I brought my Peugeot 308 into a garage to have some panels resprayed.

Once the respray was complete, they told me that there was a problem with the car and it wasn't starting.

Now, after 5 weeks, they've told me that it's the body control module that needs replacing. The car was in perfect working order before going in. They told me that this part can break unexpectedly.

  1. Does the body control module break without warning?
  2. Could the shop have broken that part while painting it.?
  • You might like to check up this post.
    – anonymous2
    Nov 1 '16 at 11:44
  • I honestly would have dropped $150 to ask a lawyer what to do by this point. This is unacceptable. Invest $150 to get a lawyer to draft a strong letter so you can get your $X0,000 property fixed. Even better: figure out how to have a different shop do the fix! Nov 1 '16 at 14:09
  • will definitely be going down this route after my next meeting with them if they dont give me what they should... will definitely have my say first!
    – lianne
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:11

Replacing a body control module because you got them to respray some panels sounds like a scam to me. Unless spraypaint got into it, there is no reason it would break. And even then, they would be at fault, because it was working perfectly when you came in, you said.

If they insist and you can't get them to repair it at their cost, i'd let another garage do the repair. (also gets you some form of second opinion) If that's not possible and they have to do it, at least ask for them to give the old body control module to you when they're done. That way they can't get money off of taking parts of your car and selling them on Ebay. They may charge you for taking the old part, but that's pure BS. It's not even legal in my country. I'd resist if they ask that.

I know i sound exceptionally suspicious, but believe me these kind of situations are not unusual. Running a garage alone doesn't make you very rich, so there's many unfair mechanics that try to bump their income a bit this way. No offense to the fair and honest mechanics here though.

  • Thank-you so much for your advice. After having a meeting with the boss of the garage and the car having been in there so long i explained that i had no faith in his mechanic and that I would remove the car as long as he paid 200 euros to cover labor costs for my mechanic which he agreed to. He told me that these parts just go so i thought best vcut my losses I do understand that this can happen. Now I realise what BS it is and that Ive been lied to iIl will be arranging another meeting to arrange for the total bill to be paid by him. Once again thanks for your help....... a woman scorned
    – lianne
    Nov 1 '16 at 13:46
  • @lianne You did well defending yourself, I understand that being a woman in a garage is not a position that makes things easy on you. But don't let them get away if you're convinced that they're trying to scam you. Your intuition is usually enough to determine if that's the case or not. Usually when they pull off a dirty trick but you resist, problems disappear all of a sudden, or they react with some vague answer. I hope you have other garages in your region, because i wouldn't ever go back to them. Best of luck with it.
    – Bart
    Nov 1 '16 at 14:15
  • Oh believe me they wont be getting away with it - now I have your advice as well as my mechanics to back me up i wont stop till they pay and i live on a very small island where bad publicity amongst expats will definitely effect business!
    – lianne
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:10
  • 1
    @lianne In that case you've got a strong position, and you can demand them to pay you back entirely. You decide to make use of that, and i would advice you that also. I don't get it that they choose for such a 'revenue model'. In their situation, they have a small group of customers that rely on them, and they rely on those customers. I'd rather pull up the prices a bit and be honest with your customers if i'd struggle to make a living. That tends to keep them around rather than low prices and pulling dirty tricks.
    – Bart
    Nov 1 '16 at 17:34

I guess I'll be the dissenting argument. Most auto shops don't scam people. Online reviews have made "word of mouth" information available to everybody. They just can't get away with this stuff any more as easily.

BCMs do go out without warning and at random. It's a computer. Although water damage will cause them to die, many failures are without a clear cause. It's very likely that this issue would have happened in your driveway if your car hadn't been in the shop. Shops are very used to this sort of complaint. The "I took it in for wiper blades, and now X is broken" complaint. There's probably as many crooked customers trying to pull one on shops using this method as there are crooked shops out there, maybe even more. Most shops are just honest guys trying to earn a living.

Talk with them. Don't threaten them. Don't bring in lawyers, letters from lawyers, or threaten legal action. Try to resolve things without involving the courts. If you aren't satisfied with the shop, have it towed to a different shop. Then, if there's any evidence of foul play, deal with it. Going in looking for a fight is probably not the best strategy though.

  • While I agree that going in looking for a fight is not usually the best strategy, she's been without her car for 5 weeks. She wouldn't be going in looking for a fight; this shop started the fight several weeks ago. Nov 1 '16 at 19:43
  • Thanks for your advice - you know its not a case of going in looking for a fight just dont want to be taken for a mug because im a single woman. The thing is the car was working perfectly when it went in then to wait 5 an half weeks and still they havent fixed it they have quoted me 120 euros for the part then said they received the wrong part now its 340-400 euros look i understand things can just go wrong but the BCM has been fried and that doesnt just happen so im told. So now he has a decision to make pay for the total bill or I will take things further... cant say fairer than that
    – lianne
    Nov 2 '16 at 13:56

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