Ever wonder what laws (if any) your auto mechanic is subject to in California?
Unfortunately, auto mechanics and automotive repair shops nationwide have gotten a bad rap for being untrustworthy shysters. Of course, as with any profession, there are some who aren’t exactly above board with all their practices, and some who are more concerned with making a buck than with their customers’ best interests.
At Coast Motor Werk, our number one aim is creating customers for life. We derive true pleasure out of maintaining, preserving, and extending the lifespan of all the BMWs we are privileged to work on. We are BMW owners, experts, and enthusiasts who have a passion for solving problems in the most efficient (and permanent!) way possible.
Everything we do is based on our 7 Core Values:
We know not everyone does business this way, and so we want you to educate yourself about the laws auto mechanics in California are required to follow. As they say, Knowledge is Power. So if you know the laws, you can hold your auto mechanic to them. And if you’re unhappy with their performance, you can report them and find a better one (ahem, Coast Motor Werk). Sorry, shameless plug. Had to do it.
California Laws for Auto Mechanics
Anyway, the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair (yes, that really exists) issued this:
It’s brief and easy to follow, so begin by taking a look at it. It’s a printable page, so print it out if you need to and give yourself a refresher course next time you take your car into the shop.
The guide provides some handy tips like these:
- Every auto repair shop must be registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).
- The shop must display a sign that advises customers of their rights (take a look at the guide to see what the sign looks like).
- Before doing any work, the shop must provide you with a written estimate. (You are entitled to take that estimate to another shop for a second opinion.)
- The estimate must include the total estimated price for parts and labor for a specified repair or service.
- The estimate must also itemize the parts to be used and the method of repair.
- The repair shop has to stick to the method of repair and the parts listed unless you agree in advance to any changes.
- If some of the work will be done at a different shop (e.g., windshield repair at an auto glass shop), it must be noted on the written estimate.
If your mechanic doesn’t follow the laws outlined in this guide, you can file a complaint with the BAR, and the guide tells you how to do that too.