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What can I do if I'm not happy with my car repairs?

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What can I do if I'm not happy with my car repairs?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

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What can I do if I'm not happy with my car repairs?
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Reviewed: 
December 31, 2016
Answer

What you can do depends on what the problem is.

Overcharged for work

You can complain or sue the repair shop if they overcharged you for the work they did. You have been overcharged if:

  • you have a written estimate and the repair shop charged you more than 10% above the estimate
  • the repair shop agreed to a maximum amount but charged you more than that
  • the repair shop charged you for work that you did not agree to

Badly done repairs or bad parts

All repair shops must provide a warranty for their parts and labour.

If you have problems with the quality of work or parts, you may be covered by a warranty. Most new and reconditioned parts are covered by a warranty for at least 90 days or 5,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. This is the minimum warranty required by law on most parts and labour.

The warranty should also include the labour to replace bad parts. But, the warranty does not have to cover:

  • fluids, lights, tires, or batteries
  • parts that were not under a warranty by the manufacturer when the car was new
  • parts that you have misused or abused after the repair was made

If anything goes wrong that is covered by a warranty, you can go back to the shop and ask for your money back. The shop can choose to fix or replace the part instead, but they cannot charge you more money to do that.

Your first step should always be to talk to the repair shop. Often you can solve problems by talking to them and explaining the situation.

Usually, the next step will be to send the repair shop a complaint letter. The letter should be short, clear, and explain the problem.

Always keep copies of all documents, receipts, estimates, and other information related to the repair. This is useful if you need to send a complaint letter, go to Small Claims Court, or make a complaint with the Ministry.

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