Mechanic talking to car owner

Consumer Protection Act

The Ontario Consumer Protection Act is set up to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by businesses, the motor vehicle repair section of this act has certain laws set in place to protect you as a car owner. The following information below highlights key information and why the consumer protection act is important to understand.

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When Does it Apply?

The Consumer Protection Act protects consumers when they get their vehicle repaired at the following places:

  • Muffler Shop

  • Local Garages

  • Vehicle dealerships or used-car lots with repair facilities

Repair Costs

 

Before a garage is allowed to start charging to do any work on your vehicle you must provide them with a maximum amount you are willing to spend on the repair. The final cost of the repair can not be higher than the maximum cost.

Getting an Estimate 

 

Repair shops are allowed to charge for an estimate, if they choose to do so they are required to inform the customer beforehand about the price.   A fee for an estimate may include:

  • The time taken to examine the vehicle

  • Resembling the vehicle following the inspection 

  • Parts that will be damaged during the examination or reassembly that will need to be replaced 

If the mechanic is given permission to start repair before the vehicle has been re-assembled the customer can not be charged for an estimate. If the permission is delayed the mechanic is allowed to go ahead and resemble the vehicle and charge for it.

NEVER sign a blank work order, signing a blank order gives the repair shop permission to do any repair they believe to be necessary for your vehicle and charge you for it, even if you did not agree.

What should your estimate include?

Your Name

Name, address and contact details of the repair shop

License, Make, Model and VIN of the Vehicle

A detailed description of the repair being made

Date when repairs will be completed

Date the estimate is given and the date after which it no longer applies

Total labor costs and how it will be calculated (ex. flat rate, hourly or combination)

 

Proper Signage
 

The consumer protection act requires repair shops to display a proper sign clearly stating:

  • The customer can have their replaced parts returned to them at request

  • If there is a charge for estimates

  • Whether or not mechanics work on commission

  • How labor costs are calculated (ex. hourly)

  • That the mechanic must offer a written estimate unless the customer authorizes the maximum amount they are willing to pay. 

Final Invoice
 
Your final invoice should include the following:
  • Your Name

  • Name, address and contact information of the repair shop

  • Make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN) and license number of the vehicle

  • Odometer reading when the vehicle was dropped off and when the vehicle is returned

  • A list of the parts they installed and if the parts are new, used or reconditioned.

  • If they used parts provided by the original equipment manufacturer.

  • Cost of the Parts

  • Total cost for the labor and how it was calculated (e.g., an hourly rate or a flat rate, or some combination)

  • Shop supplies charged to a customer

  • Terms of the warranty provided by the repair shop for each part installed and the labor to install it

  • The total amount billed (can’t be higher than 10% of the estimate)

Warranty 

 

Listed under the Consumer Protection Act is the Repair Warranty which states that parts and labor have a 90 day or 5,000 km (whichever comes first) warranty. 

 

If the recently repaired vehicle becomes unsafe to drive or breaks down within that time period, because the repair was faulty, the original repair shop will have to pay back the money charged for the repair as well as any towing costs involved.