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Auto Repair Shop Inspections

December 3rd, 2007 by flanews

State inspectors are hitting the streets, to make sure you’re getting what you pay for when you take your car in for repairs. As Chris Casquejo tells us, the laws that govern repair shops are clear.

Hear it Here: Auto Shop Inspections

State inspector Rick Strong visited five auto repair shops. Four were okay. At the fifth, he laid down the law.

“You can say something to the effect that all parts are new unless otherwise specified,” Strong said.

Mike Twomey didn’t have a place on his invoices to show whether his mechanics were using new or used parts. He was hit with a 300 dollar fine.

When your car breaks down and you have to take it in, make sure to get a written estimate for any work more than 100 dollars.

Inspector Strong says even the smallest violations have to be enforced.

“They could tell you they’re going to charge $100 for something,” he said. “And when you get back, it could be $1,000.”

Florida’s Motor Vehicle Repair law also allows you to look at or take home any parts that are replaced. Shop owner Twomey took the surprise inspection in stride.

“People don’t want to spend money on their cars,” Twomey said. “When they come in, they’re in a bad mood, their car is broke. They want a good experience with a car shop.”

Twomey’s bottom line took a hit, but now he knows the law. He planned to mail his $300 check to the state as soon as possible.

To file a complaint against a repair shop, you can call the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA.

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