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Old 01-20-2007, 01:21 AM   #1
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Tow Truck Bent Tie Rod

I own a 2000 Focus ZX3. On New Year's Eve, it was towed because I parked illegally. As soon as I drove the car upon picking it up from the tow place, I noticed that the steering was screwed up and had to pull over and have it towed (again) to my garage. My garage told me that the tie rod on the driver's side had been bent. They replaced it and did a 4-wheel allignment. Total cost: $420.

It's obvious (to me, at least), that the tow truck damaged my car. But they're trying to weasel out of it, saying there's no way their tow trucks (I believe they have the non-flatbed kind) could have done this, although I could have done it myself by driving into a curb or maybe it had slipped out of alignment by magic. They also didn't think that my garage even replaced the tie rod, saying that they thought it had just been cleaned really well to look new since it didn't seem to have been removed from the boot. I have no idea what any of that means, but maybe some of you do.

Basically, the car was pretty much undriveable when I picked it up, so there's really no way it could have been like that before the tow took it. Of course, it's my word against theirs about that.

My question is, can a tow truck damage a tie rod like that? Someone told me that a bent tie rod is a common towing injury for Focuses, but I haven't found anything to confirm that. If I end up having to take the tow company to court, it'd be nice to know that I at least have a leg to stand on. I don't know much about cars and had never even heard of a tie rod before all this happened, so any information you can give me would be valuable and appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you.

(And no, my insurance company will not help me. Progressive says that since the damage was under my deductible, they have no way of forcing the tow company to pay. So I'll probably be dealing with this on my own. And then changing insurance companies).

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Old 01-20-2007, 02:00 AM   #2
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When I had a 99 SVTC I got T-boned only after 2 weeks of owning the car. The tow company towed the vehicle, I went to pick it up, and the damage was only the passenger side door, headlight, ¼ panel, and a few other things, no mechanical damage (I thought) after further inspection. So its in condition to drive, and I do, I take it to a body work specialist.. they fix it.. new paint, etc.. To make a long story short..

For some weird reason, my Contour would go through tires in about 2,000 miles.. I’m talking 40,000 + Mile tires… The weirdest shit I had ever seen. Just destroying them. 2 Complete Sets of Tires, 1 Replaced after thinking the first set was defective.

This was about 2 months after the accident, wayyyyy to much time had passed.. BUT I took the car to a mechanic & the owner of the shop was a friend of the family. So it was looked at and the lower rear control arm was bent causing the drivers rear wheel to push the car in a slight angle, which in turn wasn’t noticed during alignment and compensated for, therefore causing the tires to wear extremely fast. (By the shitty repair shop)

Moral of the story, tow companies will your car up.. so there is no doubt in my mind that it was them at fault..
FU%K Salt...
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:10 AM   #3
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samm0, i dont know anything about it imparticular, but you should do a search on here and see if anyone has talked about it, otherwise i would it and see if you can find anything.
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:27 PM   #4
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yes this is common with tow trucks picking up cars that are parked and do not have keys for them.

I have seen axles broken in half, transmissions damaged, control arms broken, sway bars bent, tie rod ends broken.

Think about it like this, they are trying to tow your car in the fastest possible way they can, do you think they are worried about damage to your car because you parked somewhere illegal? Usually they have you sign a thing saying you will not sue them for damage they caused because you parked illegally.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:51 AM   #5
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it is possible for tow company to damage but will be very hard to prove. 420 seems very high. I just changed inner tie rod on pass. side part was 23.00 at dealers four wheel alignment is only 100 or less. Did you at any time hit a curb? I hit a curb snow covered at 10mph and it bent it bad. Was your steering wheel out of alignment? I think your mechanic screwed you. You can look at the boot around your tie rod it will have a metal band that is crimped if they replaced the tie rod then it should have a plastic zip tie or maybe a hose clamp. I don't know what the book calls for as far as labor but more than an hour labor is too much. and more than 60.00 for the part is too much. Your bill should have been no more than 250.00
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