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Motor Vehicle Repair
The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources regulates motor vehicle repair shops and mechanics in Miami-Dade County.
The Motor Vehicle Repair Ordinance requires that all vehicle repair shops (mechanical, paint and body repair) and mechanics/technicians/apprentices be registered with the County and comply with various regulations.
- The repair shop must provide a written estimate if the diagnostic and/or repairs exceed $100. The estimate must clearly state: the car’s current odometer reading; the condition to be repaired; the parts needed and whether new, used or salvaged parts will be used; anticipated labor charges; any teardown/reassembly charges, storage fees; and the shop’s registration number.
- The shop must get your authorization if the actual charges for the repair work will exceed the written estimate by more than $10 or 10%.
- You have the right to cancel a repair order after being advised that the repairs cannot be completed within the authorized estimate; but the shop may charge you a fee for the cost of teardown and reassembly if they provided notification of these possible costs in the written estimate.
- You are entitled to inspect and receive your old parts if you request them when you sign the estimate.
- A shop may not require you to waive your rights as a precondition to repairing your vehicle.
- The repair shop must give you a legible written invoice after the work is completed showing: the current date and odometer reading; a description of the repair work performed; an itemized description of parts and labor charges; a statement identifying any replacement parts as being rebuilt/reconditioned; the shop’s registration number; the name of the mechanic/technician who performed or supervised the repair work; and any guarantees the repair shops offers.
- The shop must post a sign regarding the provision of written estimates. This sign must be in a conspicuous place, must be in English, Spanish and Creole, and must provide the phone number.
- Shops are required to have specialized equipment to perform repairs. Mechanics must take a test to demonstrate competency and must take 16 hours of continuing education every year. Apprentices must work under the supervision of a certified mechanic.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- You can always contact the Office of Consumer Protection to check if the shop you’re considering is licensed.
- Be certain the repair shop honors any existing warranty on your car. If not, you may be paying for parts or labor covered by your manufacturer or extended warranty.
- Make sure your repairs fall within the shop’s authorized work categories. The shop’s Motor Vehicle Repair license will specifically state which work categories the shop is authorized to provide to the public.
- Consider getting a second opinion if you need expensive repairs.
To file a complaint, or for more information, contact the Consumer Mediation Center at 786-469-2333 or [email protected].
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