Getting your car fixed should not be an unhappy experience. Too many consumers expect to be fleeced when they bring their cars in for repairs. However, the Illinois Auto Repair Act provides some protections to consumers.
Generally, the Illinois Auto Repair Act requires that auto shops make certain disclosures and prohibits certain unlawful practices, according to the Illinois Attorney General.
Before starting work, an Illinois auto repair shop must give the customer a written disclosure. The estimate must include:
- Charges for parts, labor, and tests.
- A description of the parts used, and disclosure about whether they are are new or used.
- Disclosure about whether the repairs are required or suggested.
- Date, odometer reading, and length of time needed to repair vehicle (if more than one day).
- A statement discussing method for calculation of labor costs.
In addition, if you receive an itemized estimate separating parts and labor, then the auto repair shop cannot exceed that estimate by more than 10%.
All auto repair shops must post a sign in the shop that provides customers’ rights. The sign must be posted in a visible location and state that:
- Consumers have the right to the above-mentioned written estimate for repairs costing $100 or more.
- Consumers must authorize repairs which the exceed the labor and parts estimate by more than 10%.
- Consumers must authorize repairs if they leave a vehicle at a repair facility without face-to-face contact with a store worker.
Oftentimes, an auto repair shop will need to charge more for the repairs than the estimate because of unforeseen problems. In these cases, the shop must obtain the consumer’s oral or written consent to proceed with repairs.
Contact a Lawyer
If you believe that you are the victim of fraudulent auto repair practices, you should consider talking to an attorney. An attorney can help review your rights and help make a claim for damages.
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Auto Repair Act Protects Consumers in Illinois