Secretary of State
It may be necessary for a repair facility to perform labor or install parts in addition to what was listed in the original written estimate. The following steps must be followed:
When a facility obtains verbal approval for added parts or labor, the facility should document the authorization in its work order. It is important to be consistent in obtaining authorizations. The following information is suggested:
Diagnostic analyzers are often used to determine the need for motor vehicle repairs. It is the repair facility's responsibility to ensure that analyzers are functioning properly and diagnose repairs correctly. Customers have a right to expect that mechanics and repair facilities are able to use equipment and tools correctly in the course of their work, regardless of sophistication.
The Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act obligates mechanics and repair facilities when an incorrect diagnosis results in unnecessary repairs or a failure to solve the needed repairs. A miscalibrated or malfunctioning analyzer does not relieve the mechanic or repair facility of liability when unnecessary or faulty repairs are performed.
A repair facility may not be equipped to perform a particular repair and, therefore, may contract with another repair shop to perform needed work. A repair facility which actually performs the sublet repairs should treat the other facility the same way any other customer is treated.
The sublet shop must comply with the basic provisions of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act and provide written estimates, invoices, return of replaced parts, etc., just like the repair facility contracting for repairs.
When the vehicle is sublet to another repair facility for major repairs, the second repair facility must:
When a major part, such as an engine or transmission, is sublet to another repair facility for repairs, the following is necessary:
Unfair and Deceptive Practices
The Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act provides that a motor vehicle repair facility or mechanic cannot engage or attempt to engage in a method, act or practice which is unfair or deceptive (MCL 257.1307).
Every repair facility owner or manager should be familiar with the entire "Unfair and Deceptive Practices" portion of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act and the Administrative Rules. These laws require repair facilities to be fair and honest with customers. One of the goals of the Department of State is to make information available online. Copies of the Administrative Rules can be downloaded and copied by going to www.michigan.gov/sos under Services to Businesses, Auto Repair Facilities and Mechanics.
Some of the unfair and deceptive practices identified in the Rules are: