I would appreciate advice on dealing with damage caused to my car by a car wash (automated machine type wash) in Cirencester - it wrecked the boot lid.
I have tried claiming off the garage's insurers but they have denied liability.
They and the garage also deny that this has happened before - which of course I do not believe. In fact the manager of the car body repair shop said that he gets lots of cars in with damage caused by car washes.
Does anybody know of any cases where people have successfully recovered the costs of the damage from the car wash owners, or how I find out if this has happened to other people in Cirencester recently? Any other advice or news on similar experiences welcome.
A neighbour had this happen to her. Basically the car wash ripped off her rear wiper and flailed the car with it. Of course the service station denied liability but she persisted, got their insurers' details and won through. Not sure if she went through her own insurance or direct to theirs though.
Alternative is the small claims court. The threat should be enough to get the desired result.
Thanks for these answers.
I am in fact thinking of the small claims court option.
My concern though is that they will simply continue to deny liability and repeat the claim that their car wash has never done this before.
I had the small claims court experience,unfortunately I was getting taken but the judge was fair and threw the case out.I recently had grief from a firm who would not come back to finish some work properly. One registered letter to them threatening the small claims court had them on the 'phone the next day. Try it on the carwash lot, they would be brave to take you on in the court.
The rear aerofoil on a car of mine was torn off by a car wash. The petrol station manager manager was unhelpful and defensive, but when I took photos with a disposable camera (always keep one in your car!) he backed off and asked me to fill in a statement form.
This was a Texaco station, so probably the fact it's a big petrol company made a difference. Texaco were great. Customer service apologised and paid the bill.
There were damage disclaimer notices in the car wash but they didn't seem to matter.
The car manufacturer has now put a 'no-car wash' warning in the manual as this became a prevalent problem on that model.
I used to work at an unmentioned petrol station. As often as possible we were encouraged to check the carwash for foreign objects. Most car washes shouldn't damage your car unless there is a bit of trim or something similar stuck in the brushes (from your car or the previous persons!). I never had any complaints as long as we told each customer to remove thier aerials etc before driving in.
IIRC Porche and some VAG group dealers use roller-type car washes for their vehicle prep?! - anyone know if this is true?
Never, never, use a rotating brush car wash if you have any regard for the paintwork on your car! INMHO a jet wash with hot water is quite severe enough an imposition on today's delicate paint finishes. Here, most of the jet washes use solar power,(well we DO get sun here!), to provide a hot wash facility. I recently had a hot wash, rinse, wax and final rinse on a very dirty car (2400 km of French and Spanish autovia motoring with many suicidal bichos) for four euros. (about £2.75)
Roger. (Costa del Sol, España)
I've heard several tales of people having bits of their cars snapped off, or body panels scratched or dented, in these things.So I've never put any car of mine through one ... but I might change my mind if I had children.
When I was small, it was great fun to be inside the car when it went to the "washing machine", and I think my Dad only took it there when we pestered him enough
The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 is on your side. Although it was extensively amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994, the overriding principle remains the same: Section 13 of the former states "In a contract for the supply of a service where the supplier is acting in the course of a business, there is an implied term that the supplier will carry out the service with reasonable care and skill." Provided you complied with the conditions that apply to that wash (ie, remove aerials, no spoliers or whatever they state) the supplier is bound to meet the reasonable cost of repair caused by the failure of his equipment.
In my experience operators or their insurers will settle this type of claim sooner or later provided, as I say, you complied with the conditions of use, and did nothing to contribute to the problem. Suggest you write formally to them and set out the detail of your claim and why they are liable. If that doesn't do the trick write again and give them 14 days to accept liability, failing which a Small Claims summons will be heading their way. If you don't feel inclined to take them on yourself then have a word with the Citizens Advice Bureau.
..failure of his equipment: Did it fail? What actually happened to cause the damage and was the machine closed for repairs after the wash that caused the damage? Maybe it's just one of those "unfortunate" incidents. We need more info (well, a legal expert will need it) before determining what sort of case you have against the garage.
Whilst I laregely agree, especially around the likelihood of them settling, do remember that...
>>the supplier will carry out the service with reasonable care and skill
is not the same as saying that they will take absolutely car and have absolute responsibility for everything that happens. Its got the word "reasonable" in it, which changes things.
If it had never happened before, if they could not have reasonably expected it to happen this time, if it had been regularily tested and maintained, etc. etc. then legally you might not be doing too well.
Whilst disclaimers of liability have no effect when they are responsible/negligent, to an extent neither does a claim of reompense where they cannot be shown to be responsible/negligent.
Whether or not they would settle frm a PR point of view is another matter.
The standard to be applied is that the service must be performed with the care and skill of a reasonably competent member of the supplier's trade or profession. It is not judged by the standards of a reasonable man as in negligence generally; the test is objective, not subjective, and looks at what is reasonably expected of persons or organisations undertaking similar activities. It is an implied term that the service will be carried out competently, and if it isn't then the supplier is in breach. For the vast number of car-washes carried out only a small number go wrong and the customer ends up with a damaged car. Thus, it is reasonable to judge these relatively rare incidents by the standards achieved by that type of business as a whole. Causing damage to your car during the wash (assuming you complied with the terms and conditions) is not using reasonable care and skill. The industry generally is very wary of this type of claim, because there are always people who fraudulently claim for damage that was already there. However, a competent motor engineer is usually more than capable of sorting out the genuine claims from the scams.
After one experience years ago with a housemaid using Tide and a Brillo pad (well she was straight off the boat from the islands and thankfully it was a company car.........) I discovered Ferdie's Garage and his Car Wash Babes (some pix of latter on the HJ site IIRC).
3 or 4 little bunnies in shorts and halter tops will get to work and in no time your car is s**** and span in and out, with a new air freshener placed under your seat. No damage from nasty brushes, just gentle female hands caressing your pride and joy (your car is what I mean, of course). You can watch the fun through Ferdie's office window and he'll usually produce a beer or a soda from his fridge. Cost is about 2.50 your money but I always give the girls a tip just to hear them chorus "Thank you Sir, come again Sir......" Unsurprising, along with his garage, Ferdie does a roaring trade, and the preponderance of his car wash customers is, perhaps surprisingly, women. I guess it's because they don't like machines and in the Philippines anyway, service is expected to be personal.
They used to wear bikinis but the femino-hags put a stop to that alas. It's a very popular job for some reason and Ferdie has a long waiting list of potential recruits.
My sister visited me from UK for a break, and primly observed this was a disgraceful exploitation of women (Huh? Job, fair pay, don't have to do it if you don't want to....). Later when I visited her on a trip I noticed her Fiesta's antenna was busted as described above. On enquiring what had happened, she said, er, well, it was the car wash.....
A car wash with those spiky nylon brushes will cause millions of fine craze marks all over a car's paintwork very rapidly, even if it's working properly. I've seen enough cars that look as though they've been rubbed all over with fine wire wool to strongly recommend against using such machines unless there is no alternative.
There are a few franchises springing up near me for a company who wash your car without using brushes.
They jet wash your car, then cover it in some "patented" foam which lifts all the dirt off and then jet wash it clean.
Sounds too good to be true but have seen the results myself and it seems very good.
All for the normal car wash price.
Aha.. I had a Rover 214Si in the UK like that. I didn't notice it when buying, but when I went to wash and polish it for the first time, it really did look like someone had scrubbed it all over with a pot scourer. So I just used it as a runner, didn't bother much with polishing etc. I suppose the dealer must have done the old trick with the baby oil to cover the fine scratches....
I suspect you have an agenda here. If you would like to understand what Growler intended to type, if you would like to question the appropriateness of his post, or indeed in instances such as the other post from Growler that you queried, then please feel free to e-mail either myself or one of the other moderators and we will do our best to help you.
However, please desist from such questions within the forums. It is appearing arguementative, although I am not suggesting that that is your intention.