BMW owner could be faced with thousands in repairs after ride through car wash

September 4, 2013 9:24:17 PM PDT
Any time you take your vehicle to a carwash, you expect it to come out clean on the other end. But for one Houston driver, a recent trip to a touchless carwash may cost him thousands in repairs.

Dave Billard loves his BMW M6. When it needed a cleaning, he purchased a ticket at the pump for a carwash.

"I proceed to the car wash after gassing up," he said. "Punch in the number like I normally do."

But after driving into the carwash bay at the Timewise Exxon station on Kingsland and the Grand Parkway, something wasn't right.

"Very first motion that the arm and the thing makes is a great big claw like motion and damages the hood of the car," said Billard.

Billard says a metal arm crashed through the hood of his BMW, leaving behind a gaping hole. He notified employees.

"They advised me that someone had just recently damaged the carwash," said Billard. "I questioned as to why they didn't have it shut down."

Billard says he put in a claim with Landmark Industries, the company that owns the gas station. But a few weeks later, he received a letter in the mail denying the claim. The reason -- he entered the carwash after the arm was broken.

The people's lawyer, Richard Alderman, says an insurance denial doesn't negate potential liability.

"The insurance company is only liable if the business is liable," Adlerman told us. "And whether the insurance company pays doesn't affect liability at all."

When we reached out to Landmark Industries to ask why the claim was denied, we were told, "This matter has been turned over to the insurance carrier and it's being reviewed by supervisors. Pending threatened litigation, we will not comment further."

Billard tells us he wouldn't have entered the carwash had he been told or saw signs stating it was damaged and not working. Alderman says if that can be proven in court...

"If they knew about it, they gave him the token, they represented that it was working, and it wasn't, he would have a violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Billard is now looking into his legal options regarding the damages to his car. Legal experts tell us if this happens to you, be sure to document everything. Car wash receipts and cell phone pictures can help you if things go to court.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


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