An elderly pensioner had purchased a new car and wished to tow his caravan, so required some auto electrical work to be done on the vehicle. He obtained several quotes and decided to use a local provider who held themselves out to be qualified auto electricians. Upon collecting his vehicle he noticed several warning lights flashing so returned the vehicle to the mechanic who advised him it just needed to be “run in”. The warning lights persisted and the client took the vehicle back to the mechanic a few days later and left the vehicle for the day to be looked at.
He collected the vehicle and noted an additional problem had arisen in that the internal lights in the car would remain on whilst driving. The client took the vehicle to another mechanic who declined to do any work on the vehicle as it had been wired incorrectly and was potentially dangerous. The client became very concerned and returned the vehicle to the mechanic who had the car for another day and announced it was fixed. A further 3 visits to the mechanic failed to fix the problem so the client took his vehicle to the authorised dealer who fixed the problem at a cost of $4700.00.
The client asked the original mechanic to compensate him for the repairs but the mechanic denied he had been part of the problem and, if he had, that his insurer would not cover the damage caused. The client lived in a remote location alone and relied on his vehicle to get into town. Suncoast Community Legal Service, together with USC Law Clinic students under their supervision, assisted the client with preparing a QCAT application for minor debt and upon filing and serving the application on the mechanic, the client received full payment of his claim from the mechanic.