VIC Mechanic's Incompetence - Get Them to Pay for Mistake?

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13 March 2015
When my truck had a clutch replaced the mechanics removed a section of the drive train in which they did not have to touch. Upon collection of vehicle I asked why I had to tighten the removed part. It was not necessary to remove this part as later I found out they made a mistake and did not want to be liable for the damage that can be caused by tightening the part themselves. I am on Disability and to take the truck to another mechanic who specialises in the part (Differential) costs a lot of money which I feel I should not have to be burdened with.Improper tightening can lead to failure of the Differential and in doing so would cost a small fortune to replace.

Question is can I take it to a specialist to fix their mistake and get them to pay for it? I do not wish to take it back to the car mechanic as he was very unhelpful in coming to a suitable conclusion. Thank you.


Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Hi Stan

Sorry to hear about the situation you have been placed in.

Your rights in this situation will be governed by the Australian Consumer Law, in terms of the guarantees that will be imposed on your mechanic for the services performed. These guarantees require that Services must:
  • be provided with acceptable care and skill or technical knowledge and taking all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage;
  • be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and the business had agreed to; and
  • be delivered within a reasonable time when there is no agreed end date.
From the information you have provided above, it would appear that they have not complied with the law in this respect. Before you consider taking your vehicle to someone else, it is important to give your mechanic the chance to remedy their potential breach of guarantee (ie by repairing the damage or offering a refund). If you go straight to another mechanic without giving the original mechanic a chance to rectify, then it may affect your ability to claim any damages/refund etc from the first mechanic.

If you are concerned about the workmanship or trustworthiness of the original mechanic (which seems reasonable given what you have told us), then it might be appropriate to simply request a refund and/or compensation for the additional costs you will incur to have the work fixed.

The ACCC website (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has some really useful information on the way to go about claiming compensation. They recommend:

Take the following steps to make a claim for compensation:
  1. Work out an accurate amount of compensation you would need to return you to the financial position you were in before the problem occurred.
  2. Contact the business verbally or in writing to explain the problem and present your claim for compensation. You may also want to ask for a refund or replacement.
  3. Show proof of purchase with a receipt or bank statement.
  4. If the supplier refuses to discuss your compensation claim or you cannot negotiate an agreement, you can seek formal dispute resolution or take legal action.

You may also wish to consider contact Consumer Affairs in your state who may be able to provide some additional guidance.

I hope that the above will help with resolving your situation. Please let us know how you go!
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Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014