Sharpen Your Toolbox: Avoiding Problems with Vehicle Repairs
If you own a vehicle inevitably you will face the tasks of having it maintained and repaired. There are repair shops that do good work in an honest manner for a reasonable price. Hopefully one of these shops will handle your vehicle repairs. However, some repair facilities are less than professional and may add to your frustration by ripping you off! Car repair fraud takes place when the body shop installs used parts or recycled parts, but charges the customer for new parts. Consumers are often oblivious as to whether the parts were necessary or whether services were actually performed. Unfortunately, there are other ways that you can be victimized when you take your vehicle to the shop for repairs. To arm yourself with knowledge before taking your vehicle for maintenance and repairs read the following article from Edmunds.com: http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/avoid-getting-ripped-off-on-repairs-and-maintenance.html?articleid=103634.
The North Carolina Motor Vehicle Repair Act provides consumers certain valuable rights when having their vehicles repaired. You should review the Act and obtain a working knowledge of the major provisions which include the right to a written estimate when the repairs will exceed $350.00. If the repair facility charges to prepare an estimate, you have the right to decline an estimate. If you authorize the repair, the repair facility cannot charge you more than 10% beyond the written estimate plus any amounts that you have authorized beyond the written estimate. The facility cannot refuse to give you your vehicle for refusing to pay more than this amount. Upon completion of the repair, the facility must provide you with an invoice describing the work that was done, itemizing labor, parts, and merchandise and their costs (unless covered under service agreement or warranty), and identifying any replacement part as being used, rebuilt, or reconditioned. You have several other important rights regarding vehicle repair and, if you have to go to court to protect these rights, you may be entitled to recover your attorneys’ fees in addition to your actual damages.
An experienced lawyer can help you investigate and address your vehicle repair issues. If you believe you have been taken advantage of by a motor vehicle repair facility, garage, body shop, or similar facility contact Attorney John O’Neal of the O’Neal Law Office (336-510-7904) to arrange a free consultation.