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Old 18th August 2009, 21:23   #1
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Default An honest mechanic (car lying unclaimed with him for over 5 yrs)

I recently visited this guy who used to service my car when I was in college. His small MASS that has grown considerably and I was glad to see that he was doing well.

He has a problem and was asking me for advise - here's the story -

Sometime in 2004 (might have been earlier) a college student crashed a brand new esteem and gave it to his garage for repairs. The necessary work was carried out and the car was ready for delivery. But that student never returned to pick up his car. The car sits at his garage till date and the mechanic has probably lost a fair bit of money in whatever new parts he fitted during the repair work.

He has never removed any parts from the car (to swap into other vehicles) and has sheltered the car for over 5 years.

The car's original owner is untraceable - I just know that he was someone from my college (because the car used to be parked outside my hostel for some time).

The mechanic is so honest that he refuses to sell of parts from the car even after all these years - not even to recover his losses. So the car sits there rusting with a perfectly new engine and tranny

I tried to reason with him (for somewhat selfish reasons). I wanted the engine and gearbox to be donated to a MG410 to MG413 conversion project

He would like to recover his losses by selling off the car for scrap/parts but is worried about the possibility (however slim) of the original owner returning and asking for the car. I also tried to explain to him that the original owner might have actually reported the vehicle as stolen and have collected money from his insurance company. He could get into trouble by keeping the car at his garage.

Please advise on the best course of action so that the mechanic can recover his losses. Is there any legal route to selling off (or scrapping) the car given that the original owner hasn't unclaimed it for so many years.

Thanks

Last edited by CrackedHead : 18th August 2009 at 21:25.
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Old 18th August 2009, 21:30   #2
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Forget the car who is this mechanic?
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Old 18th August 2009, 21:34   #3
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Could you please post the mech details,,hard to find such guyz man
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Old 18th August 2009, 21:42   #4
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he can check the owner's name from RTO office. but thats far fetched if you don't have a good friendly agent. Since he is a mechanic, i assume he has.
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Old 18th August 2009, 21:42   #5
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Great!! Does he service hyundai cars aswell?
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Old 18th August 2009, 21:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binz View Post
Forget the car who is this mechanic?
C'mon CrackedHead, spill the beans !! I would love to get my car serviced from such a mechanic !
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Old 18th August 2009, 22:01   #7
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Were not the papers / copies in the car when the vehicle was given fro repairs?

Did he not take advance for the repairs?

If the guy who gave the vehicle for repairs was a student, why did not his parents start enquiries about the car?

Hmmm.... anyway, replacing engine and gearbox?? Was the vehicle declared as a total loss by the insurance co (I presume the vehicle had comprehensive coverage since it is mentioned that it was a brand new vehicle), and the owner later abandoned it in favour of a new car? (so, the question still ... why was the work done without any advance?)

And what prevented the guy from making enquiries at the RTO? The vehicle had a regn. number, right?

Edit - it was a MASS, right? They would have access to Maruti's database to match engine / chassis / VIN numbers with original buyers. So, no need to approach the RTO even.

Heck, even a cuirsory query with the concerned dealer(s) would have given some light.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 18th August 2009 at 22:03.
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Old 18th August 2009, 22:06   #8
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The mystery may be just a sms away. BLR RTO has the sms facility to check for owner's details.
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Old 18th August 2009, 22:07   #9
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He should register a case and send a legal notice for recovery of money from the person who delivered the car to him, at his last known address, (and if they differ the person under whose name the car is). That way in any eventuality he has a mechanics lien on the car and cant be blamed for having possession of the car incase its been claimed as lost. Infact he should have done this within 6 months i think. After sometime he has legal right to sell the car and parts to recover the money.
I am not a lawyer but that should be the gist of what the action should have been. He should consult a lawyer in anycase.
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Old 19th August 2009, 00:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binz View Post
Forget the car who is this mechanic?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan666 View Post
C'mon CrackedHead, spill the beans !! I would love to get my car serviced from such a mechanic !
He's just 400Km away from Bangalore - in Manipal. I drove my car to him to get its engine rebuilt (its a beautiful weekend drive).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raj1008 View Post
He should register a case and send a legal notice for recovery of money from the person who delivered the car to him
He's unable to trace the address and probably doesn't want to spare more money/time trying to trace this guy (its been 5 years). But if the legal notice will allow him to dispose off the car then I guess I would want to take the effort to help him with it (by offering to pay him well for the engine + GB).

My replies are inline in bold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Were not the papers / copies in the car when the vehicle was given fro repairs?
No
Did he not take advance for the repairs?
No
If the guy who gave the vehicle for repairs was a student, why did not his parents start enquiries about the car?
Rumor is that his folks owned a big business in Delhi and didn't care about one measly esteem. The guy left college halfway thru his studies

Hmmm.... anyway, replacing engine and gearbox?? Was the vehicle declared as a total loss by the insurance co (I presume the vehicle had comprehensive coverage since it is mentioned that it was a brand new vehicle), and the owner later abandoned it in favour of a new car? (so, the question still ... why was the work done without any advance?)
Don't know - I'm speculating on the insurance bit. The mechanic doesn't have a policy number to go on

And what prevented the guy from making enquiries at the RTO? The vehicle had a regn. number, right?
The vehicle has an out of state registration

Edit - it was a MASS, right? They would have access to Maruti's database to match engine / chassis / VIN numbers with original buyers. So, no need to approach the RTO even.
He said he checked but there was some problem - This seems like a good option to follow up on.
Thanks guys.
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Old 19th August 2009, 07:45   #11
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well given the situation it may be best to do a chor bazar kind of thing. fast and painless
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Old 19th August 2009, 09:18   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raj1008 View Post
well given the situation it may be best to do a chor bazar kind of thing. fast and painless
It is a MASS, and it may not be so easy. They would have have issued a receipt for the vehicle.

Try starting from here - Delhi Government Portal : Beta Version

The out of state registration bit would explain quite a bit; but still, 5 years back, an esteem would cost 5grand, so I am rather flummoxed. If the family had such a huge business to let go of that kind of money, I would avoid doing any business with them.
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Old 19th August 2009, 09:55   #13
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@CrackedHead: typical Manipal profile of the owner. Unfortunately, this excellent set of Institutions has too many of such characters.

Only hope I can see is that if this is indeed a Delhi Registration then it MAY be possible to trace the ownership. Their database is pretty good.
One of my colleagues (or rather his wife) worked in Delhi and had a locally registered M800. When she moved to Kanpur she got the car transferred to Kanpur through a broker. She got the papers back with all the stamps, etc. A few years later when they were moving to another state they applied for an NOC, only to be told the car was never transferred to Kanpur in the first place. They were able to verify that this indeed was the case on the web, and all the documentation they got was false!

Last edited by sgiitk : 19th August 2009 at 10:12. Reason: Minor changes
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Old 19th August 2009, 13:28   #14
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The process of tracing the owner's address (that too a five year old one) and then sending legal notices would be timeconsuming and require a bit of spare cash too.

So the car sits there rotting in the rain since this chap doesn't wish to spend another 5-10K to chase down the money he's already lost.
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Old 19th August 2009, 17:42   #15
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If no one has come to claim the car in 5 years, chances are it won't ever happen. Ask your mechanic to go to the nearest cop station and ask them to tow the car away. That way, his liability is limited (in case the car was stolen, or used for any criminal activity).

It's not an ideal world out there, so he can forget about recovering his loss on the car (unless he is willing to take parts out from it).
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