You're absolutely right to be sceptical. When you're ignition tumblers begin to fail (Doesn't happen often), they'll show signs of sticking, looseness, and other troubles a little at a time, not all at once. (Though the ignition switch can fail to start the car all of a sudden due to bad contacts, etc.)
And yes, if someone at their shop accidentally got another customer's keys mixed up with yours, and they forced them into your lock, your tumblers could've been bent. But unfortunately, that's impossible to prove unless one of their techs admitts to it. (Unlikely)
So basically, you'll have to chalk this one up as a loss. But spread the word, and make sure none of your friends, familly, etc, ever does business with these people. (I really, really, really HATE dishonest mechanics, because they make us all look bad!)
Sorry, and if you need help with changing out your ignition lock/switch, don't hesitate to write!
Monday, February 22nd, 2010 AT 7:34 PM