Missouri Collision Repair Laws and Regulations
Posted in Lawsuit on May 7, 2019
As a consumer, you have the right to a safely repaired vehicle. In the Missouri Revised Statutes, the Merchandising Practices Act prohibits any mechanic from misleading their clients or taking part in deceptive repair practices. This Act gives you back up if you feel as if your mechanic has intentionally tried to dupe or evade you in some way.
After a car accident or collision, you can choose a repair facility yourself or use your insurance company’s recommended site. In either situation, visit the repair shop and verify that it is refutable. You can speak to the mechanics if you feel that it would give you a clearer idea of whether they are trustworthy. Moreover, you dictate the parts that a mechanic puts into your vehicle. Before touching your car, a mechanic will verify the parts of the car that need to be replaced. You can ask about the new parts and even for insurance-covered alternatives.
Interacting With a Mechanic
Before going to a repair shop, pay close attention to the different parts of your car that are damaged. In the collision, you should have taken note as to what damage your car sustained. However, not all damage is visible. Keep in mind how the car drives, knowing that you will need to describe these issues to your mechanic. At the shop, there are several tips you can follow to ensure effective communication.
- Be Specific – Communicate to your mechanic about your car’s damage and abnormal behaviors. Let them know about any past repairs on your vehicle.
- Listen/Take Notes – If you don’t understand what the mechanic is saying about your car, listen anyway. Pay attention to what you do understand and write down anything you don’t – you can ask the mechanic about these details.
- Ask Questions – If you find yourself not understanding what the mechanic is saying, use your notes and ask to go through each point for clarification. Do not be afraid to ask why-centered questions, like why certain parts are needed, if there are options for those parts, or how it impacts the running of the car.
- Get an Estimate – Ask for a written estimate of the necessary repairs. Be clear that you wish to be called for authorization before changing any aspect of the repair plan.
- Keep Old Parts – You can ask to keep your car’s old parts. This is up to you, but keeping old car parts is a good idea if you have reason to believe that the mechanic is doing unnecessary work. In some cases, if a mechanic wishes to keep certain parts, you could receive credit for them. Notify the mechanic that you wish to keep your car’s parts before the repair begins – have this request written on the repair order.
It can be difficult to keep emotions under wraps when something as costly and important as your vehicle is in question. Avoiding arguments first through effective communication in the beginning is crucial, but you should also be familiar with your insurance policy and what it covers. For example, you some insurance providers give you the right to choose original parts for your vehicle from its manufacturer. A mechanic might argue that the brand they use is reliable and even better than what you want. In scenarios where you may feel like a mechanic is strong-arming you, simply communicate what your policy covers and state your choice within this coverage, as the vehicle’s owner. There does not have to be any further discussion outside of establishing what your insurance covers and what you choose.
Avoiding disputes also comes with being extremely thorough in what is written on the repair order. Look over the order and determine if the required labor, parts, and services are all listed on the order, along with your request for old parts if applicable. If the shop has a warranty, make sure that is also on the repair order. The order is written proof that you can take back to the original mechanic if you feel that the work they completed does not reflect what was agreed upon. If you identify the discrepancies between your work order and the work done, you can take legal action.
Understanding what you can control
in a car-repair scenario is important. Asking questions and requesting written
proof on your work order are part of your consumer rights.