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Man leaves car at repair shop and gets burnt wreck in return

Posted: 6:43 PM, Aug 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-07 18:46:00-04

James Eliott and his fiance say these days they spend a lot of time walking.

Shocking photos show what's left of the couple's 2007 Chevy Highlander after an accident at Abe's Car Care. The shop was hired to install a new rack and pinion.

Instead of a phone call saying his car was ready for pick up, Eliott recalls the repairman telling him he had no car to pick up. The car had caught fire and was totaled.

The damage, he’d learn, was all due to an explosion while using a blow torch to loosen a bolt. The mechanic, he says, apologized and offered to immediately replace the car with one like it. He says he was told it would be ready for pick up in a couple of days.

A couple of days turned into seven, Eliott said, and then that evolved into six weeks. In the meantime, the couple, with no car, says they've been forced to walk.

Eliott says he walks two miles to work and sometimes two miles back. The irony is that he works as a city of Detroit bus driver.

"I have to take people to work every day," he said. "They're depending on me, and I have to walk to work because somebody has my vehicle caught up."

Meanwhile, the couple says they’re racking up high costs on cabs and bus fares just to run simple errands.

So what’s the hold up? Taking Action reporter Ameera David got on the case to get answers.

Management denied an on-camera interview but said the slow down was due to a delayed state inspection of the replacement car.

In the end, the repair shop made it right, getting that car to the couple just two days later. The owner also agreed to reimburse the couple nearly $400 for extras costs spent on alternative transportation.

Eliott says he's relieved to see results.

Tip: If you find yourself in a similar situation, experts say always file a police report, to protect yourself legally, should you need to file suit at a later date.

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