"Anyway, if my assessment of the bill itemization is correct, it seems that they only owe you satisfaction on the throttle linkage problem. Although it is frustrating that they did not recognize the other problems, it would not seem that they owe you anything for that."
Actually, Larry, the bill was not as clear as I would like, but sufficiently itemized to deduce there was also an oil change, and also that there was no mischarging. Based on that, the full amount of the bill is accepted by the estate. Returning the vehicle for re-repair is not an option until the estate is settled - i.e. until the bills are paid, which involves a 4 mo. wait by CA law. At that time, liabilities are paid out based on the amount of funds in the estate, on a percentage basis.
I would LIKE to pay the bill sooner as a draw against the estate funds. However, if sufficient funds are then not available to pay the balance of the bills in full, and if the court decides paying the bill was not necessary to preserve the value of the estate, I would be personally liable to pay it back to the estate. No problem if my wife can keep the car, but if necessary, it would be sold at auction by the court to meet the estate obligations. Then I would have paid for a repair we did not contract for, on a car we did not own, out of my own pocket.
Regardless of the quality of work I feel the vehicle received, I don't like the position either I or the shop is in here. It would be so much simpler if the shop had required payment on delivery.