The Automotive Repair Act requires auto repair shops are required to make specific disclosures to consumers and prohibits certain unlawful practices.
NOTE: The law does not apply to repairs resulting from collisions, repairs under $100, or retail merchandise installed at a customer's request for a firm price where there is no diagnosis.
Before performing any repair work, repair shops must provide the consumer with a written estimate. Among other items, the estimate must include:
Required Consumers' Rights
As a consumer, you have a right to a written estimate. It can be either:
NOTE: Consumers may waive their right to an estimate. They may also authorize the shop to perform certain repairs at total costs not to exceed a certain dollar amount.
A repair shop must provide a copy of the invoice to the consumer. Invoices shall indicate:
The Automotive Repair Act prohibits facilities from asserting lien charges for any unauthorized repairs.
Payment Upon Pick-Up
Consumers may remove a vehicle from a facility upon paying for labor actually performed, parts actually installed, parts ordered specifically for consumer's car IF parts cannot be returned, and storage charges if disclosed to the consumer prior to repairs.
Auto repair shops must post customers' rights in a visible location. Remember, you are entitled by law to:
NOTE: If you have authorized repairs in accordance with the above, you must pay for the repair costs prior to driving away from the premises.
If a consumer leaves a vehicle for repair before the shop opens, the facility must:
If the shop finds the total price will exceed the estimated price because of unforseen circumstances, it must obtain the consumer's oral or written consent to proceed with repairs. When a consumer authorizes the shop to proceed with repairs over the telephone, the shop must note the date, time, name of person authorizing the service, the consumer's telephone number, and any additional costs on the estimate or invoice.