Fort Wayne, IN asked in Car Accidents, Consumer Law and Personal Injury for Indiana

Q: Axel snapped and tire flew off yesterday after it was "fixed" by mechanic that "fixed" it previously. What do I do?

My mom's car about a month ago had the tire fly off and axel break. They took it to a local mechanic that said it was due to an air bubble in the bearing that's why it broke and the tire fell off. They assured her and checked that all the others were fine and didn't need fixed. This was the back right tire. Last night on the drive to a wedding, going 55mph the axel completely snapped and the back left tire went flying. They went off into the ditch and back on the road before pulling off into a gas station next to them to get the car parked. It is now stuck in a city two hours away. The mechanic clearly used faulty bearings again and or did not fix it correctly the first time. They plan to sue him. What would be the best course of action? (asking for them as I have access to this website through work) Thank you!

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: If she was injured, she should immediately contact a personal injury attorney in Allen County. If there are no injuries, the easiest thing for her to do is to make a claim with her own insurance. If the car had been serviced immediately prior to the incident and the incident can be related to the faulty repair, your mother's insurance company will seek reimbursement from the repair shop and refund her deductible.

If the car was uninsured or had a liability-only policy, she has a problem. I make no claim to be an expert on auto repair and I haven't replaced a wheel bearing on any car manufactured in the last 45 years. That said, wheel bearing grease has the consistency of cold Vaseline and stays thick when it's hot. It is difficult to imagine a "bubble" forming in anything that thick. Moreover, how would an improperly greased wheel bearing cause an axle to break? If your mother is going to be successful at holding the repair shop liable for damages related to the incident you describe, she is going to need an explanation that makes sense to people who are not mechanics. Even if your mother brought a mechanic to Court to testify as an expert, the mechanic would need to provide some cogent explanation of how the repair was the proximate cause of the axle failure.

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