Car wash damage: who pays?

Arizona man says his car's hood was gouged
Posted at 6:53 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 08:53:10-05

For a lot of us, cars are just a means to an end. They get us from one place to another.

But for John Sebert of Buckeye, his car is something special.

John says he saved all his life for a brand new expensive Cadillac, and he takes special care of it.

He only drives it on weekends and he only uses touchless car washes.

But John says earlier this year, a Shell touchless car wash in Buckeye on North Canyon Springs Boulevard did more than touch his car.

John says he sat in "horror" watching an arm with a steel point come across his headlight, over part of his hood and back.

He said it left gouges through the paint, down to the metal.

He says to get the car back to the way it was, he would need a headlight replaced and the gouges sanded and repainted.

John showed an estimate of more than $3,000.

But he says it didn't matter how much it was because he couldn't get Shell to work with him at all.

So he let me know.

Let Joe Know/Better Business Bureau volunteer Karen contacted Shell and found they closed the case.

She says they told her the station and car washes are independently owned so they are not responsible.

When Karen couldn't get any answers from the owner, I took John back to the car wash trying to get answers.

And again we're told to call the local contact. I did and got nowhere.

John says he has insurance and would not push this if he caused the damage.

Most car washes have signs saying they are not responsible for damage.

But attorneys tell me if you can prove a defect or an issue with the car wash caused the damage, they should be responsible.

If you're in a similar situation at any car wash, ask to get a copy of the inside video immediately.

If the car wash won't work with you, and you can prove their responsibility, consider filing a class action and claim up to $3,500.