COSTCO Tyres - Ispwich QLD - Compensation?

Hi All,

Long story short -

1) Wife got new tires at COSTCO
2) About a month later - one of the front tyres starts making a repetitive thudding noise - no flats etc
3) Took it into JAX which found the tyres nuts had been put on by hand / one of the wheels were about to fall off

Note) Both wife and I are not car savy…. I should have checked the nuts… thought it was wheel balance issues - I've learnt.

Edit: This could have cause real damage to the car or could have caused an accident. My wife probably wouldn't have noticed it, until it was too late and the wheel came off…

I'm about to write an angry email to COSTCO - What should I request? How do I make sure they don't do this again to anyone else?


1) JAX Guy (Yesterday when collecting car) : No other damage to car. Go complain, cause this shouldn't happen. No charge.

2) Emailed Costco Head office

3) Phone call this morning from Costco - "I'm sorry. This shouldn't have happened. We'll review surveillance video and get back to you. We'll make sure it doesn't happen again. We'll reimburse you for the Uber trips."

Lesson Learnt: Don't trust anyone. I'll move on and learn to check my own stuff.

Poll Options expired

  • 47
    Compensation - Refund of full amount
  • 41
    Compensation - Refund of partial amount
  • 98
    No Compensation but apology
  • 8
    Don't worry about complaining - Go straight to (insert authoritative body)
  • 21
    Don't worry about complaining - such is life

Related Stores

Costco Wholesale
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closed Comments

  • +12

    Seems like you don't have much losses. You can go back and ask for a refund and/or your costs at JAX.

    But "could have had an accident" means as much as "could have won the lotto" in money terms.

  • Good luck getting anything after a month.

  • You can ask for anything; what Costco will offer you in return is up to them.
    What are your expectations?

    PS: You might want to edit the title of this post.

    • -1

      My expectations is for them to learn from this…

      I'm more tempted to go straight to the (I don't know what Auth Body) and complain there.

      I don't really need the money. A large fine might make them learn from this?

      I thought this was pretty serious…

      • +3

        Unfortunately I don't think they will learn from this incident.
        Mistakes happen; they can be minimised by the use of processes or checklists.

        I don't think there would be a fine applied by any regulatory body either.

      • +3

        Its been a month. Whats to say you, your wife or anothet didnt loosen the bolts. You cannot (unfortunately) blame costco for this. Anything/one could have done this. Be grateful and move on.

        • Yep moving on ~ I feel as though I shouldn't have put the words "Compensation" in the title….

          I know its common sense for alot of the OzB people in here to "check your torque" after installation, but I'm not sure it's on the same car list as "Oh you're meant to keep your tyres inflated" checked.

          Maybe it is ~ and I've just never learnt that this was a "necessary" step.

          I'll rack it up to my inexperience with cars and add it to my monthly checklist

          You live, you learn.

          • @blehgg: Doesn’t need to be done monthly. It would be fine to check them each time you get it serviced and/or if they rotate the wheels and then about a week or two afterwards as a re-check.

            • @pegaxs: Thanks dude ~

              Will keep it in mind from now on :)

  • +2

    I don't think "what if" is a strong legal argument.

    • +2

      But what if it is??

  • +3

    Likely Outcome: Accident

    Have you tried to stop driving it? That might change the outcome.

    Anyway, call them and speak to them first. Speak to a manager and be reasonable. Don't go off the handle or make demands that are unreasonable, like wanting a whole new car or to not pay for all your tyres.

    At best you would be looking at having the car repaired. You will need to have it assessed for damage. Loose wheel nuts can cause damage to the seating faces on the wheel and the hub (more so the wheel). If there is damage, ask them to make good on it and have the damage paid for.

    Or, you know, just play that "I NeEdz mAh CoMpEnSaTiOnZ" card and go all Karen on them and see how it goes.

    • -1

      Likely Outcome: Accident

      Yes - I did ~ Only felt it yesterday ~ hence stopped immediately and took it into JAX

      I don't really care about the money ~ I just dont want it not to happen again to anyone else…

      • The only way to guarantee it won't happen again is to buy a breaker bar/tension wrench and a socket from Supercheap and check them yourself after the tyres have been changed.

        Plenty of great videos on YouTube to teach you how to torque up your wheel nuts and would take literally 30 seconds per wheel.

        • -1

          Shouldnt the organisation put procedures in place to make sure this doesnt happen?

          Making sure a tyre is on properly shouldnt be up to the guy buying the tyre and paying for it to be fitted…

          Editted main - wife would not have noticed…

          • +1

            @blehgg: They already do have procedures in place, but unfortunately, the people working on your car are humans, not robots.

            And you are right, it shouldn't be up to the buyer, but again, see rule number one, your car is worked on by humans, and humans can and do make mistakes. If you want to eliminate the probability of it ever happening again, buy some tools to check their work.

            You are trying to make it sound like they left every wheel loose on your car and every other car they have ever worked on and that simply isn't the case.

            Considering the amount of wheels, wheel nuts and tyres they do a day, I would say it was more likely an isolated event than a regular occurrence.

            • -1

              @pegaxs: Sorry I probably didn't explain clear enough.

              JAX dude said:

              Every nut was only tightened by hand. There was one wheel that was done so loosely it was about to come off.

              • @blehgg: And I bet the guy who did it has already either been fired for turning out shitty work or had their arse chewed off and given a written warning over it. Or have you not even called the Costco manager?

                What did they say they would do to rectify the issue if you have already "spoken to the manager"? And how does this differ from what you are seeking?

                • @pegaxs: OzBargain was the first layer of management, I've talked to :)

                  Shaking happened yesterday
                  Took it into Jax this morning
                  Got phone call from JAX right before I posted this.

                  1) I'm seeking people's views while I sit at work of whether this was a "serious" issue
                  2) I'm seeking people's view what others would do in this situation
                  3) I'm seeking a way for it to not happen to anyone else.

                  • +1

                    @blehgg: Straight to OzBargain… :D

                    1) Most definitely a serious issue, but I would take it up with the Costco service manager before I took it up with OzB. And then, if the manager is a douche canoe, take it up with Australia's foremost insurance and traffic infringement website.

                    2) Call the Costco manager would have been my first guess. Start there and then get on the CEO's copy of your letter.

                    3) by buying your own tools or taking it to a workshop that only employs robots. They will "say" that they will investigate and adjust procedures, but then employ a $12/h monkey to change tyres and the cycle repeats itself…

                    • -1

                      @pegaxs: I would have done the call already.

                      Problem is that all transaction doco + costco info is in the car @ JAX :)

                      @point #3 ~ [buy your own tools ] -> searching OzBargain now ;)

                      • +1

                        @blehgg: 1/2 inch drive torque wrench (Something like this)

                        1/2 inch drive deep socket to fit your wheel nuts (Something like this. Just make sure it fits your nuts.)

                        And wait for a 15~30% off sale to come up. And while you wait…

                        Watch a how to torque wheel nuts video (Even OzBargain's favourite idiot has a video on this topic)

                        And then get your torque settings right, adjust your tension wrench and go for your life. (And make sure if you are using Nm that you don't select lbf-ft or vice versa.)

                        Don't rely on $12/h monkeys when it comes the the safety of your car.

                      • +1

                        @blehgg: Point 3: there should be a wheel brace in the car kit, with the jack. 1st find it, then work out which bit tightens the wheel nuts and give them all a tighten.

                        This will also give you some insight into how to change a wheel if you get a flat. Changing yourself will be quicker than calling for assistance nine or of ten times.

                        • @Euphemistic: I can change a tire. Just never thought to check the nuts… its not something I expected to not be done right.

                          • +1

                            @blehgg: Fair enough. Sounded like you had no idea about cars, but may have read it wrong.

                            FWIW I don’t often check my wheel nuts either, but do occasionally rotate the wheels so do the nuts up myself at those times.

          • @blehgg: They do, at least at Costco VIC.. as part of the service you are meant to return to Costco after 1000km for a wheel but tension.

            Was this step not included as I find it odd it would differ between Costco stores.

      • +1

        It's going to happen to someone else. People f up.

  • +1

    Have you spoken to the Service Manager at Costco about it? tell them exactly what you said here. Tyres changed; noises; Jax; loose nuts.

    Was there any damage to the wheel studs, nut face or wheel stud holes?

    And no, you shouldn't have to check the nuts for tightness but better safe than sorry. Also, i undo then retighten so that i know I can undo them later.

    Source: I worked in retail tyres for years. Fitters aren't the brightest sparks in the fire. I had to deal with this issue several times including wheels falling off.

    • At work - so still processing this situation.

      Will call after I get the car when I get more info from JAX.

      Was there any damage to the wheel studs, nut face or wheel stud holes?
      - No idea… of what this list is (I'll ask the JAX guy when I get the car this arvo)

      • mate, I added a bit to my post.

        I had a wheel fall off once on a road test. I was doing 80kph. I'm not a violent person usually. I was so enraged I punched the fitter. It was a mistake because the boss said "I can't sack him because you belted him" silly me.

    • +1

      | Check the nuts for tightness but better safe than sorry

      Today's lesson

  • +1

    2) About a month later - one of the front tyres starts making a repetitive thudding noise - no flats etc

    Thats not good.

    3) Took it into JAX which found the tyres nuts had been put on by hand / one of the wheels were about to fall off

    Why didn't you take it back to Costco?


    Nope, you have suffered no loss, no damages, you also didn't give them a chance to correct the issue either.

    Move on.

    • Why didn't you take it back to Costco?

      • Didn't want to drive the 30Ks out to Costco Ipswich. I stopped the car immediately when it started vibrating (shortly after leaving home) and went back home.
      • Fair enough.

  • There is no issue on what tool costco uses - torque wrench or impact wrench / air gun both can be used.

    The issue is the loose bots .

    Just dont go off on a tangent to costco about tools used and hand tightened because people hand tighten bolts and even prefer it to the impact wrench and a gun with bad settings could cause the exact same issue .

    • +1

      I think the OP means finger tight - ie: they forgot to use any tool or just nipped it up to the hub and forgot to do the final star pattern tighten.

  • Had this happen once before. Noticed a wheel nut missing from one wheel shortly after getting new tyres. Checked and found others loose.

    Tightened them up myself, took it back to supplier to get a replacement nut, they checked all the others. They said sorry, carried on with my life.

    Wheel nuts on cars will loosen on one side of the car and tighten on the other due to the motion of the wheel. If not tightened, the wheel will fall off eventually.

    If you have incurred no additional costs why do you need compensation? Just get it fixed, and get on with it, it is not a common problem as rattle guns are easy to use when fitting wheels and tyre shops don’t want to cause customers wheels to fall off. Definitely let the suppplier know what happened though.

    • Valiants had reverse thread nuts on the RHS(??) for this reason. It's a nice engineering theory but in practice was overkill.

      • I found that out the hard way!

        • Saw an apprentice find it out the hard way, on a Nissan Urvan I think it was. Snapped almost all the studs on one side of the car getting the wheels off. I went over when I saw what he was doing and showed him all about left hand threads.

  • You don't own a mazda 3 do you "Selected variants of Mazda's latest 3 hatch recalled to rectify a manufacturing flaw which could result in loose wheel nuts. "

    my point being there could be external factors here. Could someone have attempted to steal the wheels and been disturbed ? lots of things "could" be the problem.

    • nah subaru

      • my point being there could be external factors here. Could someone have attempted to steal the wheels and been disturbed ? lots of things "could" be the problem.

        • fair enough ~

          But logically - if someone goes to the effort of loosening all the nuts and not taking the wheel or the nuts themselves…

          Someone hates me and wants to kill me…?

          • @blehgg: I think you should update your post to this haha

  • Someone could have loosened the nuts. Someone includes you.

    Unless you can prove that it was the installer, you're out of luck.

    I actually don't think it was the installer, could have been someone vandalizing. The tyre places don't put the nuts on by hand. They'd have a torque limited driver to fasten em. Either the nut was on or it was completely off.

    (Of course exceptions apply but that would be a remote possibility and hard to prove.)

    • The tyre places don't put the nuts on by hand

      Err they are normally started by hand to ensure they don't cross thread them.

      Unless you can prove that it was the installer, you're out of luck.

      Agreed and even if you could prove the installer left them loose, then what? OP suffered no loss, so nothing really to compensate other than possibility the bill to tighten one wheel, if the OP even got slugged for that one.

      • i dont really want the compensation ~ though my uber trips added up to $30 ~

        I want it to not happen to anyone else, like when you get a speeding fine and it makes you drive slower.

      • Err they are normally started by hand to ensure they don't cross thread them.

        Not if they have made skills.

        Just kidding. I know they start it by hand but they normally have cordless drivers permanently attached to their right hand.

    • based on my experience in the trade, it was the installer.

  • +2

    likely outcome when you call them….

    I don't appreciate my life being put at risk, I was told by another tyre shop that they think that all the nuts on the tyres were put on by hand and one wheel almost fell off..

    thank you for informing us, and will let all team members know of the observation you have made to ensure it wont happen again. we appreciate your feed back.

    Urmmm..can I get a refund


    • yea that's what I'm thinking….

      • Depending on their customer service levels they may offer a token service like a free alignment or rotation to try to keep you coming back. They may not be aware that often customers who make a complaint such as yours will never again enter the premises.

  • Compensation for what? What loss have you incurred? Even in theory only, you'd only be entitled to compensation for the cost of the Jax people rectifying the issue.

    At best, you'll get an apology and a free wheel alignment (or similar). There's no magical windfall coming your way here.

    • +1

      Say hypothetically - you're in the situation.

      You bought the tyres, your partner is ditzy doesn't notice.

      Tyre comes off, accident occurs - people get injured.

      Wouldn't you want it not happen again?

      I don't really want the compensation - as per most of my responses. I want it to not happen to anyone else because I think its a serious issue which could have potentially caused an accident or worse.

      Time = loss
      Uber costs = loss

      Neither do I want back. I want them to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.

      • By all means refer the matter in whatever way you see fit and see whatever outcome you want/can get.

        But when the headline of your post literally states "Compensation?" that will be one of the things people address.

        On the hypothetical … if someone has done a job that directly causes damage and injury in the way you've described, whether or not this might happen to someone else is, frankly, about the last thing I'll be worried about. I'll be worried about the situation I've found myself in and how I'm going to get myself out of it.

        • Yea ~ compensation was probably the wrong term.

          Financial penalty? I don't know how to word it….

          but ~ let's just say - your car gets total due to it ~ and no-one is injured.

          • +1

            @blehgg: If your car gets totalled you have suffered loss (the value of your car). Notwithstanding all other circumstances you may have a claim for compensation.

            If somebody did something/didn't do something that might have led to you incurring a loss, you have no claim for compensation as no loss was incurred (other than the costs of rectifying the issue).

            Please be aware that in the second case, once you become aware there is an issue/potential issue, you must take reasonable steps to have it addressed. If you do not do this, i.e. you simply allow the issue to persist and then an accident occurs that is attributable to the issue, any claim you may have for compensation may be lessened. Indeed, you may even find yourself in a worse position as you have knowingly operated a vehicle with a potential safety issue.

  • +2
    • Glad you pulled over, got it looked at by experts and avoided damage and accident.
    • Glad you got the nuts tightened and wheels inspected for other loose nuts.

    • You are NOT entitled to huge compensation, however, if you approach Costco with an invoice from Jax for the cost of tightened nuts etc (if Jax actually charged you) Jax are pretty good with helpful things like that. Costco possibly may reimburse you that amount

    • As a former tyre fitter way back in the 80s with Beaurepaires I got sacked for not tightening the nuts on a v dub, However, we were rushed and doing multiple cars, I started the job hand tightened the nuts on all four wheels ready to ratchet them on and was pulled off that job.| Another fitter was to complete didn't check with me were they tightened and released the car to customer.

    A wheel fell off down the road . after ripping the boss a new one I was reinstated and the other fitter sacked Just saying don't jump to conclusions the fitter that started the job is responsible in all cases:)

  • +1

    Here's my 2 cents: Ask to speak to the warehouse manager and let them know what's happened so it doesn't happen again. If you're really adamant about the refund for the expenses from JAX, keep fighting it and eventually they just want you to go away and will provide you with a cheque in the mail. Why a cheque? Because it is a manual adjustment on their end and not related to anything you purchased on your membership card. Anyway, good luck and hope that helps.

  • +2

    All wheel nuts tightened by hand?

    Drove for a month before noticed?

    I call BS.

    • it didn't start vibrating or making noises till yesterday….

      I have nothing to gain from lying.

      That's what JAX guys said & I'm in no position to question him.

  • +1

    Didn't say you were lying.

    Just saying if the nuts were finger tight the wheels wouldn't stay on for a month. Be lucky to be a day.

    • I don't agree…

  • Whenever i get new tyre's on pickup i insist that they loosen the wheelnuts by hand and retighten them by hand in front of me. This prevents you getting stuck with a flat tyre and wheelnuts you can't loosen and also checks if they are tight.

    • I’d rather have wheels I know aren’t going anywhere as the rattle gun has put them on tight AF. I pay money for roadside assistance and old mate can change the tyre while I do something more worthwhile with my time. And yes I’ve changed many tyres by hand myself in my day.

      • +1

        That'll stretch your studs and make them brittle mate. Then the next time u go and take a nut off it'll snap, won't happen straight away but if it gets constantly over torqued you'll be getting a phone call from some poor bloke trying to take your rims off.
        And by the way some rattle runs are torque limited so best to be diligent.

      • 130nm tightened in a star pattern is all you need on a 12-14mm stud. It's bugger all but doesn't move if the stud and nut haven't been distorted already and some idiot hasn't coated everything in grease.

  • Maybe you misheard what was said?

    The guy could have said your wife has your nuts in her hand

    Just exploring all options

    • Yea ~ I don't mind this most of the time.

  • No continuity a month later. Hope the business accepts zero responsibility.

    • We have 1 year warranty on everything in australia… why not one month?

  • +1

    this happens more often than you'd believe.

    as a rule of thumb i always check wheel nuts after any work has been done on the car

  • what does the ars handbook say about weekly, monthly, annual maintenance checks? if it suggests wheel nut to be checked monthly, you have the responsibility. wheel dont just "come loose" after a month, if they put them on finger tight you would barely make it out of the driveway.

    • Yea ~ but for your average joe ~ I think its something we take for granted ~ I'm sure it wouldn't be weekly. I service as per log book. Pump the tires every 2 weeks. I'll dig it out of the user manual tonight.

      "wheel dont just "come loose" after a month" -

      Apparently it happens quite a bit based on the car forums (but what do I know)

      Finger tight was what the JAX guy said ~ or something to that affect. Based on what I've read it might have been because of over/under torquing?

  • Why don't you grab your hand book from out the glove box and turn to "Tyre Fitting" instructions.
    If they look too confusing, I suggest you enrolling at your local TAFE and do a BASIC automotive coarse.
    You are the one placing your self and wife in danger by not knowing how to change a simple tyre.
    What would happen if you were stranded beyond mobile coverage with a flat tyre… who are you going to sue then?
    There are only two ways a NUT goes on a BOLT… left is loosen off, right is tighten up.
    Multiple choice: Which way in order to tighten a loose nut: A: Left B: Right
    You are sniffing every crevice of life seeking the easy way out… go and get an education.

    • you didn't read the post did you?

      I know how to change a tire. Checking the nuts didn't cross my mind because its not something I expect to be done incorrectly.

      It's like checking the falls of bathroom floor during a reno done by a builder. It's meant to be done right.

      jeez ~ we got some angry people on here. Not everyone is a mechanic…

      Maybe we should organise a poll ~ "Who in OzB actually checks the torque on their wheels after a new tyre installation OR who in OZB checks their wheels on a monthly basis?"