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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife parked our 2018 Volvo XC90 downtown in our city. She did not realize that she had parked in an area that was no parking from 4-6pm, as she paid for all day parking and didn't check the sign or something. Anyways, the car was towed by a private company working for the City.

When I went to get the car from the impound lot, after paying an arm and leg for fees, I asked the person if they towed the Volvo on a flatbed. She said she didn't know but probably not. Every car being towed into the lot was being towed the "traditional" way, aka two wheels up in the air two wheels on the ground. So my best assumption is the XC90 was also towed this way.

I am very concerned as to whether or not this could have damaged the car, based on some things I read on Google about AWD. I am assuming I will never get the straight answer out of the company that towed it or the company at the lot. Assuming it was not towed on a flat bed, how SOL am I on this car? What could be damaged, oh great knowers of all things Volvo.

I'd take it to the dealership but honestly I am scared they may use this as an excuse to disclaim the entire car's warranty.

tl;dr If my XC90 18 was towed not on a flat bed, how likely is the damage? What could be damaged? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! I saw that on the site, but it wasn't super helpful on the real world implications. I have no way of knowing if the car was towed under 45 MPH. So assuming it wasn't, thoughts on what kind of damage is possible? Thanks again!
 

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They usually use dollies if they don’t have a flat bed. I’ve had my own cars towed a few times and the driver just looks under the car for drive shafts and pulls out the dollies if needed. No big deal.

That kind of damage is pretty obvious, it will grind up the transmission and/or differentials and the car simply won’t take you anywhere. Find someone it has happened to and they’ll tell you it isn’t something that will lay dormant for years.

Tow companies have big insurance policies to pay for tow damage but you have to fight to get paid. There is often fine print on the paperwork for the tow company about liability and filing claims, or if it’s a really small shop you may have to call and ask about their insurance claims process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They usually use dollies if they don’t have a flat bed. I’ve had my own cars towed a few times and the driver just looks under the car for drive shafts and pulls out the dollies if needed. No big deal.

That kind of damage is pretty obvious, it will grind up the transmission and/or differentials and the car simply won’t take you anywhere. Find someone it has happened to and they’ll tell you it isn’t something that will lay dormant for years.

Tow companies have big insurance policies to pay for tow damage but you have to fight to get paid. There is often fine print on the paperwork for the tow company about liability and filing claims, or if it’s a really small shop you may have to call and ask about their insurance claims process.
Thanks for the reply shadowsor! I am actually an attorney so the "getting paid" part concerns me less than the "did I incur any damages that require me to get paid" part. :p It sounds like I would have known driving it home if there was any AWD or transmission damage then? I was worried it could be some latent thing that lurks and pops out 8 years from now as a massive headache, but if that isn't likely I can sleep a bit easier tonight and just write this off as an expensive parking lesson!
 

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I think you’d know immediately, but if you want to be certain ask a mechanic what they think about it.

I doubt they sent out a flat bed, as they’re usually on request, but most tow trucks have dollies handy in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also funny side note: Volvo On Call kept showing the location of the car in the downtown hours after it had been towed. I guess it doesn't update if the car isn't turned on. My wife initially thought the car was stolen because it was pinging as being downtown but she couldn't see it!
 

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I am no expert at all and in anyway. I once observed a X5 being towed out of a reserved parking space. When they lifted the back wheels up as the car (car was park front in). The wheel made a loud screeching noise and front wheel did not turn. Also left drag marks in the pavement. After they dragged it out they pulled it onto the bed.

I know this does not help you here, but I highly doubt they towed your car with the any wheel dragging. It would be screeching all the way to the tow lot, leave marks in the pavement, and you would have bald spots, also not to mention the risk of the tow driver losing control. It would be unreasonable and I would assume your tires would be apparent in damage. Also doesn't the eBrake turn on when its parked, so the transmission would hopefully been saved and abuse taken on the tires. They would have probably put it on a dolly.

Also I believe that even if the "owner is responsible for damage" the tow company must use due care when towing your car. IE they can't knowingly tow an AWD drive car especially if the wheels are screeching. I would also assume any reasonable or professional tow truck driver is aware of the damage that can be caused by towing an AWD car with 2 wheels on the ground. Common knowledge for the industry that AWD need to be towed on flatbed or dolly. If so I think you could seek compensation for negligence.
 

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My wife parked our 2018 Volvo XC90 downtown in our city. She did not realize that she had parked in an area that was no parking from 4-6pm, as she paid for all day parking and didn't check the sign or something. Anyways, the car was towed by a private company working for the City.

When I went to get the car from the impound lot, after paying an arm and leg for fees, I asked the person if they towed the Volvo on a flatbed. She said she didn't know but probably not. Every car being towed into the lot was being towed the "traditional" way, aka two wheels up in the air two wheels on the ground. So my best assumption is the XC90 was also towed this way.

I am very concerned as to whether or not this could have damaged the car, based on some things I read on Google about AWD. I am assuming I will never get the straight answer out of the company that towed it or the company at the lot. Assuming it was not towed on a flat bed, how SOL am I on this car? What could be damaged, oh great knowers of all things Volvo.

I'd take it to the dealership but honestly I am scared they may use this as an excuse to disclaim the entire car's warranty.

tl;dr If my XC90 18 was towed not on a flat bed, how likely is the damage? What could be damaged? Thanks!
Just out of curiosity, which city was this?
 

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Tow truck drivers know they have to get AWD cars on dollies:



As mentioned above, your tires and differential would be toasted had they done differently. You would have known immediately.
 

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The transmission won’t let the front wheels spin freely, the emergency brake won’t let the rears spin. They’d have to lift one end and use the dollies for the other. As mentioned above, the tires would screech down the road causing a ruckus and flat spots on the tires. If you have the paperwork, it may say who the driver was and what they did. Good luck.
 
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