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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so heres the story

My sunroof was broken around october and I took my car in to my local dealership on October 20th. They gave me a loaner car in exchange for mine. Getting the loaner was a easy process, I gave him my license, he made a copy, I signed a paper and I got the key. So a few days later i find out they need to order parts for my car, so they give me my car back until the parts come in and I return the loaner on a wednesday morning. That afternoon, I get a call saying that there was some damage done to the loaner. I go and check it out and it seems somebody must have dropped something on the roof or hit it really hard and it left some dents. The estimate to fix it is $3000 cause they need to rip the whole roof off and replace it cause structural integrity is gone. Now heres the dilemma. They want me to pay for the roof. I dont have 3 grand just lying around and my insurance company will not pay.

They wont pay because I signed the rental contract, and I am under 18. When I got the loaner, I was 16. I turned 17 early november. Insurance company is saying that all the evidence is pointing to be the fault of BMW of Bellevue. They loaned me the car, they had my INTERMEDIATE DRIVERS LICENSE in their hands when the person went to make a copy. They didnt check my age or anything. For a general FYI...in washington, intermediate drivers licenses are for under 18 people and are a different orientation then a normal license. It clearly says on the license that "AGE 18 ON 11-XX-2004" You need to be 25 to get a loaner in this state. I may pass for 18 or 19, but I dont know how the guy thought I was 25. I stress that THEY HAD MY LICENSE IN THEIR HAND, a COPY ON THE RENTAl AGREEMENT and it very clearly states that I am not 18. Another thing, they also forgot to get a copy of my insurance card when checking out the loaner

So the question is, who would be responsible in this situtation, would it be BMW of bellevue because they failed to check age and insurance coverage before just giving out their loaners? Or would it be my fault, even though the rental agreement was void because of me being underage. If the rental agreement is void, then the loaner was never "really checked out to me" because that contract was void and the agreement in question never really existed. Can anybody offer some words of advice?

Thank you SO Much for everything you guys...you have helped me so many times already, I hope once more is possible!
 

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as far as i understand you cant sign a contract until your 18. the contract does not count as far as court goes. you might want to check with an attorney to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by KingScare@Dec 13 2003, 01:10 PM
Was the dent there when you first took it out???

They might be trying to hustle you.
Nope the dent was not there before.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by twckxbzd@Dec 13 2003, 02:16 PM
as far as i understand you cant sign a contract until your 18. the contract does not count as far as court goes. you might want to check with an attorney to be sure.
Exactly, thats where the whole issue of me signing a contract came up, it all seems like their fault, but the damage was done when I was in possession of the car, regardless of whether the contract was void or not....but I am still concerned that they might have some high priced attorney that would somehow make it my fault. We (my family) are still considering our options at the moment
 

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First off all can they prove without doubt that you did the dent, maybe a tech or someone there did it when you returned it, maybe it was done before you even drove the car.

I would contact a lawyer, I seriously doubt they can hold you responsible.
 

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what part of washington u from?
 

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I would get a lawyer and cut all ties with this dealership. Do not do business with them anymore. Did you buy the car from this place? It was their mistake for letting you rent the car from them being under age. When the dealership realizes that they f*&@ed up and rented a car to a minor or makes a mistake like this, they should drop what they are trying to pull and maybe hold whoever let you get the car responsible or even fire them. I don't think they will have much of a chance at doing anything.
 

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Perhaps you could tell them that you parents are going to sue them for renting a car to an under-aged person. Then they will back off.

Imagine the same with a bar letting a 17-year old in. I think parents could sue the bar... and get some big $.

However, i'm not a legal expert, so you should pay the $ to talk to a lawyer. In these tricky situations, nobody can tell you the right thing to do, except an expert.
 

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I'm from Europe, but i've lived in the US for 3 years +. My experience of the US laws is that whenever there's a litigation, both parties better be clear of any wrong doing. Even if the wrong doing is not directly related to the accident or problem.

As an example, a friend of mine had a problem with a contractor. The job was really not done properly but the contractor wanted to get paid.

The contractor hired a lawyer. However, my friend noticed that on the paperwork used by the contracting company, the address and contact information was not specified or was outdated. I don't know the details, but that's illegal. A company has to specify on agreement or quotations their correct contact information.

Even if this was really not related to the problem itself (did the contractor deserved to get paid?), the contractor eventually backed off.

I think it doesn't make sense, but it seems that whenever you're in a litigation in the US, you better be cleared of any wrong doing, so I would say you have good chances to get away with it.

If the dealer gave a car to a 17-year old, I believe it's more their fault than your own fault.

Again, talk to a lawyer :) and good luck.

One more thing: money is just money. If you eventually have to pay, it might empty your wallet, but your wallet is really not the most precious thing you have in the world. Even if it might look like it right now. :confused
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally posted by bigred318@Dec 13 2003, 09:42 PM
def dont pay it dude! they are probably trying to scam u! did you rent from a well know place or kind of a shady place?

David
Well it is the local BMW Dealership and they are held in really high regard around here
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Originally posted by Scarface@Dec 14 2003, 03:59 AM
I would get a lawyer and cut all ties with this dealership. Do not do business with them anymore. Did you buy the car from this place? It was their mistake for letting you rent the car from them being under age. When the dealership realizes that they f*&@ed up and rented a car to a minor or makes a mistake like this, they should drop what they are trying to pull and maybe hold whoever let you get the car responsible or even fire them. I don't think they will have much of a chance at doing anything.
Didnt buy the car from there...I bought from a independant party, but the car has been serviced there ever since the previous owner bought it new in 1998
 

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You don't owe them the damages because you lack legal capacity to enter a rental contract. Therefore, the car was never truly in you care and was still under the care of the the dealership. Any damages sustained would be the responsibility of the dealership. Also, was checked over before you left? they are suppost to inspect the car before returning yours. If they did not see any damage before you left, then it is possible that the damage was sustained at the dealership after you returned the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Originally posted by El Presidente@Dec 14 2003, 07:55 AM
You don't owe them the damages because you lack legal capacity to enter a rental contract. Therefore, the car was never truly in you care and was still under the care of the the dealership. Any damages sustained would be the responsibility of the dealership. Also, was checked over before you left? they are suppost to inspect the car before returning yours. If they did not see any damage before you left, then it is possible that the damage was sustained at the dealership after you returned the car.
Well the thing is (totally forgot to mention this earlier) that security cameras at parking lot caught somebody messing with the car, but we dont know who and theres is no tape. BMW knows that so I cant play the card of it was there already or must have happened after I returned it. I thought that one through
 

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The contract is not legally binding because you were a minor whn it was signed ... from what you have posted they wouldn't be able to prove in a court of law that the damage happened while the car was in your posession ...
 
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