Can a Car Wash Exclude its Liability?

Just as your clothes do, so does your car need a wash once in a while. Who is responsible for damages that occur if the machine does not work properly?


A car wash had two clauses in its standard terms 1.) the company is not responsible for damages on items attached to the car body, like mirrors, trimmings, scratches unless the company acted gross negligently. 2.) consequential damages will not be reimbursed unless the company acted gross negligently.

The BGH ruled on November 2004 (re X ZR 133/03) that these stipulations are invalid because they violate §307 I BGB. They are invalid because they inadequately discriminate against the customer.

Normally, you have to answer for the damages you cause. Generally, such provisions can be the small print in mass contracts. However, it is forbidden by law to sign you off liability in advance for gross negligence and purpose. If the injured person afterwards waives his or her compensation – that is something else. The customer is not to be excessively disadvantaged.

To sum it all up. if your car comes out of the car wash damaged, and the company has such invalid standard terms, your next car wash will have to be financed by the company.  

Published on the old CMS: 2007/2/7
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 68 reads

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