AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR COMPLAINTS

The following is summarized from "Taking the Scare Out of Auto Repair - An FTC Consumer Guide" posted on the State of Connecticut Attorney General's Office website: (www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=2066&Q=292356);and "What Everyone Needs to Know About Auto Repairs" fact sheet posted on the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website: (www.ct.gov/dcp/lib/dcp/pdf/auto2009.pdf).

STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS FOR AUTO DEALERS & REPAIR SHOPS

Connecticut law requires that motor vehicle dealers and repairers be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): (www.ct.gov/dmv/) The DMV’s Dealers and Repairers Division can tell consumers what dealers and repair shops are licensed and if there are any complaints pending against them. Before performing any work on a vehicle estimated to cost more than $50, dealers and repair shops are required to obtain authorization (oral or written consent) by the owner. This can include providing a diagnosis or estimate of the maximum cost of parts and labor needed to repair the vehicle. After vehicle repairs are completed, the owner is entitled to a written invoice or statement which itemizes the work done and parts supplied for the repair work. The law does not provide for the regulation of repair charges, but repairers must post their hourly labor rates at their places of business.

FILING A COMPLAINT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

People who believe that they have been deceived or misled on the condition or history of a vehicle by an automotive dealer or who believe that the dealer or manufacturer has failed to honor their warranty can file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP): www.ct.gov/dcp/ at the following address:

Department of Consumer Protection
Complaint Center
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 0606

FILING A COMPLAINT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Most auto repair related complaints such as charging for work that wasn’t done or unnecessary repairs, failing to provide a written estimate, or failing to provide a written invoice of repair work, should be filed with the DMV. Complaints against dealers on matters such as failure to register a new or used vehicle, odometer tampering, or problems with vehicle towing and storage can also be filed with the DMV. The form titled, "Complaint Against Motor Vehicle Sales or Service Business Firm" (downloadable at: http://www.ct.gov/dmv/LIB/dmv/20/29/K-35.pdf) can be sent to the following address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Dealers and Repairers Division
Consumer Complaint Unit
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06109

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: General Consumer Complaints

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SOURCES: State of Connecticut Attorney General's Office website; State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website; State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles website
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CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: December2013