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Old 10-13-2020, 06:49 PM   #1
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Unauthorized Repair Charges

What can you do if you go to pick up your coach from a major dealer (Freightliner, Cummins, DD or etc) and they have done work that you did not authorize and won't give it to you until you pay?

I took it in and told the service writer (who writes it down) that I wanted an oil and filter change, and... under warranty I want the city horn fixed and I want them to check if the fluid filled steer hubs are leaking, which involves pulling two hub caps.

Dropped it off yesterday and called this afternoon to see if it was ready for pick up. The service writer tells me that they are working up an estimate for me. What for?, I asked. The answer was that they found a small piece of a brake shoe had broken off and was lying by a rivet, so I a needed all new brake shoes on a 2019 rig. I am still under the 2 year Freightliner (opps) chassis warranty so am waiting to hear that the warranty does not cover brakes.

If they did this without a specific and signed work order and try to keep it until I pay who do I call for this fraud? Police, Sheriff? I don't keep a lawyer on call.
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:58 PM   #2
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As someone who worked an entire career in the automotive repair business I can say with certainty they should have called you to authorize any additional out of pocket repairs not associated with the original repair order. Typically brake shoes and pads are considered a "normal wear item" and not covered by warranty. Good Luck.
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:59 PM   #3
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OK , so they are looking at the front hubs and discover a brake issue ; to me that sounds pretty straight forward , they're within inches of the front brakes and see a problem.

They are preparing an estimate . Sounds ok , they haven't started a repair .
Did you ask what the bill was to this point ?

Don't panic , until you see the issue ( ask for photos of what they're seeing !) and find out what the bill is so far.
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:04 PM   #4
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tough one... as far as then finding a brake issue, broken shoe, pad ????? did they pull a wheel.. was it because you asked to check a seal ????

A story can unfold... NOW the service guy should explain how they found the issue , a visual just looking it over as a courtesy ??? or why..

If they took it apart without you knowing , that is not good and they should not do anything with out your OK..

I have been in repair business since late 70's.. I get my arse in a ringer for being that guy.. just taking a step for a customer or my guys just doing it.. YES I have done it for nothing, because the customer was not understanding.. NEVER have I done it just to look and up sell stuff.. BUT we 99.97% call customer, some times before I even start doing what they want and SAY HEY do you know xxxxxxxxxxxxx
I did it today with a guy,, hey was happy I called, I said before I start this little job, I looked vehicle over and noticed, I texted him pics, because pics dont lie...

again you may have a communication issue from dealer and not ditching at you... good luck..
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:06 PM   #5
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If the brake is defective, the shop may be legally obligated to not allow it be be driven until repairs have been completed for safety reasons. I suppose you could have it towed to another shop, but why? As far as I know, there has never been a vehicle warranty that covered brake pads and shoes, especially after two years. That repair is almost assuredly going to be your financial responsibility.
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:28 PM   #6
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I am not sure it one can see the brake shoes by pulling off a hub cap, which is all I authorized. That is the fishy part. Frieghtliners have a glass on the hub that allows one to see the fluid level. I did not tell them to pull a wheel.


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Old 10-13-2020, 08:17 PM   #7
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While I know nothing about your situation, there's a few things you asked them to to that perhaps triggered this:

If I was the tech and was handed a repair order to check wheel hub caps leak, I would have also taken a flashlight and peaked behind the wheel and looked for any oil on the inside of wheel, on brake shoes and perhaps I could maybe even seen the backside of wheel hub seal.

.....also if I was doing a preventative maintenance inspection on your chassis, I'd have a look just like I described above.


You may have only wanted a oil and filter change, but there's a lot more than that to a preventative maintenance inspection. The tech probably does many federal DOT inspections a month and hopefully he's trained to see your issues.

....fwiw, I've never seen any mfg cover brake lining under warranty. Hopefully you had some other failure and the brake shoes was damaged as a result of such.

I worked many years at a heavy truck dealer, biggest issue is one found at most businesses and that's communication.
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:48 PM   #8
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As mentioned they may have been looking for evidence of a leak and found the issue that way. They also may have heard the broken piece rattling around and inspected where the noise was coming from. Either way I would rather they found and fixed the problem rather than letting a defective brake go down the road.
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:52 PM   #9
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A small piece broke off a brake shoe doesn’t have to mean you need new brake shoes. I would want to know if it was just a little chip from the corner of the shoe or something more.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:06 PM   #10
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The issue isn't really whether the repair was necessary or not. The issue was not contacting the OP about it before the work was done. I doubt very many of us would enjoy getting invoice shocked like the OP did.

As mentioned, brakes are a wearable item that aren't normally covered by manufacturer's warranty. However, this sounds like it may have happened because of a manufacturing defect. I'd sure see if the manufacturer might offer some support.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:07 PM   #11
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What charges ? They are working up an estimate.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
What charges ? They are working up an estimate.
True. But why would I need new brake shoes all around? Or even on both front wheels? It has automatic slack adjusters so I would assume that new brake shoes on one wheel would be fine if the slack on both front wheel cables was the same.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonLC View Post
What can you do if you go to pick up your coach from a major dealer (Freightliner, Cummins, DD or etc) and they have done work that you did not authorize and won't give it to you until you pay?

I took it in and told the service writer (who writes it down) that I wanted an oil and filter change, and... under warranty I want the city horn fixed and I want them to check if the fluid filled steer hubs are leaking, which involves pulling two hub caps.

Dropped it off yesterday and called this afternoon to see if it was ready for pick up. The service writer tells me that they are working up an estimate for me. What for?, I asked. The answer was that they found a small piece of a brake shoe had broken off and was lying by a rivet, so I a needed all new brake shoes on a 2019 rig. I am still under the 2 year Freightliner (opps) chassis warranty so am waiting to hear that the warranty does not cover brakes.

If they did this without a specific and signed work order and try to keep it until I pay who do I call for this fraud? Police, Sheriff? I don't keep a lawyer on call.
Re-read what you typed here. Everything they did complied with those instructions.
You stated you told them to inspect the front hub for a leak, that involves pulling the brake drum to inspect the inner hub oil seal. Then the mechanic discovered the chip off the brake lining. It is his duty to record all findings, the shop must inform you of the findings. It is your option for what actions must be taken.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:22 PM   #14
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It's an estimate. A repair is elective, it's up to you to proceed or not.
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