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Dispute with a mechanic: what are your recourses?

Your car has a fault so you have decided to consult a mechanic to diagnose the repairs to be made. Therefore, the mechanic has sent you the repair estimate and you have accepted and given the agreement for the repairs to be made. Once the repairs have been made, the amount entered in your invoice is not proportional to the estimate of the agreed repairs or breakdowns have occurred following the repairs. For this, you want to sue the mechanic. So, you have to know what are the different possible remedies in the event of a dispute with the mechanic.

The obligations of the garage

It should be noted that the Civil Code and the Consumer Code impose on the categories of mechanic the duty to respect the same obligations. Although he is a mechanic in the village, an auto center and a dealership.

The obligations of the mechanic are not only based on the obligation of result, but also, he has the duty to respect the contract concluded with a client.

The various obligations of the mechanic

The garage has the obligation to advise in the repair of your car. Indeed, he gives you explanations on how he will proceed with the repair (clear and concise explanation). The garage has the duty to also inform you in the event of additional repairs to be made and does not carry out the repairs without the customer's written agreement. It is even forbidden for mechanics to fail in their duty to inform of a possible failure observed on a customer's vehicle.

The mechanic has the obligation to inform the customer about the price he offers and this in total transparency. (The price must include labor.) It should be noted that estimates are provided free of charge except in the case where there would be a dismantling to do to diagnose your vehicle.

The obligation of result is the main purpose of reparation. So the mechanic is required to repair the vehicle and he will be responsible for the condition of the vehicle after the repair. Therefore, a mechanic has the right to refuse a repair if he deems incompetence to carry it out.

The Civil Code allows the customer to be reimbursed or to have the right to a free repair by the same garage if a breakdown occurs following the repair of the vehicle.

« It is the duty of the mechanic to make the diagnosis and not of the customer. »

Essential points to avoid recourse

All the problems following an intervention by the mechanic often take place because of the customer's misunderstanding with his mechanic. So, to avoid the dispute that could arise, you must first ask the mechanic for an estimate and this is part of his duty.. The price listed in the invoice depends on the quotes. As soon as it is signed, the quotes can no longer be modified without the customer's agreement.

a man talking with a mechanic

A difficult evaluation of the repair

If there is a problem in the evaluation of the repair price. The customer can request a repair order or a request for work from the mechanics. The repair order is a document showing the details of the repairs to be made as well as the condition of your car.

To avoid litigation, the mechanic has no right to carry out additional work without having consulted you and that you have also given your written agreement. This written agreement will be useful to you in the event of a dispute, as it will serve as a supporting document. The writing must contain the customer's name, the make or model of the vehicle, the registration, the mileage and the failures observed.

Important points are to know regarding repairs. The mechanic is obliged to inform the customer in advance if the estimate is chargeable. It is recommended to mention the following details in the invoice:

  • The price of the intervention;
  • The price of parts;
  • Registration;
  • The mileage.

Types of disputes with a mechanic

A customer can take legal action against their garage if they believe the garage has made mistakes in repairing the vehicle. An appeal can therefore be brought if there is a breakdown or anomaly after the repair of the vehicle by the mechanic, this could be an invoice sent without having made an estimate before the repair agreement or cases of overcharging in relation to the interventions. made, and the dispute can even take place in the event of damage to the vehicle by the mechanic. 

Possible resolutions of the customer's dispute with the garage

The resolutions include various stages, including the amicable settlement, the conciliation of the customer with the mechanic and the seizure of the court.

An amicable arrangement with the mechanic

The ideal is to resolve a dispute amicably if it is possible for the customer to accept an arrangement. It is recommended to provide supporting documents for the evidence and arguments to be advanced. It is a lower cost resolution and involves less wasted time. If the problem is resolved quickly, the mechanic and the customer sign their written agreement. On the other hand, in the absence of a response from the garage, the customer can send him a registered letter mentioning the problems and the supporting documents.

Conciliation of the customer with the mechanic

In the absence of an amicable arrangement between the mechanic and the customer. It is possible to appeal to a conciliator of justice, only if the mechanic agrees to cooperate.

The competent court to settle the dispute with the mechanic

Going to court is the last step to take if the client cannot find an amicable settlement or if the conciliation has failed. It is therefore to be proven to whom to impute the responsibility and it remains to determine the findings of defective repairs.

Call on a lawyer specialized in consumption is possible for you then. Expertise will therefore follow, and following these you can go to court. It is useful to know that you have to go to different courts depending on the dispute. The price of disputes with the local judge is different from the price of the district court as well as the high court.

The client is therefore required to pay the fees of his lawyer, thebailiff and also expertise, but the judge is to be seized free of charge. However, the judge can sanction the mechanic to pay all or part of his fees.

To seize justice means sums to be paid, from where it is advisable to know if the customer can benefit from legal assistance. The state provides this assistance, and it calculates it based on your income.

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