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What the law says about auto repairs

Most every vehicle owner will face repairs, but finding a trustworthy mechanic can be tricky. Sometimes, mechanics take shortcuts to save money which could be risky. Consumers in Towson, Maryland, should know the basics on legal issues concerning vehicle repairs.

Kinds of Repair Shops

Auto Chain Repair Shops: Auto chain repair shops tend to focus on one type of service, such as brakes or oil changes. Some auto repair chain stores could offer a full-service list. Auto chain shops usually cost less, since they work on more vehicles, and they are good for general maintenance.

Car Dealerships: Dealership mechanics often have knowledge of a variety of vehicle models. However, car dealerships usually cost more, and repairs may be restricted to warranty work.

General repair shops: General shops typically cost less, though the parts can be expensive. However, finding an honest general mechanic requires some review.

Estimates and Deceptive Practices

Many states set laws to keep the final estimate a certain percentage within the estimate. The mechanic may have to give an estimate before beginning repairs. It is legal in many states to charge for estimates, but the consumer must be told in advance.

All states have laws regarding unfair repair practices and deceptive tactics. These statutes may include posting clear costs of services, no predatory lending and making corrections of poor repairs at no charge.

Some mechanics make unauthorized repairs to get more money. In some cases, the repair may be in “good faith”, meaning the vehicle needed the extra repair to solve the original issue. Failure to install a needed part also counts as an unauthorized repair.

Not paying for repairs doesn’t resolve auto fraud & lemon law issues. Consumers should seek legal help if they feel they have been victim of auto repair fraud.