Dealership initially denies liability after car is stolen while in for service

Dealership initially denies liability after car is stolen while in for service

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Another car is stolen from Chesterfield and wrecked in Richmond, but this time, the thieves take it from a dealership, where the car was in for repairs.

The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan was totaled in multiple crashes. The dealership denied liability and told the car's owner it's insurance carrier would not cover it.

Then on Wednesday night, C.E.O. of Brown Automotive Group apologized and told NBC12 Investigators his general manager at the Midlothian dealership made a mistake. The dealership should have covered the claim when the car was stolen back in July. It seems the mistake wasn't discovered until around the time NBC12 started calling last week.

Here's how it all unfolded:

When Kirstan Fournier d ropped off her car at Brown's Volkswagen on July 15 all it needed was a turbo replaced. To see the damage now after thieves hit two parked cars and crashed a wall near 14th and Dock Streets is upsetting, says Fournier,

"The whole front of it is just gone. The airbags were deployed. They hit so hard that even my roof rack fell off the car."

Fournier had certain expectations when she left her car at the dealership and was later surprised.

"The keys are in the building, but they are not under lock," she said. "So anybody can go and get the keys. However, now, they are locked up. After this they are now locked up."

Even after getting the call with bad news about her ca, Fournier says she expected to be taken care of and said the general manager promised as much.

"They told me that they were going to make it right," she said. "But they decided they were not responsible for the theft or the totaling of my vehicle that was in their parking lot that was under their supervision with my keys. I don't understand how you are not responsible."

Most dealerships and repair shops have theft protection and garage protection, says insurance agent Michael Fisher.

Fisher is not involved in this complaint, but is talking with NBC12 about what's common practice.

"What should have happened is from day one when it was in their care, custody and control the claim should have been filed under their garage keepers insurance," he said.

Brown's Automotive Group's CEO says the dealership misinterpreted  their insurance company's decision denying liability for the parked cars that were damaged into not covering Fournier's claim.

That should not have happened.

"It's no surprise after the fact that her insurance took care of the claim and subrogated and went back against the other insurance company," Fisher said.

The dealership has called the family and says it will work to make them whole again offering to look at any out of pocket expenses to square them away.

"I would like all the money that I am having to put out. I want it back," said Fournier.

CEO of Brown Automotive Group Danny Legge says if it turns out employees were involved, he will pursue charges.

Legge says it's heartbreaking and he feels terrible. He says customers' keys are kept in the cashier's booth, a secured area and adds, an incident like this has never happened at the dealership before.

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