MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR ACT

MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR ACT We are providing a copy of this Colorado Law as a service to our clients and their friends. We believe that every shop in Colorado should strictly abide by these rules as we do. 42-9-101. Short title. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Motor Vehicle Repair Act of 1977". 42-9-102. Definitions. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires: (1) "Customer" means the owner, the agent of the owner, or a family member, employee, or any other person whose use of the vehicle is authorized by the owner. (2) "Motor vehicle" means every self-propelled vehicle intended primarily for use and operation on the public highways. The term does not include trucks and truck tractors having a gross vehicle weight of more than eight thousand five hundred pounds, nor does it include farm tractors and other machines and tools used in the production, harvesting, and care of farm products, nor does it include motorcycles. (3) "Motor vehicle repair garage" means any natural person, partnership, corporation, trust, association, or group of persons associated in fact although not a legal entity which, with intent to make a profit or a gain of money or other thing of value, engages in the business or occupation of performing repairs on a motor vehicle, including repairs on body parts. (4) "Necessary" means essential to a desired or projected end as stated by the customer or indispensable to avoid loss or damage. (5) "Repairs on a motor vehicle" or "repairs" includes maintenance, diagnosis, repairs, service, and parts replacement but does not include washing the vehicle or adding gasoline or oil to the vehicle. 42-9-103. Applicability. The provisions of sections 42-9-104, 42-9-105, and 42-9-106 shall not apply where the total cost of the labor and parts is one hundred dollars or less. 42-9-104. When consent and estimate required - original transaction - disassembly. (1) (a) No repairs on a motor vehicle shall be performed by a motor vehicle repair garage unless the garage obtains the written consent of the customer. (b) The required written consent is waived by the customer only when the motor vehicle has been towed to the motor vehicle repair garage or the customer has left the motor vehicle with the motor vehicle repair garage outside of normal business hours or when the customer has signed a waiver in compliance with paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section. The waiver established by this paragraph (b) for any vehicle that is towed to a motor vehicle repair garage or left with the motor vehicle repair garage outside of normal business hours is limited to a maximum of one hundred dollars in labor and parts. (c) When the customer has not given the motor vehicle repair garage written consent to perform repairs, no repairs shall be performed unless the garage first communicates orally to the customer the written estimate of the total cost of such repairs and the customer then consents to the required repairs. A record of such communication and consent shall be made on the invoice by the motor vehicle repair garage and shall include the date, time, manner of consent, telephone number called, if any, and the names of the persons giving and receiving such consent. (2) (a) (I) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), no repairs shall be performed by a motor vehicle repair garage unless said garage first submits in writing or, where allowed by this section, orally communicates to the customer an estimate of the total cost of any such repairs, not including any applicable sales tax. The written estimate shall include the expected completion date of such repairs. (II) (A) Except as provided in sub-subparagraph (B) of this subparagraph (II), storage charges of not more than ten dollars per day may accrue, beginning on the fourth day, if the customer has not picked up the motor vehicle within three days, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, and any legal holiday, after notification of the completion of authorized repairs or if the customer failed to authorize repairs to be performed within three days, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, and any legal holiday, after the date of communication of an estimate. (B) Storage charges shall be assessed in accordance with section 38-20-109, C.R.S., if the garage chooses to sell the customer's property in accordance with article 20 of title 38, C.R.S. (C) The amounts that a customer may be charged for storage charges shall be conspicuously printed on the written estimate provided to the customer. (III) The estimate provided to the customer shall state conspicuously that, except for body shop repair parts and except for exchanged or warranty parts which shall only be presented to the customer for examination and not returned, the customer is entitled to the return of the replaced parts if the customer so requests at the time of consenting to or authorizing the repairs. (IV) The estimate shall be recorded on or attached to the invoice required by section 42-9-108. (b) A customer may waive the right to receive any estimate, either written or oral, prior to authorizing repairs by signing the customer's name and the date below the following statement which shall be in bold type: "I DO NOT WISH TO RECEIVE ANY ESTIMATE, EITHER WRITTEN OR ORAL, TO WHICH I AM ENTITLED BY LAW, BEFORE REPAIRS ARE AUTHORIZED.". The signing of such waiver does not constitute an authorization of repairs, which shall be a separate statement. (c) (I) In the event that it is necessary to disassemble, or partially disassemble, a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part in order to provide the customer with an estimate for required repairs, the written estimate required in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) shall show the cost of reassembly in the event that the customer elects not to proceed with the repairs of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part. The estimate shall also include the total cost of labor and parts to replace those expendable items which are normally destroyed by such disassembly. No act of disassembly which would prevent the restoration of the same unit to its former condition may be undertaken unless the motor vehicle repair garage has fully informed the customer of that fact in writing on the invoice and the customer consents to the disassembly. (II) Any estimate of required repairs given after a disassembly shall comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2); except that such written estimate may then be communicated orally to the customer. A record of such communication shall be made on the invoice by the motor vehicle repair garage, including the date, time, manner of communication, telephone number called, if any, and names of persons giving and receiving such consent. (d) Towing charges are excluded from the written or oral estimate and consent requirements of this section. 42-9-105. When consent and estimate required - additional repairs - changed completion date. (1) Except when an estimate has been waived pursuant to section 42-9-104 (2) (b), no charge shall be made for labor and parts in excess of the estimate, plus ten percent thereof or twenty-five dollars, whichever is less, without the consent of the customer to the additional charge before performance of the labor or installation of the parts not included in the estimate, but subcontract cost amounts for parts beyond the control of the garage to correctly estimate may be charged for in addition to the estimate. Consent by the customer to additional charges may be written or oral. In either case, a record of such consent shall be made on the invoice by the motor vehicle repair garage and shall include the date, time, manner of consent, telephone number called, if any, and names of the persons giving and receiving the consent. (2) (a) The customer shall be notified in writing on the invoice of any changes in the expected completion date of the repairs and of the new expected completion date. Such notification may be communicated to the customer orally, but such communication, written or oral, shall be made no more than twenty-four hours after the original completion date, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, and any legal holiday. If communicated orally, a record of such communication shall be made on the invoice by the motor vehicle repair garage and shall include the date, time, telephone number called, if any, and names of the persons giving and receiving such communication. (b) No additional changes in the completion date shall be made unless the consent of the customer to the additional change is obtained. If the required consent is given orally, the motor vehicle repair garage shall make a record of such consent on the invoice and shall include the date, time, manner of consent, telephone number called, if any, and names of the persons giving and receiving such consent. (c) If the motor vehicle repair garage fails to notify the customer of the change in the completion date or if the customer refuses to consent to an additional change in the completion date, the contract may be cancelled at the option of either the customer or the motor vehicle repair garage. Once the contract has been cancelled in this manner, the motor vehicle repair garage shall be required to reassemble the motor vehicle in substantially the same condition in which it was delivered to the motor vehicle repair garage without cost to the customer unless the customer has been previously notified as to the impracticality of such reassembly; except that the customer shall be required to pay for any repairs already completed as specified in section 42-9-106 (3) (a). 42-9-106. Amounts over estimate - storage charges - cancellation of authorized repairs. (1) Except when an estimate has been waived pursuant to section 42-9-104 (2) (b), if the charge for labor and parts is over the original estimate or any subsequent estimate by ten percent thereof or twenty-five dollars, whichever is less, and unless further oral or written consent is given by the customer pursuant to section 42-9-105 (1), the motor vehicle repair garage shall return the motor vehicle to the customer upon the payment of the amount of the original estimate or any subsequent estimate plus ten percent thereof or twenty-five dollars, whichever is less, and the motor vehicle repair garage shall not be entitled to a lien for said excess pursuant to section 38-20-106, C.R.S. (2) No charge shall be made for storage of the motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is not picked up by the customer within three days, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays, after the customer is notified that the repairs have been completed and the customer was notified, as required by section 42-9-104 (2) (a), that such storage charges would accrue. The written estimate, in bold type, shall state the following: A storage fee of not more than ten dollars per day, beginning on the fourth day, may be charged if a motor vehicle is not removed within three days after the customer is notified that repairs have been completed, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. The motor vehicle repair garage shall make a record of the notice of completion on the invoice. The record shall include the date and time of the notice of completion, the manner of communication of the notice, the telephone number called, if any, and the name of the person receiving the notice. (3) (a) If the customer cancels previously authorized repairs prior to their completion, the motor vehicle repair garage shall be entitled to charge the customer for repairs, including labor and parts, which have already been performed so long as said charge does not exceed the original estimate or any subsequent estimate for the repairs already performed. (b) In requesting the return of the motor vehicle subsequent to the cancellation of previously authorized repairs, the customer shall specify whether it should be reassembled in substantially the same condition in which it was delivered to the motor vehicle repair garage or in such a lesser condition of assembly as the customer shall designate. Reassembly shall be completed by the motor vehicle repair garage within three days of the customer's request, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and any legal holiday. (c) All charges for reassembly, whether or not the requested repairs are completed, shall be included in the original estimate or in any subsequent estimate. (4) Nothing in this section shall require a motor vehicle repair garage to give an estimate if such garage does not agree to perform the requested repairs. (5) Payment by the customer of any amount in excess of those allowed by this article or for unauthorized repairs is not a waiver of any of the rights granted by this article to the customer, nor shall such payment be construed as consent to additional repairs or excess charges. (6) All written estimates and other information required by this section shall be recorded on or attached to the invoice described in section 42-9-108. 42-9-107. Used, reconditioned, or rebuilt parts. The motor vehicle repair garage shall specify in the original estimate whether any parts to be installed are new, used, reconditioned, or rebuilt and then shall obtain the consent of the customer before any used, reconditioned, or rebuilt parts are installed in the motor vehicle. If such consent is oral, the motor vehicle repair garage shall make a record of such consent on the invoice and shall include the date, time, manner of consent, telephone number called, if any, and names of persons giving and receiving such consent. The motor vehicle repair garage shall adjust the original estimate for new parts to reflect the altered cost if used, reconditioned, or rebuilt parts are authorized and installed. 42-9-108. Invoice. (1) All repairs done by a motor vehicle repair garage shall be recorded on a customer's invoice. A legible copy of the customer's invoice shall be given to the customer when the motor vehicle is returned to the customer. The original or a legible copy of the customer's invoice shall be retained for at least three years by the motor vehicle repair garage. (2) The customer's invoice shall include the following: (a) The name and address of the customer; (b) The year, make, odometer reading on the date the motor vehicle was brought in for repairs, and license number of the motor vehicle; (c) The date the motor vehicle was received for repairs; (d) An itemization of each part added to or replaced in the motor vehicle; a description of each part by name and identifying number; clear identification of which parts are used, reconditioned, or rebuilt; and the charges levied for each part added or replaced; (e) The amount charged for labor, the full name or employee number of each mechanic or repairer who in whole or in part performed repairs, and the identification of the specific stage of repair for which each mechanic or repairer named was partially or wholly responsible; (f) An itemized statement of all additional charges, including storage, service and handling, and taxes; (g) An identification of any repairs subcontracted to another repair garage; and (h) The legible initials of the person filling out any portion of the invoice not specified in this subsection (2). (3) Itemization of a particular part is not required on the customer's invoice if no charge is levied for that part. (4) Miscellaneous designations such as "shop supplies", "paint and paint supplies", and "shop materials" may be used on the customer's invoice. (5) Designation of mechanics, repairers, parts, or labor is not required on the customer's invoice if the customer has been given a flat-rate price, if such repairs are customarily done and billed on a flat-rate price basis and agreed upon by the customer, and if such flat rates are conspicuously posted by the motor vehicle repair garage or otherwise made available to the customer prior to rendering the estimate. 42-9-108.5. Warranty completion date. When a motor vehicle is returned under a warranty issued by the repair garage, the garage shall give the customer a written notice that specifies that the work is under warranty and that provides the customer with a completion date for the repair, as required by section 42-9-104. 42-9-109. Return of replaced parts. Except for body shop repair parts and parts that the motor vehicle repair garage is required to return to the manufacturer or distributor under a warranty or exchange arrangement, the motor vehicle repair garage shall return replaced parts to the customer at the time of the completion of the repairs if the customer so requests at the time of consenting to or authorizing the repairs. 42-9-110. Exemption - antique motor vehicles. The provisions of this article shall not apply to repairs of any motor vehicle twenty-five or more years old or of any motor vehicle which is a collectors' item as defined in section 42-12-101 (2). 42-9-111. Prohibited acts. (1) No motor vehicle repair garage or any employee or contract laborer of such garage shall knowingly: (a) Charge for repairs which have not been consented to by the customer or charge for repairs in excess of amounts allowed by this article; (b) Represent that repairs are necessary when such is not a fact; (c) Represent that repairs have been performed when such is not a fact; (d) Represent that a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part being diagnosed is in dangerous condition when such is not a fact; (e) Perform emissions repairs to bring motor vehicles into compliance with the provisions of sections 42-4-301 to 42-4-316 when such repairs are not indicated by the identified emissions failure; (f) Fail to issue an invoice as required by section 42-9-108; (g) Fail to give notice as required by section 42-9-105; (h) Require a customer to sign a work order that does not state the repairs that are requested by the customer or does not state the motor vehicle odometer reading. 42-9-112. Penalties - civil action. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any motor vehicle repair garage or any employee of such garage not providing a written or oral estimate as required under section 42-9-104 (2), or an invoice as required under section 42-9-108, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars per violation. No portion of the minimum fine shall be suspended. (2) Any motor vehicle repair garage or any employee of such garage who violates section 42-9-111 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars per violation. No portion of the minimum fine shall be suspended. (2.5) Any motor vehicle repair garage or any employee of such garage who violates any provision of this article other than the provisions for which penalties are provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars per violation. (2.7) Upon a third conviction of a violation of section 42-9-111, the motor vehicle repair garage may be subject to the provisions of the "Colorado Consumer Protection Act", article 1 of title 6, C.R.S., including, but not limited to, temporary restraining orders and other injunctive relief. (3) In any civil action for the enforcement of this article, the court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party, and a customer shall be entitled to treble damages for failure of any motor vehicle repair garage or any employee of such garage to comply with this article, except for clerical errors or omissions; but in no event shall such damages be less than three hundred dollars. The customer shall first make written demand for the customer's damages from the motor vehicle repair garage by certified mail at least ten days prior to the filing of any such action, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, and any legal holiday. Such action shall be brought within the time period prescribed in section 13-80-103, C.R.S.