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Thursday March 31

Ontario Mandates Repair Estimates and Aftermarket Part Notification to Customers in New Consumer Protection Act

The new Consumer Protection Act in Ontario, Canada will become law on July 30, 2005. Shops will be required to provide a written estimate prior to performing any work. They may change a fee for giving an estimate. The fee for such as estimate must be reasonable. At the same time, any aftermarket parts must be identified in writing to the customer.

Under the current Motor Vehicle Repair Act, estimates are only required if the customer has asked for one. Under the new law, if a written estimate is not given, the shop cannot change for the repairs.

An exception exists where a shop may charge for repairs without first providing an estimate if:

  • The shop offers to give an estimate and the customer turns down the offer.
  • The customer specifically authorizes a maximum amount he/she is willing to pay and the final cost does not exceed that amount.

Customers must be told in advance if there is a fee for the estimate, and if the repair is carried out, no estimate fee may be charged under normal circumstances. As with the current law, the cost of repairs may not exceed the estimate by more than ten percent unless prior authority has been obtained and properly noted.

Warranty of repairs remains 3 months or 5,000 km on new or reconditioned parts. All new non-original equipment manufacturers parts installed must be noted. There is no automatic warranty on used parts.

Shops must feature signs that explain their pricing levels and policies, and how they calculate labor rates. Estimate information must also be posted.

Shops can obtain wall-size copies of the sign by contacting the collision repair association at 1-866-309-4272 or info@ciia.com.

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