Wednesday, December 7, 2016

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: You Have the Right to a Written Auto Repair Invoice in Ohio

I recently had a car dealer tell me that their service department is so busy that they just don't have time to write out service invoices for vehicles that they repair.  In fact, the dealer went on to tell me that it was actually their practice NOT to document any repairs that they perform.

I was blown away.

In Ohio, when you take your car in for repairs or services of any kind, the Motor Vehicle Repairs and Services Rule, OAC 109:4-3-13, requires that the repair shop to document any repairs or services in writing.  Specifically, OAC 109:4-3-13(A)(12) makes it a deceptive act and a violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, RC 1345.01 et seq for a repair shop to fail to provide a consumer with a written itemized list of repairs performed or services rendered in any consumer transaction involving the performance of any repair or service upon a motor vehicle.

So, if you have your car repaired or service, and the repair shop refuses to give you a written
list of repairs that they performed or services that they rendered, the repair shop is violating Ohio law.

What can you do?  One option is to report the violation to the Ohio Attorney General, or to the Better Business Bureau.  Click here to access the Ohio Attorney General's Online Complaint.  Click here to access the Dayton Better Business Bureau website.  If you are somewhere else in Ohio, click on change your location, and you can get to your local Better Business Bureau website.

Why is it important?  Documented repairs are extremely important.  If you end up in a dispute with the dealership or the auto manufacturer about your car, the written repair invoice will be your evidence that the repairs or services occurred.  If you end up having a dispute with the manufacturer and they demand oil change receipts from you as a prerequisite to warranty coverage for the repair, written invoices of all oil change services will also be essential.  Documented repairs are important for a host of other reasons, too.

So, know your rights.  And, if a repair shop refuses to give you a written invoice documenting repairs or services performed to your car, tell them that they are required to do so under Ohio law!

Beth Wells

Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 12 Years Running

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