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I took my vehicle into a repair shop over one year ago and had maintenance done of the vehicle which included changing the timing belt. Three months later my vehicle broke down and I took it back to the repair shop within the warranty period. The repair shop found that the harmonic balancer pin sheered off causing a bolt to spin out and damage the crankshaft. The shop never gave me an estimate to repair the vehicle and it sat on their lot. When I tried to check on the vehicle the repair manager never addressed the issue of parts under warranty. In fact, they went as far as to ask me for title of the vehicle and sent me a letter stating that I owed them a balance and a storage fee for the vehicle when in fact I had paid for the service. It is now over one year later and the situation has not been resolved. The managers only wanted title to my vehicle. I am looking for my best resolution here. I have invoices that state the service done to the vehicle before it broke down which clearly show that a timing belt was changed along with a water pump three months prior to the crankshaft damage. The back of my repair bill states that parts are warrantied for 6 months or 6,000 miles. The damage was done 3 months and less than 6 months after the work was done and I paid my bill. In the meantime, I had to get first rent a vehicle and then get another one because I could not resolve this issue. Right before Christmas my vehicle was towed to lot within days of my trying to get an independent mechanic to try to look at the vehicle to determine damages. In fact, the manager asked me and the mechanic to leave when I tried to inquire about my vehicle. I am now faced with towing fees and storage fees for my vehicle that was towed my someone other than myself to even try to get a look under the hood. Has anyone had any problems like mine? The only advocacy groups that exist in my state are the BBB and Attorney General. When I followed up with another manager he told me that someone showed up at the lot identifying herself as me. Since it was not me I now have an additional problem. The manager has also mentioned that he wants feedback from a mechanic, too. What type of mechanic would be best? He is in the industry and I am not. What would be my best recourse here? I need to follow up on this by tomorrow and would welcome any suggestions. Has anyone had to deal with an impound lot? What can I expect if I have to go through them to get to my vehicle? Thanking you in advance for your suggestions!!!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) Your best bet would be a restraining order against the business to keep them from disposing or moving your vehicle, then get a lawyer. Do not give them your title, under any circumstance. They may try to take possession of your vehicle by stating it is abandoned. You need to document all of these issues to the law enforcement agency and to your attorney.

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