Who is Responsible for Items Left Inside Vehicles While at Repair Shops?
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Who is Responsible for Items Left Inside Vehicles While at Repair Shops?

A customer’s stereo worth hundreds of dollars is stolen from his vehicle while it is in the possession of an automotive repair shop. Is providing security for customers’ vehicles the responsibility of the repair shop? A reporter from WBNS-10TV in Columbus, OH, answers this question.

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A customer’s stereo worth hundreds of dollars is stolen from his vehicle while it is in the possession of an automotive repair shop. Is providing security for customers’ vehicles the responsibility of the repair shop? A reporter from WBNS-10TV in Columbus, OH, answers this question.

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Below is the article as it appeared on the WBNS-10TV website.

Consumers Can Be Liable For Theft, Damage To Cars Left At Repair Shops

September 14, 2010
WBNS-10TV

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thefts from cars at auto repair shops are more common than you might think, but who is responsible?

Jason Osborn was still getting used to driving without his car stereo on Tuesday, after he said it vanished while the car was being repaired at an auto shop, Consumer 10’s Kurt Ludlow reported.

Osborn said he expected the shop’s owner to reimburse him the hundreds of dollars the stereo and speakers were worth, but that did not happen.

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"He should be responsible because it was in his parking lot," Osborn said.

In many cases that might be true, Ludlow reported. In the law, it is called a bailment; when a person turns over their property to someone else, like an auto repair shop.

The shop is required to use ordinary care in the safekeeping the property, and to return it to you undamaged.

Most repair shops, including the one where Osborn left his car, modify the responsibility by having customers sign a disclaimer that says they are not responsible for loss or damage to cars or articles left in cars.

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