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Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Motor Vehicle Repairs Powerpoints

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Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Motor Vehicle Repairs Powerpoints

Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Motor Vehicle Repairs Powerpoints


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  • 1. To view this presentation as a webinar with sound visit CLEONet http://www.cleonet.ca/legal_education_webinar_archive CLEONet is a web site of legal information for community workers and advocates who work with low-income and disadvantaged communities in Ontario. www.cleonet.ca
  • 2. About our presenter… Margaret Capes, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B., M.Ad.Ed, is Legal Education Coordinator of Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.  She also acts as Review Counsel for Community Legal Services, as an adjunct professor in the clinical law program, and as faculty advisor for Pro Bono Students Canada and the Dispute Resolution Centre, all at the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario. She is the former Executive Director of Community Legal Assistance Sarnia.
  • 3. Hot Topics in Consumer Protection: Motor Vehicle Repairs
  • 4. Webinar Overview
    • The Law Governing Motor Vehicle Repairs: the Consumer Protection Act, 2002
    • Consumer Rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 :
        • Posting of Informational Signs
        • Estimates
        • Authorization of Repairs
        • Return of Parts
        • Warranties
        • Invoices
    • Disputes between Consumers and Mechanics:
        • Complaint to the Mechanic
        • Complaint to Ministry of Consumer Services
        • Consequences of Withholding Payment
    • Final Questions and Comments
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 5. The Consumer Protection Act, 2002 and Motor Vehicle Repairs
    • Motor vehicle repairs are a matter of provincial law
    • In Ontario, the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 is the governing law that protects consumers
    • The CPA covers anyone who repairs motor vehicles, including:
      • motor vehicle dealerships with repair facilities;
      • neighbourhood garages;
      • used-car lots that do repairs, and
      • muffler shops.
    • Motor vehicle repairs are the third most common source of complaints to the Ministry of Consumer Services.
    • The Ministry has prepared a brochure that is available on its website: “What You Need to Know About Motor Vehicle Repairs”
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 6. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Informational Signs
    • Vehicle repairers must prominently post easy to read and understand signs that contain the following information:
      • That the repairer is required to provide an estimate;
      • Whether there is a fee for an estimate, and the amount of any fee;
      • That the estimate fee will not be charged if the consumer waives the estimate, authorizes the repairs, and the repairer carries out the repairs;
      • The hourly labour rate, any flat-rate charges that may be applied, and any charges for diagnostic time;
      • Whether the repairer receives a commission for parts sold;
      • Any other fees that the consumer may be charged, such as for storage, delivery of the vehicle, rental vehicles, etc.; and
      • That the consumer is entitled to the old parts unless one of the exceptions is applicable.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 7. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Estimates
    • The Act requires that a written estimate be given to the consumer before any work can be done on a vehicle and charged to the consumer, unless:
      • The consumer declines an estimate when offered; or
      • The consumer specifies the maximum amount s/he will pay for the necessary repairs and the cost charged does not exceed that maximum.
      • A motor vehicle repairer is permitted to charge a fee for the cost estimate, so long as the consumer is told in advance of the fee and agrees to the charge before the estimate is completed. If the consumer wants to have the work completed and waives an estimate, the repairer may not charge an estimate fee.
      • If an estimate has been given to the consumer, the actual charge for the work cannot exceed the estimate by more than ten percent (10 %).
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnai-Lambton) Inc.
  • 8. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Authorization of Repairs
    • No repair work may be performed until authorized by the consumer.
      • Authorization may be oral (verbally) or written.
      • If the work is authorized verbally, the repairer must make note of:
        • the name of the person giving the authorization;
        • the date and time of the authorization; and
        • and the telephone number or other means by which the authorization was obtained.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 9. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Return of Parts
    • A person performing a motor vehicle repair must offer to return any parts that have been replaced, unless:
      • the parts are being replaced free of charge, or
      • the parts are covered under the vehicle warranty.
    • The purpose of this requirement is to give the consumer the ability to verify that the part(s) actually needed replacing.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 10. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Warranties
    • All new and reconditioned parts and the labour required to replace them must be warranted for 90 days or 5,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
    • The vehicle may be returned to the original shop for repair at no additional charge or if that is not feasible, to the closest available facility (with the original repairer responsible for the cost of repairs and reasonable towing charges incurred).
    • If the original shop refuses to repair, the consumer may take the vehicle elsewhere for a written assessment verifying that the original repairs were not properly completed.
    • The consumer is then in a position to take the matter back to the original repairer, or to file a complaint with the Ministry.
    • Exceptions to the statutory repair warranty:
      • Fluids, lights, tires, or batteries;
      • Parts that were not originally warranted by the manufacturer at the time the vehicle was sold new; and
      • Any vehicle part misused or abused by the consumer.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 11. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Invoices
    • The repairer’s invoice must contain information specified by the CPA, including:
      • The names of the consumer and the repairer, and contact information for both;
      • The make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle;
      • The dates of authorization for and completion of the repairs, and return of the vehicle to the consumer;
      • The odometer readings at the time the work was authorized and at the time it was completed;
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 12. Consumer Rights Under the CPA: Invoices, cont.
      • A description of the work performed, a list of the parts used and whether the parts were new or used;
      • The charge for each part, for all supplies, and the total labour charge and how it was computed;
      • The original estimate amount, or the maximum amount
      • authorized by the consumer; and
      • Any warranties for parts or labour, or if no warranties are provided, then details of the warranty automatically provided under the CPA, as well as specific wording that details the consumer’s rights under the CPA.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 13. Disputes Between Consumers and Mechanics: Complaint to the Mechanic
    • A consumer who is dissatisfied with the work performed should first discuss the matter with the repair shop.
    • If necessary, send a written letter outlining the specific complaint(s).
    • Keep a copy of the complaint letter and use a delivery method that can be verified: facsimile, registered mail, personal and receipted delivery.
    • If the complaint letter fails to produce the desired result, get a written assessment from another repair shop.
    • If that assessment indicates an error on the part of the original shop, write to the first shop, include this information, and ask for an adjustment to the repair bill.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 14. Disputes Between Consumers and Mechanics: Complaint to the Ministry of Consumer Services
    • If complaining to the repair shop doesn’t resolve the matter, the consumer should file a formal complaint with the Ministry.
    • The Ministry’s website has an online complaint form that is submitted via the internet.
    • The Ministry has investigative and remedial powers that include:
      • Ordering compliance with the CPA;
      • Prosecuting in Provincial Offences Court which can result in:
        • a fine of up to $50,000, or
        • imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day, or both (in the case of an individual), or
        • a fine of up to $250,000 (in the case of a corporation).
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 15. Disputes Between Consumers and Mechanics: Consequences of Withholding Payment
    • Under the Repair and Storage Liens Act , a repairer who has adhered to
    • the CPA when making the repairs can keep a vehicle for unpaid repairs.
    • The repairer may sell the vehicle after 60 days from the date on which the bill becomes due if the bill remains unpaid at that time.
    • In light of these rights, self-help in the form of withholding payment of the repair bill is not a recommended course of action.
    • If a consumer is dissatisfied and does not want to pay the bill, the Repair and Storage Liens Act gives them the right to make an application to Small Claims Court and tender full payment of the bill to the Court.
    • Upon payment to the Court, the repairer must release the vehicle to the consumer.
    • Each party then makes his or her case to the Court, which decides how much, if any, the repair shop should be paid.
    2010, Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc.
  • 16. This webinar was brought to you by CLEONet For more information visit the Consumer Law section of CLEONet at www.cleonet.ca For more legal information webinars visit: http://www.cleonet.ca/legal_education_webinars

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