Most mechanics aren’t looking to deceive people. But there are a few out there who are. Fortunately, laws exist to help consumers.
Car Repairs and Consumer Rights/Responsibilities
For instance, several states require mechanics to give their customers written cost estimates before beginning any repair work. The final price cannot exceed the estimate by more than a certain percentage.
Repair shops may also charge a fee for estimates, since some customers might shop around and end up not bringing their cars to their facility. Customers must be told up front about such fees.
If you decide you’re not going to pay for work performed, the repair shop may be legally entitled to keep your car. The owner can acquire a mechanic’s lien, provided he/she is in compliance with all laws pertaining to estimates. Ultimately, the shop can sell your car—a rare occurrence, but possible.
All states, including Alaska, have laws that address consumer protection against unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP), though they vary from state to state. Repair shops are commonly required to disclose specific information to customers, such as details of the pre-work estimate and whether rebuilt parts are going to be used. UDAP laws may require same-day repairs where reasonable, free repairs on work that was botched by the shop originally, and price lists that are clear to customers.
Unauthorized repair work is sometimes a point of disagreement. If a repair shop sees something unrelated to the original repair, they should call you. If the mechanic makes an unauthorized repair and demands payment, it might be time to contact an auto mechanic liability attorney.
You Need an Attorney
When you have injuries resulting from a vehicle accident, you need professional representation by an attorney with the experience necessary to win your case. You need a lawyer who you can have full confidence in. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.