Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 17.1. Automobile Repair Facilities Act
1/17/2019

§ 59.1-207.3. Written estimate for repair work required upon request; charge in excess of estimate; conditions; display of sign required; limitations on liability for delay; exception.

A. Upon request by a customer, prior to the commencement of any repair work on a motor vehicle for which a customer may be charged more than $25, every automobile repair facility doing business in the Commonwealth shall provide the customer a written statement of (i) the estimated cost of labor necessary to complete the work, (ii) the estimated cost of parts necessary to complete work, (iii) a description of the problem or work as described or authorized by the customer, and (iv) the estimated completion time. An automobile repair facility shall have no obligation to provide such written statements prior to 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. during a working day.

B. Where a written estimate is requested, no repair work on the motor vehicle may be undertaken, other than such diagnostic work as may be necessary for the preparation of an estimate, until the written estimate has been provided the customer and the customer has authorized the work, either in writing or orally, and no charge for repair work in excess of the written estimate by more than 10 percent or, in the case of any motor vehicle which is at least 25 model years old, 20 percent or extension of the time for the work may be made unless the additional work represented by such excess charge or the time extension has been authorized, in writing or orally, by the customer.

C. An automobile repair facility may impose reasonable conditions for its obligations to provide written estimates to a customer, including the imposition of a reasonable fee for the preparation of a written estimate and related diagnostic work; provided that any such conditions shall be disclosed to the customer at the time of his request by writing or by sign conspicuously posted at the entrance of the automobile repair facility.

Each automobile repair facility shall display in a conspicuous place at any point where vehicles are normally received for repairs, a sign which states that:

1. The customer may receive a written estimate on request;

2. No repair work charge may exceed the written estimate by more than 10 percent unless the additional work represented by the excess charge has been authorized by the customer;

3. Any conditions imposed by the automobile repair facility in providing written estimates, such as the limited hours when written estimates will be prepared or the amount of the reasonable fee charged for preparing a written estimate and for related diagnostic work;

4. The facility shall offer to return all replaced parts except warranty, core charge or trade-in parts required to be returned to a manufacturer or distributor; and

5. Any complaints can be made to the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Department of Law.

The sign heading "Customer Rights" shall be in letters at least one and one-half inches high and the remaining print shall be in letters at least one-fourth inch high with spacing between letters, words and lines so as to be clearly legible.

D. An automobile repair facility shall not be liable for breach of the written estimated completion date for a repair if the delay is occasioned by (i) an act of God or (ii) an unexpected shortage of labor or parts or (iii) other causes beyond the control of the automobile repair facility.

E. Nothing in this section shall require an automobile repair facility to give a written estimate if the facility is unwilling to perform the requested repair work.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the repair of any motor vehicle which is any car listed in the Official Judging Manual of the Antique Automobile Club of America.

1979, c. 506; 1995, c. 110; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.