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Steve Dargaville ASKED THE GUIDE

Am I responsible for repairs if I didn't get my car serviced?

Recently, when travelling in an 80 km/h zone in my 2007 Jeep Compass the pivot bolt dropped out of the front right-hand side suspension turning the wheel sideways and destroying the tyre and parts of the suspension. I have taken it to our insurance agent who noticed that the bolt would have hardly been holding it in. My Jeep dealer said if I had had it serviced with them I wouldn't have had this problem. They told me to take it to them and they would look at it for a charge if it were my fault. I would also have to pay for the tow truck. Chrysler said they would get the nearest dealer to come out to me and have a look at the car. The nearest dealer wouldn't come out to site and repeated the previous comments. At the end of the day should this have occurred?

You would hope it wouldn't occur, but in the company's defence the car is six years old, it has done 70,000 km, and hasn't been serviced by one of its dealers and they have no knowledge of the way you have used it. I think their statement to you that if they inspect and find that it has been caused by something you have done then you are responsible for the cost of repairs is quite reasonable. If you want to take it further you could contact an independent engineer and have them inspect the car, and depending on what they say, approach Jeep again with your claim.