This is why you should always check the policy when dropping your car off at the auto shop.
What should have been a routine trip to an auto shop to get new brakes and tires for their BMW turned into a nightmare for one couple in North Carolina. According to ABC 11, Nickki Harris and her husband had their BMW 3 Series serviced at a Firestone Complete Auto Car in Raleigh.
After the job was finished a member of staff took the BMW out for a test drive. During the test drive, the employee was involved in an accident with another driver and ended up totaling the car. If that wasn’t already bad enough, the way the tire shop handled the situation made matters even worse.
Instead of taking responsibility, Firestone told the couple they would have to deal with the other driver’s insurance company. On top of that, they also had to pay the shop nearly $1,400 for the tires and brakes to have the car released.
After the other driver’s insurance company didn’t respond, Harris tried to get Firestone to take responsibility. "We left our car with them in good condition, and I expected it to be returned in good condition. They are not taking any responsibility whatsoever," she said.
ABC 11 then reached out to Bridgestone Americas and received the following statement: "It is standard practice at all our store locations for employees to test drive customer vehicles after servicing them to ensure that the vehicle is operating safely and effectively. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, the customer's vehicle was involved in an accident during a test drive. Local authorities investigated the accident and determined that the Bridgestone Retail Operations employee who was driving the vehicle was not at fault. We are cooperating fully with insurance providers to resolve this matter for the customer. We also have offered a refund to the customer covering all work performed on this vehicle as a goodwill gesture."
However, Harris is still considering other options, which presumably includes taking legal action. Unfortunately, as she only has gap insurance, she still owes a lot of money as the insurance company only covered the value of the car and not what was owed. In situations like this, it’s wise to check the auto shop’s policy to see if they will test drive their car and if they are responsible for any damages when the car is in their possession.