But the auto body shop is refusing to pay for the damage. This is why you should always check the contract you’re signing.
Imagine being the proud owner of an Audi S4 and receiving a phone call telling you it's been involved in an accident that wasn't your fault – but you must pay for the damages. That's the situation Vince Hansen found himself in after he left his pride and joy at Florida-based vehicle parts store Titan Motorsports. While signing the bill for some performance parts he had installed, Hansen received a call telling him that a technician had hit another car while taking the S4 for a test drive. As you can see from the photos, the front was completely destroyed, and the front bumper was ripped off in the accident.
Initially, Hansen wasn't angry about the accident. "You know what, I wasn't angry at him, accidents happen," Hansen told WESH 2 News. According to the crash report, the technician was found at fault for the accident and was ticketed for making an illegal u-turn. It should have been simple to resolve, as Hansen assumed Titan would pay for the damage.
Alarm bells started to ring when Titan Motorsports told Hansen to make an insurance claim under his policy, despite having nothing to do with the accident. Hansen's insurance company then requested Titan's insurance information but the body shop declined the request.
It turns out the contract Hansen signed had a clause that releases Titan from responsibility for any damage caused when a car is in their possession. "Our terms and conditions clearly state who's responsible for the damage. I'm completely sympathetic towards Vince and the inconvenience it's caused him. It was an accident and accidents happen," Nero Deliwala, the owner of Titan Motorsports, told WESH 2 News.
WESH 2 News then showed the contract Hansen signed to attorney Hank Hornsby . "The auto body shop can make the argument that they are not responsible to pay for those damages. Which really brings us to a consumer beware. Before you leave something at an auto body shop, be sure you know what you're signing away," Hornsby said.
Titan is a renowned body shop in the tuning scene and is best known for creating 1,500-hp Nissan GT-Rs and insanely powerful Toyota Supras. Having a clause releasing Titan from responsibility makes sense since it's possible that an unrelated part could fail through no fault of the body shop. In this case, however, an employee of Titan is clearly at fault, so you would think Hansen has a case. Let's hope this situation gets resolved amicably, but it will probably need to be settled in court. Either way, it's an eye-opening reminder to always check what you're agreeing to when you sign the disclosure form in an auto body shop.