Case Analysis A C2 Print

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CalABC California Automotive Business Coalition

Initiation of the case:

 

A representative of the Bureau, acting in an undercover capacity ("operator"), took the Bureau's vehicle to Respondent's facility. A small leak had been made in an area of the A/C condenser core on the Bureau-documented vehicle. The operator met with Respondent's employee and requested the Repair Shop’s “Fall Maintenance Package" on the vehicle. The operator provided the employee with an internet advertisement/coupon for "$10 off' on a "Fall Maintenance Package", which included a "Free A/C Check".

 

Inducement to the undercover vehicle(s):

 

The inducement in the vehicle was that a pinhole was made in the condenser causing a leak in the A/C System.

 

What occurred during the visit to the Automotive Repair Dealer(s)

 

Employee had the operator sign a work order, but did not give him a copy.

Employee stated that they would need to perform an A/C system leak evaluation on the vehicle, that they would add dye to the A/C system with refrigerant to locate the leak, and that the repair or service would cost an additional $43.99.

The operator asked employee if the leak evaluation was part of the free A/C check. Employee said, "No, we just check the system's pressures and outlet temperatures with the free A/C check". The operator authorized the leak evaluation.

 

The operator returned to the facility, paid the cashier $170.57 for the repairs, and received a copy of a final invoice.

 

What Infractions of the Automotive Repair Act occurred?

Failure to Provide Customer with Copy of Signed Document

Respondent's Registration is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (3), in that Respondent's employee failed to provide the operator with a copy of the work order.

Violations of the Code

Respondent's Registration is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (6), in that Respondent failed to comply with section 9884.9, subdivision (a), of that Code in the following material respects:

What Infractions of the Automotive Repair Act occurred?

Respondent's employee failed to provide the operator with a written estimate for the Fall Maintenance Package on the Bureau's vehicle.

Respondent failed to document on the final invoice the operator's authorization for the A/C system leak evaluation on the Bureau's vehicle.

Departure from Trade Standards

The Bureau inspected the vehicle and found that Respondent's facility had departed from accepted trade standards in performing the A/C system check.

Respondent's Registration is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (7). in that Respondent willfully departed from or disregarded accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair without the consent of the owner or the owner's duly authorized representative, in the following material respects:

Respondent failed to examine the condenser coil on the Bureau's vehicle for damage or leaks when performing the "free A/C system check" on the vehicle.

Respondent failed to record on the invoice the high and low side system operating pressures of the A/C system on the Bureau's vehicle as required by Regulation 3366, subdivision (a) (15).

Respondent failed to record on the invoice the center air distribution outlet temperature of the A/C system, as required by Regulation 3366, subdivision (a) (16).

False Advertising

Respondent's Registration is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (6), in that Respondent failed to comply with Regulation 3371 by publishing, uttering, or making, or causing to be published, uttered, or made false or misleading statements or advertisements which are known to be false or misleading, or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known to be false or misleading , as follows: Respondent represented on the advertisement/coupon, described in paragraph 33 above, that the A/C system check would be "free". In fact, the A/C system check on the Bureau's vehicle was not "free" in that Respondent charged the operator for an A/C system leak evaluation. The leak evaluation was required to be performed on the vehicle as provided in Regulation 3366, subdivision (a), and should have been included in the "free" A/C system check.

 

 

What steps can an Automotive Repair Dealer do to avoid this?

 

When a repair dealer advertises a service, they must be sure they are compliant with the minimum guidelines under the automotive repair act to provide that service. In this case the repair dealer failed to follow regulation 3366 which covers Automotive Air Conditioning.

 

What steps can an Automotive Repair Dealer do to avoid this? Continued…

 

All service and sales advisors must be taught the “Write it right” ticket writing guide from the BAR to ensure they know that they must provide a complete initial estimate, obtain a customer signature and provide the customer with a copy of the initial estimate. The same applies to any revisions in the estimate and the final invoice provided to the customer.

 

Repair work must comply with the accepted trade standards for performing the work. In this case it was found the Automotive Repair Dealer did not inspect the entire A/C system as required by Regulation 3366 on Automotive Air Conditioning System services.

 

The Automotive Repair Dealer failed to record the temperature and pressures on the invoice as required under Regulation 3366. All service and sales advisors need to be taught everything that is covered in this regulation when performing A/C services.

 

The service and sales advisor should always make truthful and accurate statements about the condition of the vehicle and the services it requires. In this case the operative was told the A/C system was “okay” when in fact it was not due to the faulty ground wire.

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

 

These BAR case summaries are for informational purposes only, and are not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. These case examples are intended to educate our members on the potential situations that can occur, and how to remain in compliance with the legal codes and regulations which govern the automotive repair industry. Outcomes in every case where a violation allegedly occurred may be different, and these examples do not guarantee that our members will receive any different results.


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