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Old 25.05.2022, 13:24
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Unauthorised Car Repairs

An interesting one!

Junior pirate had an accident. Insurance paid out for the other car but his car was not insured for damage.

Took car to repair shop who quoted CHF 6,500 for the repairs, or offered to buy the car for CHF 1,500 - CHF 2,000. We said we'd think about it, or maybe look for second hand spare body parts so it could be cheaper to repair.

Wife went today to the garage to negotiate to find he'd repaired the car, and told her it cost more to repair as there were some other things to fix, including hail damage. The car has always been kept in a garage and there has never been any hail damage so this is likely made up or happened while he kept the car outside.

Consequently he has now offered CHF 500.

The grey card was cancelled, but we still have the cancelled card and my wife is still the owner of the car. Further we never authorized the repairs or accepted his offer, and he did more work outside of the original offer again without informing us.

The final thing, he has been using the car on garage plates, for himself and giving it as replacement cars to his clients - again without our permission.

We are the legal owner and have the spare key. Wife is of the opinion we just go and take it home (it's kept outside on his forecourt) but I'm not so sure.

Just curious as to EF'ers opinion.
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  #2  
Old 25.05.2022, 14:56
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

Hope junior is ok!

Standard EF question Do you have legal insurance?
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  #3  
Old 25.05.2022, 14:59
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

He was fine thanks, and no, we don't, but we do have a very good lawyer.

Was just wondering what others think and what would happen if we just took the car back?
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Old 25.05.2022, 15:15
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

You'd have to get plates and insurance.

Tom
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Old 25.05.2022, 16:37
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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You'd have to get plates and insurance.

Tom
Or have it towed home. Got TCS?
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Old 25.05.2022, 17:06
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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Or have it towed home. Got TCS?

Or just get a daily plate for 62chf for 24h (or whatever it costs in Ticino), which includes insurance, and bring the car home.



I wouldn't even get lawyers involved at this point - I would go to the police station and explain that the garage has your car, you have the grey card, and they are not giving your car back. They are driving the car illegally.


If the garage wants to try and recover costs, they can, but they can't just confiscate your car.
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Old 25.05.2022, 18:41
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

At this point it's mostly "he said she said", you have little to no actual evidence for your position. Personally, I'd try to get some ammunition first to increase the credibility of whatever else you can't prove. If you can prove that he did the work without you ordering it, it'll increase your chances of a reduced bill (IIRC there may be none at all).

In each step, the presence of an independent 3rd party (i.e. non-family) for testimony is recommended. Perhaps record the conversations in addition to that.

Fotograf the km driven as of now. Wait a few days until it has significantly more, clearly more than test drives would require, and take more pictures. If you can prove the km clocked at the time of accident this process gets cut short.

Then get temp plates and take your car home (it's obviously roadworthy). It's yours, your decision, yours to collect.
Alternatively you could demand the car back from the garagist in person in an attempt to get more ammunition. A refusal to release it probably constitutes coercion. Perhaps also try to get him to confirm that there's no actual order by you, and that more got done than was in the original estimate, during the argument you'll probably have. The higher the emotions fly the more people say stupid things.

Once you have a battle plan, write it down and ask your lawyer for advice on it. That should keep this cost reasonably low.

Last edited by Urs Max; 25.05.2022 at 19:00.
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Old 26.05.2022, 15:00
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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You'd have to get plates and insurance.

Tom
We can double plate it. In fact that's what we'll do tomorrow.

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At this point it's mostly "he said she said", you have little to no actual evidence for your position. Personally, I'd try to get some ammunition first to increase the credibility of whatever else you can't prove. If you can prove that he did the work without you ordering it, it'll increase your chances of a reduced bill (IIRC there may be none at all).

Once you have a battle plan, write it down and ask your lawyer for advice on it. That should keep this cost reasonably low.
We do have plenty of evidence.
We have full photos of the car when it was taken to the garage, and there is no hail damage. We also have a photo of the kms when we took it there, and he's put about 1,500 kms on the clock since. He freely admitted he'd been using the car for his clients as a courtesy car when their's is in for repair.

We also have in writing his offer to repair it and what he'd give for the car as is, but we accepted nothing.

He also said that even without the cancelled grey card he has a way to register it in his name, in front of a witness. A real cowboy I think! That's why first thing tomorrow we'll double plate it.
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Old 26.05.2022, 17:45
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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We can double plate it. In fact that's what we'll do tomorrow.



We do have plenty of evidence.
We have full photos of the car when it was taken to the garage, and there is no hail damage. We also have a photo of the kms when we took it there, and he's put about 1,500 kms on the clock since. He freely admitted he'd been using the car for his clients as a courtesy car when their's is in for repair.

We also have in writing his offer to repair it and what he'd give for the car as is, but we accepted nothing.

He also said that even without the cancelled grey card he has a way to register it in his name, in front of a witness. A real cowboy I think! That's why first thing tomorrow we'll double plate it.
Geez what a number! Whats next? A bill for "parking" at his garage.....??
Hope it all works out.
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Old 26.05.2022, 22:18
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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We do have plenty of evidence.
Glad to learn I'm wrong with that.
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Old 27.05.2022, 17:40
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

We called Camorino today who confirmed the car is still in my wife's name. So car back on the insurance, letter sent (no appointments available today) and Monday they'll send the new Grey Card.

Interestingly they told us that you don't need the Grey Card to re-register the car, but if someone does that who does not have the owners permission, or has not bought the car, it is theft!

I'll keep you updated.
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Old 28.05.2022, 20:57
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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At this point it's mostly "he said she said", you have little to no actual evidence for your position. Personally, I'd try to get some ammunition first to increase the credibility of whatever else you can't prove. If you can prove that he did the work without you ordering it, it'll increase your chances of a reduced bill (IIRC there may be none at all).

In each step, the presence of an independent 3rd party (i.e. non-family) for testimony is recommended. Perhaps record the conversations in addition to that.

Fotograf the km driven as of now. Wait a few days until it has significantly more, clearly more than test drives would require, and take more pictures. If you can prove the km clocked at the time of accident this process gets cut short.

Then get temp plates and take your car home (it's obviously roadworthy). It's yours, your decision, yours to collect.
Alternatively you could demand the car back from the garagist in person in an attempt to get more ammunition. A refusal to release it probably constitutes coercion. Perhaps also try to get him to confirm that there's no actual order by you, and that more got done than was in the original estimate, during the argument you'll probably have. The higher the emotions fly the more people say stupid things.

Once you have a battle plan, write it down and ask your lawyer for advice on it. That should keep this cost reasonably low.
Isn't recording the conversations illegal unless everyone is aware of it?
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Old 28.05.2022, 23:50
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

Do you intend to go when they're open, inform them you're taking the car back or 'steal' it back when they are not looking/closed?
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Old 29.05.2022, 15:44
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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Isn't recording the conversations illegal unless everyone is aware of it?
Unlikely. You couldn't use recordings and pictures as evidence in general if that were the case. All the incriminated person would need to do is refuse to be, or have been, recorded.

In such a situation you're not recording everybody and their dog based on the mere possibility that something might happen but didn't yet and may never happen, as is the case with a dashboard cam.
Instead, it's an attempt to produce evidence for a crime that allegedly did happen in a very specific effort that targets the incriminated person only/mostly.
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Old 30.05.2022, 00:07
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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Isn't recording the conversations illegal unless everyone is aware of it?
Correct. Art. 179ter Swiss Criminal Code. (or Art. 179bis if you are not a participating party.)

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Any person who, as a participant in a private conversation, records the conversation on a recording device without the permission of the other participants,

any person who stores or makes use of a recording, makes the recording available or discloses its content to a third party when he knows or must assume that the recording has been made as the result of an offence under paragraph 1 above,

shall be liable on complaint to a custodial sentence not exceeding one year or to a monetary penalty.
Important: If you get interrogated by the police you can freely record as it is not considered as a private conversation. BGE 108 IV 16.

Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 30.05.2022 at 00:20.
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Old 30.05.2022, 12:08
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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Do you intend to go when they're open, inform them you're taking the car back or 'steal' it back when they are not looking/closed?
We certainly won't steal it back!!
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Old 30.05.2022, 13:42
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

Except Art. 179quinquies overrides 179bis and 179ter for certain types business conversations.

And if there's already a witness present, who may well be otherwise unknown to the garagist, the privacy is questionable in its entirety.

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Art. 179quinquies

1 Persons who as participants in the conversation or subscribers to a participating line record calls:

a. with the emergency, rescue or security services; or
b. in the course of business that have orders, assignments, reservations and similar transactions as their subject matter.

are not liable to a penalty under Article 179bis paragraph 1 or Article 179ter paragraph 1.

2 Article 179bis paragraphs 2 and 3 and 179ter paragraph 2 apply by analogy to the use of recordings in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
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Old 13.06.2022, 10:41
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

Could we get an update on how did it finish?
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Old 08.07.2022, 16:49
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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Could we get an update on how did it finish?
Sorry was traveling a bit. We are now negotiating. Our lawyer says it's a grey area as he did "better" the car so is entitled to something. When we threatened a lawyer he started to speak to us.

I will keep you updated as to the eventual outcome.
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Old 08.07.2022, 20:18
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Re: Unauthorised Car Repairs

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Sorry was traveling a bit. We are now negotiating. Our lawyer says it's a grey area as he did "better" the car so is entitled to something. When we threatened a lawyer he started to speak to us.

I will keep you updated as to the eventual outcome.
I'd get your lawyer to push on the fact that you didn't agree to any work, and that they lied about some of what they quoted (hail damage, which was not there when you gave them the car).

Now, the other issue is that he's been using your wife's car - how much does a hire car cost? Bill him for that in return, and, if they've used it a lot, it could be that the garage owner owes you a heap of money, even after subtracting the cost of the repairs.
I mean, iirc car hire's about 250 a day, or more, so in four days that's a grand, easy. 24 days equals his original quote on the repairs.
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