A brief legal overview of the California Automotive Repair Act.

The southern California consumer knows less than any mechanic. You might worry that you will get scammed. Taking a car into a repair shop for repairs or service is always an intimidating experience.
California passed a series of laws for this very reason. The California Automotive Repair Act provides you with protection from deceptive practices. Each authorized repair center must know and abide by the ACT or face legal consequences.
The act requires each repair shop to get a license from the State. The ACT established the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The CAR act got passed after enough consumers demanded legislative action. Car companies were not living up to the promises of their warranties. Many shops did not even have repair literature to service vehicles.

The CAR Act and the B.A.R.

The California Automotive Repair Act did two major things to help consumers be safe.  They mandated licensing requirements and established a uniform repair and reporting process.

Licensing Requirements for the Automotive Repair Industry

Every repair center in California has to provide you with their licensing information. It is the law. Despite the laws, unlicensed mechanics do exist. An unlicensed mechanic is like a Doctor without a degree. They are not legal mechanics. Consumers can take action against illegal acts using a lawsuit.

Rules for California Repair Centers

  1. Repair shops must keep their customers informed during the vehicle repair process.
  2. Repair shops must only perform the repairs that customers have authorized.
  3. Repair shops must make a written record of all work they perform and the parts they use.
  4. Repair shops must provide customers with copies of any estimates for repairs.
  5. Repair shops must also provide the consumer with any invoices for work performed.
  6. Each invoice should say what parts are used to repair a car.
  7. Any repair work must be approved by you before the repair center begins work.
  8. The repair center must document each repair in easy to understand language.

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