Advice needed...damaged car
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Default Advice needed...damaged car

    Who knows Paul Vassalo well?
    My car was towed to his workshop last Monday (dodgey relay in my fuel pump connections, which paul fixed quickly and cheaply ) Paul called me shortly after the car had been dropped off, I didnt go as I was not well, and said he cant open the bonnet as it's damaged. The top of the bonnet has been pushed in and some gouges in the metal near the badge, looks like i need a new bonnet. I assumed the towie had done it somehow but the car was picked up on a flatbead and Ive since put the car behind the truck and there was no way it did the damage. The big guy in the attatched pics is saying "see mate, now way!!" anyway I'm trying to find out who did it. NRMA, who organised the tow has now assesed the car and agree the towie didnt do it, although they seemed more on towies side ( Col Cunningham Carlingford towing)
    Now i seem to have 2 choices:

    1: is to call Paul ask him what really happened or if he knows of another party that may have done the damage. Also potentially pissing him off and losing a good mech. He said initially that he didnt see the damage happen, it was just there.....

    or do I just pay my excess and get it fixed.

    I could also source a bonnet myself but I'm guessing that may prove more expensive and there may be more damage I cant see.


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    What do think I should do? Is paul the kinda guy to cover this up? I dont get that impression but who knows?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Advice needed...damaged car-car1.jpg   Advice needed...damaged car-car2.jpg  

  2. #2
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    I'd be surprised if Paul was covering this up. Nor can you prove it. I've known for Paul for a while now and think he has a high character.

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    That damage looks strange.

    To my thinking it wasn't the towie. Now think about it. You want to look under the car and the bonnet is up. You put the hoist up as high as it'll go without dropping the bonnet impaling the bonnet on the roofs rafter (that's why there isn't damage anywhere else, the bonnet was up in the air on it's prop).

    I'd be back at the mechanics checking the roof above his hoists for evidence of white paint ....

    I can't think of any other way this sort of damage could be done. Is the fuel pump in the sill ?? or the tank. If it's in the sill I'd be putting the car on a hoist to make access easier.

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  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Another possiblity that could easily happen.

    At some stage it was moved on a car trailer only not tied down properly and has rolled forward into the car trailers winch (which would be about right given the height of the cars bonnet).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Absolutely, I can couch for Pauls character as well.

    I don't think anything in Pauls workshop could have cause that damage, it looks distinctly like someone has reversed into the car.

    If possible, I would have that towtruck checked out. Take a tape measure and measure up various bits on the rear of the truck and see if there is anything that lines up and is in that rough shape. You never know, the truck might even be damaged too.

    Bad luck there!

    Oh, and another thing. I had a friend of a friend killed when he drove around with a damaged bonnet latch. The bonned unexpectedly flew up and he hit a pole. Please be careful with your bonnet like that.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    It could be possible to hit the bonnet with the flat bed if the tow truck driver parked too close pr something

    Sounds like you where not there when they picked the car up, if the car was left alone for a while after you broke down and till the tow truck arrived it could be possible that some other idiot with a ute backed into you.

    Sorry to hear about this but hope it all works out well

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! slick's Avatar
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    Paul is not the kind of person to cover something like this up. Sounds like something happened while the car was in transit or before it was picked up.

    All the best mate - hope you sort it out and dont have to pay excess.
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  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Yeah, the car was in my garage until it was picked up, and delivered into Pauls workshop within 40 minutes. It was not out on the driveway at all. I actually think a ute with a tray has backed into it at some point. Paul may not even have noticed (toilet break or something????)

    I have checked out the tow truck fully. Lined the nose up to the under-carriage, measured bits, and unfortunatley nothing lines up. The bottom of the cradle on the flatbed tow truck is exactly the right height, but no corresponding bits that match the gouges. I really dont want to be pointing fingers, I'd just like to find out as it more than just a carpark ding.
    BTW, the latch seems to operate fine. It very hard to open, but closes OK and is secure. And, on a plus side, the engine stays nice and cool with the extra ventillation!

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macquered
    Absolutely, I can couch for Pauls character as well.
    That's what I thought...I didnt think my charcter judgement was that bad! BTW is that your Cit BX that I see at pauls often? Very Nice. I thought I saw some kinda semi-slicks on the car...what are they?

  10. #10
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    He puts the cars on the side of the garage and there's another garage down that ramp there, maybe someone there damaged it. There's no way Paul would know...

  11. #11
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmm...CORNERS
    That's what I thought...I didnt think my charcter judgement was that bad! BTW is that your Cit BX that I see at pauls often? Very Nice. I thought I saw some kinda semi-slicks on the car...what are they?
    Yeah, that's Brennos. Falken Azenis RS tyres. They're not full R compounds, but a lot of fun on the road.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Poo-Go's Avatar
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    I can also vouch for Paul's character.

    Also, from my recollection, his ceiling is too high for the bonnet to hit it.

    Could still be the towie, who knows what might have caused the indentations? Also, did you consider that he may or may not have had the tray horizontal when he did it?
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    1000+ Posts tekkie's Avatar
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    another vote of confidence in Paul's character. His garage roof is a tad high as well, and he is a careful mechanic. Noone else works in his workshop either.

    Damage might have indeed happened after the car was dropped off in theparking area behind the workshop or down the side of the workshop. But that is pure speculation.
    I would think if the workshop took the delivery of the car and accepted the keys they might be responsible until the customer picks it up.But Paul wouldnt cover up things like that.

    Too many ifs and a 3rd party involved as well (towie) to really know.
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  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! slick's Avatar
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    keep us posted about this mmm...CORNERS
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  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! DRD180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slick
    keep us posted about this mmm...CORNERS
    from the pic you posted it looks like an impatt from the top coming down to the badge, like the left side of the towies tray when it was lowered to close to the car, have you had a look at the underside of the tray. if someone backed into you the scrape marks would be more defined at the front edge of the bonnet. could be wrong tho. as it looks to be the right height for the tail light holder found under the back of most tray utes.

  16. #16
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    Looks like someone didn't exercise their duty of care - you contracted with the NRMA to have your undamaged vehicle transported to a garage for the purpose of fixing a mechanical defect. You have a right to expect that this would be carried out without any damage to your car.

    The NRMA organised for it to be towed on a flat bed trailer (using a sub contractor or was it the NRMA preferred towing service?) in furtherance of their service contract with you. At sometime and somewhere in the performance of that contract your car was damaged. Their Fault!

    The owner of the garage denies any knowlege of the damage until it was discovered when he tried to rectify the defect.

    I think that you are entitled to get your vehicle properly fixed and then sue the NRMA for your costs. The NRMA could then sue (1) the Tow Truck driver/company or (2) the garage owner for recovery of their payout to you.

    The whole thing would hinge on what documentation was completed as the contract proceeded, what did you sign with the Tow truck driver? - what form of receipt did the tow truck get from the garage?.

    I am sure a GOOD lawyer could put a great deal of pressure on the NRMA as to why you should not have to be out of pocket by way of an excess on an insurance claim (Is the claim with them? or another Insurance company?) seeing that you entrusted your jewel to their care on this occasion.

    Where you have several parties that hide behind each other to avoid laibility its always best to start with the first company and have them shift the onus of liability to the next company (if they can)

    My bet is that if you went all out on this one, they would cave in and pay for the repairs.

    My other bet is that you will find this just too hard - accept that you can't prove who actually did it (you don't have to, you only have to prove it was undamaged before the tow took place!) (does the tow person confirm that?) you will then drive around for years with the damaged bonnet (get some mileage out of it as a conversation piece or claim on your insurance and pay the excess like a lamb - after all its only money

    So you have two choices - fight or flight!

    Anyway my commisserations on your plight, do what YOU think best!!

    Ken

  17. #17
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Were you there when it was put on the truck?

    If not, that's clearly when it happened... there were no doubt people around when it was taken off the truck.

    Don't let them get away with anything...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego
    Looks like someone didn't exercise their duty of care - you contracted with the NRMA to have your undamaged vehicle transported to a garage for the purpose of fixing a mechanical defect. You have a right to expect that this would be carried out without any damage to your car.

    The NRMA organised for it to be towed on a flat bed trailer (using a sub contractor or was it the NRMA preferred towing service?) in furtherance of their service contract with you. At sometime and somewhere in the performance of that contract your car was damaged. Their Fault!

    The owner of the garage denies any knowlege of the damage until it was discovered when he tried to rectify the defect.

    I think that you are entitled to get your vehicle properly fixed and then sue the NRMA for your costs. The NRMA could then sue (1) the Tow Truck driver/company or (2) the garage owner for recovery of their payout to you.

    The whole thing would hinge on what documentation was completed as the contract proceeded, what did you sign with the Tow truck driver? - what form of receipt did the tow truck get from the garage?.

    I am sure a GOOD lawyer could put a great deal of pressure on the NRMA as to why you should not have to be out of pocket by way of an excess on an insurance claim (Is the claim with them? or another Insurance company?) seeing that you entrusted your jewel to their care on this occasion.

    Where you have several parties that hide behind each other to avoid laibility its always best to start with the first company and have them shift the onus of liability to the next company (if they can)

    My bet is that if you went all out on this one, they would cave in and pay for the repairs.

    My other bet is that you will find this just too hard - accept that you can't prove who actually did it (you don't have to, you only have to prove it was undamaged before the tow took place!) (does the tow person confirm that?) you will then drive around for years with the damaged bonnet (get some mileage out of it as a conversation piece or claim on your insurance and pay the excess like a lamb - after all its only money

    So you have two choices - fight or flight!

    Anyway my commisserations on your plight, do what YOU think best!!

    Ken
    I would disagree. You have an agreement with NRMA to tow the car. Their duty is discharged as soon as the car is delivered. A new duty then arises on behalf of the garage to take care of the car. If you can't prove exactly when the damage occured, then you will loose an action against both parties.

    For what it's worth, the hardship and waste of time legal action would cause is probably not worth it. NRMA WILL fight you if they disagree, and if you get costs awarded against you, you'll be worse off.

    Write them a letter, make some phone calls, but - in my opinion - legal action will get you nowhere Good luck with it all.

  19. #19
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    Default Disagree?

    PugS16

    Remember we are dealing with a civil suit, the first step is proof the car was undamaged before the tow the rest flows on balance of probabilities and reasonable assumptions and one reason why agressive lawyers succeed over insipid lawyers in civil disputes!

    Never just accept on face value, always check the documentation/evidence, never pre presume that the parties have discharged their duty of care (or covered their ars**s especially in civil suits.

    Ken

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    You said you inspected the back of the truck to no avail, but did you inspect the top of the tray.

    It's possible the car may not have been secured properly and might have rolled forward and hit something whilst on the tray truck.

    Is there any paint transfer on your car, or does it look like an unpainted object has caused the damage?

    Investigate all scenarios thouroghly before going any further.

    Might also pay to check out any other vehicles that are regualry parked around the garage to see if they 'fit the damage'

    If you happen to find a vehicle that is a DEFINITE "fit", simply inform the driver that a witness observed the collision and wrote down his rego number.

    It should be rather obvious after his/her reaction as to whether they are the guilty party.

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    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRD180
    from the pic you posted it looks like an impact from the top coming down to the badge, like the left side of the towies tray when it was lowered to close to the car, have you had a look at the underside of the tray. if someone backed into you the scrape marks would be more defined at the front edge of the bonnet. could be wrong tho. as it looks to be the right height for the tail light holder found under the back of most tray utes.
    This was my initial reaction too. Unfortunately I doubt that by now there's going to be any evidence left of the paint scraped on it and personally, I would convey these feelings to NRMA and let them fight it out with him rather than get involved in a case that could leave you well behind the 8 ball financially and possibly without use of the car for a prolonged period.
    As far as you are concerned, you saw the car leave your place in good condition, Paul saw it arrive on the back of the truck in good condition, the car was damaged between arriving on the truck, and Paul collecting it for repair.
    If the truckie says he left the car there in good condition and anybody signed to that effect, you really don't have a case against anyone particularly if they won't admit to it in writing or in a court of law.
    If I was laying bets, I'm with DRD180, the towie dropped the ramp on it; proving it is something else though.



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  22. #22
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Fact is there's an awful lot of supposition here...

    mmm...CORNERS hasn't actually told us much at all.

    Was he there when it was loaded on the truck? Did Paul Vassalo see it unloaded? Or did the tow truck operator simply drop it a corner and let him find it there damaged?

    One of the points that seems present is that possibly Paul Vassalo saw the damage but didn't realise it was a problem (to him, at least) until he couldn't undo the bonnet.

    The fact that it was an NRMA tow should make it easier to place an obligation on that tow being a safe one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego
    PugS16

    Remember we are dealing with a civil suit, the first step is proof the car was undamaged before the tow the rest flows on balance of probabilities and reasonable assumptions and one reason why agressive lawyers succeed over insipid lawyers in civil disputes!

    Never just accept on face value, always check the documentation/evidence, never pre presume that the parties have discharged their duty of care (or covered their ars**s especially in civil suits.

    Ken
    To make a successful arguement on the BOP, you need to have a better explanation as to how the damage occured than they do. At the moment there is NO reasonable explanation - only easily rebuttable conjecture . This argument could never suceed in my experience

  24. #24
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    PugS16

    I'll take your two cents!

    Ken

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, thanks for your opinions. Havn't been able to reply as Ive been on a shoot all day.
    To answer a few questions.... Nothing on top of the flatbed truck could have done the damage, its basically an empty tray.

    I was there when the car was picked up and the towie confirmed that there was no damage prior to being towed. I didnt sign anything as there no need. NRMA takes care of that apparently. I did not go with the truck to pauls as I was not well that day. Never doing that again!

    The underside is completly devoid of any detail, it's just flat metal.
    I suspect it's the cradle under the tray that did the damage, where they have a tow ball mounted.

    There is paint transfer and its cream in colour. The cradle under the truck is cream in colour..hmmm. There was also the bottom of another bolt in the towball area that had white paint on it...looked just like bianca white.
    Despite these signs, NRMA's official response is "Nothing suggests it was the tow truck, therfore we have no responsibiltiy" That says to me they dont want to piss off a good contractor. In fact the assesors that were present were more interested in the shiny new tow mechanism than the situation.

    I dropped into Pauls this morning to see if there were any couriers or deliveries, just to make sure and there were none. The problem is he didnt directly see the car before the truck left. (something about being on the loo out the back!!) the driver stated that there was no need to sign anything anyway. The car dealer didnt see or hear anything either.
    I had a look while i was at pauls to see if there was anything at all that do the damage and i couldnt see a thing. Plus, I trust Paul more than the NRMA anyway!

    My gut feel is that the tow truck driver accidentaly backed into into it when leaving Pauls and might not have even noticed. I really dont want to just roll over, however, I need to get the bonnet fixed as I'm not convinced it will stay secure. I will contact small claims/Dept of fair trading tomorrow, at least to see their opinion. After that I will probably just claim insurance or replace the bonnet myself, depending on total damage/cost. If I have a legitimate claim, I'll go after reimbursment for cost from NRMA.
    It just makes you mad when you place your trust in a company thats slogan use to be "H.E.L.P" and they then do anything but.

    I'll let you know how it progresses.
    Thanks all

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