Man takes legal fight to Richmond auto body shop after losing loaner key

A driver who brought his car into a Richmond auto body shop ended up in a BC Civil Resolution Tribunal hearing, claiming he was overcharged for a loaner key.

Edward Craig claimed a refund of $727.04, which he said was more than the amount shown on the final invoice.

MTK, the auto body shop in question, refuted that Craig was entitled to a refund, adding that he was overcharged because he lost a key to a courtesy car provided to Craig. MTK said that “non-refundable key replacement charges” had already been incurred.

In a publicly posted decision, Craig did not dispute that the Richmond auto body shop provided him with a loaner car.

On April 28, 2023, an MTK employee texted Craig that his car would be ready for pickup before 5 pm. Craig texted back, saying he couldn’t find the loaner car key and might have misplaced or dropped it.

In response, MTK said an employee would bring them a spare key so Craig could drive it back to the shop, saying, “We will look into a remote key replacement when you arrive.”

Craig did end up finding the key at 9:30 pm that same day. Craig said he returned the key at 8:30 am on April 29. This was undisputed.

Also, on April 29, MTK said it would check with a manager “to verify if cancellation [of the replacement key] is authorized.”

In May, more texts were exchanged about key charges. MTK said on May 11 that it would provide a partial refund of key replacement charges, including labour and part of the key replacement fee.

On May 15, MTK said that the “moment an order is submitted into BMW’s key ordering system, it cannot be reversed or refunded.”

Craig said he paid $8,180.18 in total, which MTK does not refute. However, MTK added that it also refunded him $331.51 in key charges and provided evidence. Due to the refund, the tribunal found that Craig paid $395.53 for the key replacement.

Craig’s problem was that he felt he shouldn’t have had to pay anything because he ultimately never lost the key. He also claimed MTK should’ve been able to cancel the replacement but did not provide proof of this claim. The tribunal did not agree.

The tribunal dismissed Craig’s claims and awarded him no damages.