Canadian Tire / canadian tire lawsuit
Canadian Tire Lawsuit
Thursday August 2, 2007, I gave my car (199 BMW M3), a Haynes BMW service manual, and a new rebuilt alternator for Canadian Tire to Install.
I also asked then to put my normal battery (left behind the passenger seat) back in the battery compartment.
Canadian Tire Charged me $114.80 for the service to install the alternator and the battery.
Canadian Tire invoice 89042.
Friday evening, August 3rd, 2007 I drove to Fredericton and my battery died as I arrived in Fredericton. This was approximately 5 minutes to 9:00 pm. The weather was very wet.
I turned into Canadian Tire in Fredericton and quickly purchased a workable battery for $136.79 so that I could at least get my vehicle back home to Woodstock (cheaper than a tow) for further diagnosis and repair. I installed the battery in 5 minutes and continued my purpose to be in Fredericton.
That new battery lasted until I got home and started failing (systems shutting down as I arrived in Woodstock).
Something was wrong. Could be that new alternator (not likely, but certainly not impossible), obviously not the battery, since I just put a new one in with the same results. Either the alternator was defective, or it was installed incorrectly. It was not charging my battery in the current weather.
The next morning Aug 4, 2007. I looked under the hood and found that the belt looked like it was installed incorrectly. I knew this instantly due to my experience the previous week in the alternator failure experience, which is why I purchased a new alternator to be installed.
I confirmed that the serpentine belt was installed incorrectly. I used the documents on the Internet and the manual I had supplied to the Canadian Tire mechanic to confirm the incorrect installation.
I called Canadian Tire and explained the problem to them and they told me they could not look at my vehicle until Tuesday.
I informed them, I couldn't wait that long and that I would find someone else to correct their mistake. They advised me to make sure I had an invoice from the shop that would fix the belt installation.
I grabbed my camera and took a picture of the incorrect installation before I left to have it corrected.
Then, I installed another battery I had at home, to ensure I could drive the vehicle to Cummings in Meductic.
Cummings, in Meductic fixed the incorrect installation. It wasn't a difficult fix, but wasn't easy either. The belt was tight and we surmised that maybe that's why it was installed incorrectly. Too difficult to do it right. Too often this is the case.
I returned to Canadian Tire and spoke with a female manager to request a refund for the incorrect work, a refund for the extra battery I had to purchase to get home and a new battery since my had been compromised running it into the ground.
She spoke with the mechanic. She then came out to the counter with the mechanic. H said he installed it as it had come off. I advised him that was not true and that I know full well that it was on correctly when I handed them the car on Aug 2, 2007. I also reminded him as a mechanic of the rule of thumb. I also reminded him that I gave him a manual, since he may not be overly familiar with BMWs.
Note: Rule of thumb in belt installation,
Smooth pulley, smooth side of the belt. The Canadian Tire mechanic installed it ribbed side of belt on the smooth idler pulley. I'm not aware on any serpentine belt installations with a ribbed side on a smooth pulley (it ruins the ribbing). This is pretty much a common sense item in auto mechanics.
This meant that the belt was incorrectly installed and would not hold the proper tension to operate the vehicle and the alternator would not charge properly and hence all my problems.
It is also possible to ruin parts such as the new alternator, and belts and other pulleys if installation is incorrect along with parts such as power steering and water pumps. It is also possible to compromise the safety of the vehicle with respect to power steering operation.
The Canadian Tire mechanic, basically said "prove it." I indicated to the manager that I was not here to argue with them, I was there just to correct the mistake and get an appropriate refund for the poor service, the battery I had to purchase and a new battery for the one that may have been compromised.
I said nothing about the other potential parts, nor my time in installing batteries, my lost time in trying to rectify their mistake (they charge $40 for a battery installation based on their employee's rate). How much should I charge? I will also have to re-install my proper battery or a new one depending on when I can handle that.
Since they only wanted to argue the issue rather than face up to their mistake. I said I would turn it over to legal recourse and seek more appropriate compensation for this poor quality of car care.
The frustration of dealing with this sort of careless car repair is wearing on my nerves. The aspect of trying to resolve issues with those that make these mistakes is even more.
I do contract work at $1000 a day. I use most of my time developing software systems and that's why I hire "experts" to do my automotive repair, so that I can do the stuff I am capable of.
I suggest that my lost time and aggravation in this situation is worth additional compensation.
As I will have to hire a lawyer, bring witnesses (mechanics), incur court costs, to handle this legally, I will want to seek compensation for legal fees, court costs, their time as well as my time as well any and all of the potentially compromised parts.
Hopefully all of this will be under $5,000 and can be handled in small claims court.
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