Hi. Two weeks ago I called the AA out due to a rear axle fault and they towed my car to the nearest AA approved garage. Due to the fault they loaded it onto the dolly backwards so that the rear of the car was lifted from the road. 2 miles down the road the patrolman commented that smoke was coming from my car, he found a safe place to pull over, opened the drivers door, had a look, came back to the van and said that it was odd and he didn't know what it was. I stupidly assumed the what he thought was smoke was maybe fumes from the back of his van.
My car was dropped off at the garage, and as second-hand axles are like gold dust the garage didn't move my car for six days, when they tried to the battery appeared flat. They pushed it onto the ramp, fitted the axle, went to charge the battery and also noticed an oil leak. On inspection of the car he noticed the engine had a hole in it and that was the real reason it wouldn't start. They inspected the vehicle and have said it was towed incorrectly, the car was in a low gear whilst being towed.
The AA had ACE carry out an inspection and they have said that "the cylinder block was holed on it's rear face consistent with con rod impact". They have also stated that "no conclusive evidence that the recovery had led to the consequential damage apparent". Yet three other garages have said that towing a car at 50mph when in a low gear will cause the car to over rev, putting strain on the con rod from it rotating too quickly, which will cause it to break and therefore damaging my engine. They have the AA are at fault and that you don't even need to see the car to diagnose the problem, as it's obvious what would happen if you tow a car in low gear at 50mph.
As a "good will gesture" the AA have offered me mid book value for my car, which is £1300, they state in their letter that the report is not able to conclude that they are at fault, that the amount is their final settlement and they want me to take the courtesy car back. Once I have paid the rear axle bill it leaves me with £780 to buy a car!!!! I have written back not accepting the claim. I can't use the money to repair my engine, as £1300 is not enough, plus the garage have said that they can't inspect the rest of the car (gear box etc) until the engine is running, so I can't afford to risk getting it repaired as there are probably other things wrong with it. Plus the ACE report said their inspection was limited. I am trying to get a better settlement, I need to recover the cost of the axle, as I would have had a perfectly roadworthy car if they hadn't blown the engine up, plus I need a higher amount to buy a car like for like (mine has a full service history, one lady owner and the engine was in great condition for it's age).
Plus the patrolman saw me drive my car and he reversed it onto the dolly, so he knows there was no problems. I was told he had admitted he was at fault, but now the AA seem to be back peddling.
Just wondered if anyone else had experienced problems with the AA, or if anyone can give me any info about towing a car incorrectly, or if people agree that they AA are at fault? I don't know how they can try and deny it was them!!
My car was perfect before, sailed through it's MOT, and a major service in April and I've never had a problem with the engine.