The Manitoba Legislature has approved amendments to The Consumer Protection Act which require repair shops to provide written estimates for the cost of repairs and give a warranty on repair work and parts.
The new legislation applies to all motor vehicle repairs except for repairs where the cost is covered by the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation.
The law provides that no repairer shall charge a consumer for work or repairs without first giving an estimate in the form prescribed in the regulations. There is an exception if the repairer offers to give an estimate and the consumer declines the offer. The repairer must then ask the consumer to authorize a maximum amount for the repairs and the total charge may not exceed this amount.
Regulations will prescribe how much, if anything, over the estimate the repairer may charge.
If the repairer discovers that new or substantially different work is required while performing the repairs, the repairer may not make any additional charges for this work without giving the consumer a new estimate.
Repairers may charge a fee for preparing an estimate if the consumer is informed of the amount of the fee in advance. This fee is to cover all diagnostic time, the costs of re-assembling the vehicle and the cost of any parts which must be replaced on re-assembling if the work is not authorized by the consumer.
Parts removed from a vehicle being repaired must be kept separate from other parts and returned to the consumer in a clean container on request. There are exceptions for parts which must be returned to the manufacturer on a warranty claim, parts which were provided without charge by the repairer and parts which were exchanged for re-conditioned parts.
The repairer is required to provide a warranty on all work and parts for 90 days or 5,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. If the repairs are subcontracted, the repairer and the subcontractor will be jointly liable on the warranty.
The legislation has not yet been proclaimed in force. Regulations will provide the details of how to give an estimate and may exempt particular classes of repairs from all or part of the legislation.
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