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Garage broke my car during a service


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I took my SEAT Ibiza into a Kwik Fit for a regular 'full service'. The last service was at 50,000 and this was the 60,000 miles service.

There were no other problems with the car, I drove the car in at 9am Monday morning and went to collect at 5:30pm. I was told they couldn't start it, they were very sorry and I thought fair enough.


It is now Friday, and through various phone calls and visits they tell us they still don't know what the problem is. They tried to get us to call the AA!, they have tried to get us to organise for SEAT to collect it!, and they have asked us to call Bill (who owns a tow truck)! I said no to all of these.


They have now arranged for it to go to SEAT, but they tell me that they will only pay for the work if SEAT say the problem was their fault. If SEAT say it would have happened anyway then I will have to pay.


I don't know where I stand, if SEAT say it would have happened anyway should I pay? I don't feel like I shouldn't - the car was working fine before i went in the garage.


Someone will have to pay SEAT either way, I'm dealling with Kwik Fit so I thought I'd have to pay only Kwik Fit. If they need help from SEAT shouldn't they pay SEAT, and if required pass the bill onto me?


Has anyone been in this situation?

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Not had this problem with Kwit Fit but after the way a branch of theirs treated us last year when our Corsa went in for an exhaust to be fitted to pass it's MOT with them, would never go back to that branch again. Our local branch, who don't do MOTs, are fantastic when you need a puncture or new tyre and we can't fault them on their customer service. The thing I hate about Kwit Fit is the way you get hounded on the phone afterwards asking if you were happy with the service (depends on the branch) and if you want an insurance quote.



August 06- S.A.R. handed into a Halifax Branch

Sept 06 statements received and first letter sent requesting repayment of charges totalling £3,90

beginning Oct 06 received phone call offering £1,397, said would accept as interim payment andLBA letter sent same day

mid Oct 06 MCOL submitted online

end Oct 06 paid in full including interest and court fee - £4,980!

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AFAIK, kwik fit are not a full "garage service" - they provide some elements(exhausts, tyres, brakes etc) but they will not do things like engines etc I would not have guessed. Therefore, they probably cannotperform the work, and they are under no obligation to arrange to get the work done for you. Also, it is not unusual for something totally different to go wrong on a car whilst in for service, MOT etc - it does not mean they have been negligent or broke the car themselves, it is merely coincidence. My advice would be to take the car(somehow!) to an independant, but reputable, local garage.

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Indeed MrShed. When I had my Escort Diesel I actually had to sign a disclamier at MOT time as one of the tests is to rev the engine to its limit for the emissions test. Obviously, a cambelt that's past its sell-by date might not take kindly to that. :)

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Cars are complex machines containing literally thousands of different systems. Servicing a car can be a fairly complex procedure and should really be carried out by a proper garage. This mistake aside (those that appear cheapest rarely are - you get what you pay for), you must also understand that most garages do not 'break' cars, they fix them; so if something is now wrong with the car, the likelihood is that it was wrong before and they may have averted a serious breakdown. If THEY had broken something whilst servicing it, it would have made more sense to replace it (hide the cost in your bill as is sometimes the case), the fact that they have probably been back over what they have done several times before resorting to the embarrassing line they have taken, kind of supports this too. Either way, even if you do end up with the main dealers bill, have solace in the fact that you would have had it eventually anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the replies. Thought i should update everyone who may have read the original post.

Kwik fit arranged for the car to go back to the SEAT dealer and a day later Kwik Fit called me and explained the problem and said it wasn't anything they had done. I called SEAT direct and asked some questions, they explained the same problem and also explained that it was very unlikely that the problem was caused during the service. The work was done and I paid for the repairs - just short of £500. Strangely enough, Kwik Fit haven't contacted us since to ask us to pay for any work!

The service at our local Kwik Fit is terrible. By this I don’t mean the car problem which I accept wasn’t their fault. I mean they were rude, unhelpful and misleading. I should stress this was our local Kwik Fit, I’m sure others are good.

Other points of interest maybe

After leaving the SEAT garage it broke own again a week later. A different issue obvously, so I was told! Another £300. I may raise another thread about this, since SEAT claim that repairs undertaking at the garage have a 2 year guarantee. However, if the work is done during the warranty period, the guarantee ends when the warranty period ends. Sounds odd to me!

I know a few people who swear by SEAT. Personally I think the Ibiza and the Leon are a couple of the best looking cars on the road and when working I love driving the Ibiza. But my experience with a SEAT Ibiza hasn't been a good one. Since it's Reg in 2002 it's had lots of work done. Mostly under warrenty thank goodness.

Today I part exchanged the SEAT for a Ford Focus, this will hopefully be more reliable. Had the Ibiza been better I would have had a Leon.

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