COLORADO SPRINGS – If you take your car to a dealership for repair work and it is unfortunately stolen, who is ultimately responsible?
That’s the question a military family asked News 5 Investigates to verify their truck was nowhere to be found when they went to pick it up.
Anne Connolly says her husband took their Ford F250 pickup truck to Phil Long Ford Motor City for warranty repair work, but when it came time to pick up the truck a month after dropping it off — the team at service could not find it.
“It was my husband’s dream truck,” said Anne. “It was a perfect condition F250 Platinum Edition.”
Service records obtained by News 5 Investigates show the car was dropped off on June 3.
Anne says her husband would call the dealership every week to check on the status of his repair.
On June 29, Anne says her husband was told the truck was ready to be picked up when he called.
“He paid $ 100 for the warranty deductible,” Anne said. “They (the dealership) had the key. They went to get the vehicle and told it they couldn’t find it.”
Anne says the dealership spent some time trying to locate him before finally filing a stolen vehicle case report with Colorado Springs Police.
“They (the dealership) had no idea where the vehicle was,” she said. “This is not reasonable care in my opinion. We trusted them with our vehicle.”
To make matters worse, no one seemed to know the exact date the truck went missing.
“Their only solution was for us to file a claim with our insurance and that’s okay because it’s just a (full) claim, that’s what we were told,” Anne said. . “However, I think it’s a big deal because it’s on our record for something we haven’t done.”
Phil Long Ford declined an interview on camera but offered a solution when we reached out to them to discuss the matter.
The dealership eventually offered to pay Anne’s insurance deductible, any potential increase in premiums for one year, and reimburse the warranty repair work payment of $ 100.
They also offered to sell Anne and her husband a similar F-250 pickup for the same price as their insurance payment (when that happens).
The only “catch” is that Anne and her husband would have to make the first claim by contacting their own insurance.
Anne tells News 5 that since the dealership had sole custody of their vehicle when it was stolen, she believes the dealership should have filed a claim first.
News 5 Investigates spoke with Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, also known as RMIIA. We have asked various questions about what happens in similar unfortunate situations.
“With the spike we are seeing in auto theft, catalytic converter theft, then more expensive repairs and longer repair times, it’s more important than ever to ask the right questions,” Walker said. “I would not immediately contact my own insurance company. I would speak to that repair shop first and ask them what coverage they have and what steps they took to make sure they were not negligent. one of the most important things (to consider) was that this auto body repair shop made sure that while it had your car in its care, what was it doing to protect it? “
Walker says if the dealership or repair shop refuses to contact their own insurance company first, call your insurance company to let them know what’s going on.
She says that in situations similar to this, it’s important for car owners to purchase comprehensive insurance — something that isn’t required by Colorado law.
Without an all-risk insurance policy, you may not be covered if your vehicle is stolen.
“We don’t think about when we drop our car off at a body shop or car dealership — what kind of insurance coverage do you have? What type of insurance company do I have? “
Fortunately in Anne’s case, her family has full coverage and they were able to file a claim.
How Stolen Vehicle Claims Work:
When you contact your insurance company, an investigation is usually initiated.
In cases where a vehicle is stolen, the car owner may have to wait some time after opening a claim in case the car is recovered.
If the car cannot be found, the claim will continue.
If an insurance company believes the other party is at fault, they will subrogate the claim.
This means that your insurance and the other party’s insurance will compete against each other to determine who ends up paying for the damage (or the overall loss of the vehicle).
“Depending on the circumstances under which this car was stolen or damaged, it will also depend on who is covering it,” Walker said.
News 5 also asked Walker about signage a business can post that claims to limit its liability or liability if a car is stolen or damaged on its property.
Walker says that if the dealership or repair shop hasn’t done due diligence or taken steps to protect a customer’s car while it’s in their care, they can still be held responsible if anything. thing happens.
Gina Sacripanti, director of corporate communications for Phil Long Ford, said the dealership will continue to work “off camera” with Anne and her husband to ensure they are taken care of appropriately.
Do you have an idea for an article for News 5 Investigates? Email us: [email protected]
Previous stories on the rise in auto thefts:
Auto theft is on the rise, new study finds
Colorado Springs car break-ins on the rise
8 people, 1 minor involved in several car thefts