Is a repair facility required to disclose a reassembly charge on the written estimate?

Agency: State

Sometimes a repair facility will give an estimate for "diagnosis" or "inspection." Every estimate of diagnosis, inspection, etc., must include the repair facility's cost of reassembling the vehicle in case the customer does not authorize the actual repairs. For example, a customer with a front wheel drive car complains about a noise in the vehicle, and the repair facility gives an estimate of $53 for diagnosis. Then, when the repair facility telephones the customer to quote a price of $285 to replace the drive axle, the customer says, "No, don't do the repairs." The repair facility must reassemble the vehicle and return it to the customer within the original estimate of $53.

Occasionally, a repair facility gives an original estimate to do an actual repair, and discovers, after starting the job, that more extensive repairs not originally expected are necessary. When the repair facility telephones the customer with this news, the customer may say, "Stop where you are and put the car back together." The repair facility may then inform the customer that there will be a charge for the work performed to that point plus a charge for the work necessary to reassemble the vehicle. This must be a "reasonable" charge. A charge approaching or exceeding the original estimate would normally be considered unreasonable (MCL 257.1332).




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