Car Repair Disputes

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California has a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) to keep repair shops from taking advantage of you. If you’re unhappy with work done on your car, you can file a complaint with the BAR.

Before you file a complaint 
Talk to the repair shop service manager.

Keep these tips in mind:
* Be polite and stay calm. 
* Explain your problem. 
* Tell the service manager what you think is a fair settlement. 
* Tell the service manager if you are willing to negotiate.
* If you can’t work it out, tell the service manager you’re going to file a complaint with the BAR.

How do I file a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR)? 
Get a complaint form from the BAR. (Click here for a list of BAR forms.) Fill it out and return it to them. Make sure to save all your receipts. BAR may ask for them.

What happens after I file? 
You’ll get a postcard telling you your case number and the name of your BAR representative.

The representative will try to work things out with the repair shop for you. You’ll get phone calls and letters with information about your case.

What if we can’t work things out? 
If the shop broke any laws, the BAR will get proof. Then they may give the shop a “Notice of Violation.”

You’ll be told when your case is closed.

Remember: BAR can’t represent you in court or collect money for you.
* Find the BAR office near you. 
* For most consumer complaints, call the Department of Consumer Affairs: 1-800-952-5210.

Common Disputes Heard in Small Claims Court


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