Poirot, do some sleuthing, go all CSI: Miami on it, but really it’s a lot simpler than that. You are a customer. They damaged your car - you would not allege this unless it were true. (Who’s got time to play games over something so financially minor?) They don’t have evidence that they didn’t damage it. You don’t have evidence they did. But you do have commercial leverage.

If I were you, I’d call and make an appointment to meet the dealer principal - not the service manager. Tell the DP they damaged the wheel. Tell him you’re a regular customer - you bought the car there; you get the car serviced there, you might even do business with them again. You’re a little wave on the sea of gold flowing into that dealership. Tell him you’re going to land on some other dealership’s shores from now on, unless they treat you like a customer. Tell him you know the cost of repairing the wheel is very low. It’s a matter of principle.

The burden of proof here is a grey area - but that’s OK: you’re not under arrest. You’re deciding whether to continue to do business with them. The fact that you’re going to stop being a customer if they stop treating you like one is altogether a black and white issue. In the automotive justice system, commercial transactions are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: Customers, who really don’t like being treated like shit in the service department, and dealerships, who carmakers can’t control, no matter how hard they try. These are their stories...

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