Case Analysis Oil Changes Print

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CalABC California Automotive Business Coalition

Initiation of the case:

A Bureau undercover operator ("operator") drove some Bureau-documented vehicles into multiple Automotive Repair Dealer facilities and requested an oil and filter change at each location.

 

Inducement to the undercover vehicle(s):

The only service necessary was an oil and filter change and no other services were needed or requested.

 

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

The Automotive Repair Dealer completed the estimate and performed the oil and filter change as described on the work order and finalized the transaction with the “customer”. This transpired on multiple vehicles at various locations with one exception.

At one location the oil change was performed but the Repair Dealer failed to install a new oil filter or check tire pressures as invoiced.

 

What Infractions of the Automotive Repair Act occurred?

Departure from Trade Standards

The Bureau performed a re-inspection of the vehicle. That inspection revealed the Automotive Repair Dealer overfilled the engine with 1.375 liters more oil than is required for that engine, which could cause damage to the engine and catalytic converter.

The Automotive Repair Dealer is subject to discipline pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (7), in that on or about said date. The Automotive Repair Dealer willfully departed from or disregarded accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair.

The Automotive Repair Dealer is subject to discipline pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a)(7), in that on or about said date, as they willfully departed from or disregarded accepted trade standards for good and workmanlike repair in the following material respect. They failed to follow proper manufacturer procedures for checking the oil 'level by failing to check the engine oil after the vehicle was started.

The Automotive Repair Dealer failed to replace the oil filter as invoiced, and the tire pressures had not been checked or adjusted, which is part of the oil change service.

 

Untrue or Misleading Statements

The Automotive Repair Dealer is subject to discipline pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (1), in that on said date Repair Dealer made or authorized statements which they knew or in the exercise of reasonable care and should have known to be untrue or misleading, as follows:

 The Repair Dealer represented on the invoice that the oil filter had been replaced when, in fact, that part had not been replaced as invoiced.
 The Repair Dealer represented on the invoice that the tire pressures had been checked when, in fact, they had not been checked as invoiced.

Fraud

The Repair Dealer is subject to discipline pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (4), in that on said date, respondent committed acts which constitute fraud by accepting payment from the operator for an oil filter; however, Repair Dealer failed to replace the oil filter as invoiced or check and adjust tire pressures.

Gross Negligence

The Repair Dealer is subject to discipline pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (5), in that on or about Said date regarding the vehicle, they committed an act constituting gross negligence by overfilling the engine with 1.375 liters more oil than is required for that engine, which could cause damage to the engine and catalytic converter. In some locations the crankcase was overfilled by over 2 liters.

Failure to Comply with Code

The Repair Dealer is subject to discipline pursuant to Code section 9884.7, subdivision (a) (6), in that on or about said date, the Repair Dealer failed to comply with section 9884.8 of that Code. Regarding the invoice, the Repair Dealer failed to describe the amount of oil installed, the viscosity grade of oil installed, or the price per quart of oil.

In another case the Repair Dealer failed to comply with California Code of Regulation, title 16, section 3356, subdivision (a)(1), by setting forth registration number AF. In fact, the registration should be shown as AR. So the Repair Dealer had shown the incorrect ARD number on the invoices.


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

The Automotive Repair Dealer employees must verify the engine size and oil capacity of the crankcase on every vehicle they service. The technician performing the work must verify the amount of oil dispensed by the oil rig to ensure the crankcase is filled to the proper level. The engine should be started after the service to circulate the oil with a final check of the dipstick once the engine has been shut down and some time is allowed for the oil to drain down from the top of the engine.

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

The Automotive Repair Dealer must set up a system to verify that any part or service invoiced on the repair order is performed an installed in order to avoid charging for parts or services that were not performed.

The Automotive Repair Dealer must always verify the ARD number imprinted on the estimates and invoices accurately reflects the ARD number on the license issued by the BAR.

 

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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