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If a mechanic damaged my car during a service then there are certain actions to take. If the mechanic damaged your vehicle or you are not satisfied with the mechanic’s work then it is recommended to settle the dispute in a respectful and amicable manner. Here at Peninsula Auto Clinic our team is here to perform professional and reliable Car Service work for the Northern Beaches and can provide you with some simple steps to take if your local mechanic (wherever you may be in Australia) damages your car.
If a mechanic damaged the car during a service then being entitled to warranties under the Australian Consumer Law is possible. This guarantees that if there were damages during the car service that they would be paid back. Before using a mechanic, asking for a service agreement allows there to be clarity of what is expected of the service.
What To Do When a Mechanic Damaged My Car?
The main process to go through if a mechanic damages your car during a service are the following
Discuss the Problem Directly with the Mechanic
The first step to take after a mechanic has damaged the car or not provided an adequate service is to talk to them directly and discuss what is troubling you. Discuss what the damage or issue is and allow them to explain their point of view on the situation. Talk about when the issues were first noticed and see what they believe the best solution is.
It is also recommended to have another certified mechanic inspect the problem to have their viewpoint on the situation. If you need help on how to find and choose a good mechanic our blog is here with quick tips.
Check with the Australian Consumer Law
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) can help with the issue as it provides guarantees and warranties on the service. If the service costs less than $40,000 then they will be able to help with the costs and resolve any issues. For services above $40,000 the ACL can help if it was for personal purposes. The ACL will cover the costs of the service which was not satisfied then the owner of the car can go to another mechanic to perform the same service.
When mechanics are under the ACL as a service provider they must:
- Use professional skill and acceptable care whenever performing a mechanic service
- Ensure that they are a fully qualified mechanic with all the needed licensing, such as a motor vehicle repairer’s licence, and have completed the necessary training and apprenticeship
- Not damage or lose parts of the car
- Make certain the mechanic service is performed the correct way and with the purpose it was intended for
- Complete the service in a reasonable time when there are no fixed periods or schedules for the delivery of the service
Check the Service Agreement
The service agreement is the item that states what the mechanic has agreed to perform within the car service. The service agreement is issued by the mechanic and will outline all the work that will be performed and also any terms and conditions that apply to the service. Within the service agreement it can also state what will happen if there is a dispute or issue within the service. These are called alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and allow parties to try and settle any disputes or issues in a third party forum without the need to go to court.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
If there were no signs of ADR within the service agreement then trying to resolve the issues can still be attempted by using ADR mechanisms. This method is most times the fastest and also a cheaper way to handle disputes rather than going to court Small Business Commissioner and NSW Fair Trading are great places to go when needing ADR services. When going through any form of ADR it is important to first provide the needed documentation which includes:
- The service agreement or any other documentation which is similar
- Any invoices, receipts, independent reports, quotes or repair estimates
- Any correspondence or alike to the above
If the ADR was unsuccessful then applying to the state’s administrative body is an option. Applying to the Consumer and Commercial Division of the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a claim can help but to bring a claim here are some important points to remember:
- There will be a fee for applying for an administrative tribunal
- Within NCAT there can only be a claim given for under $40,000
- The application must have been within 3 years of when the issue occurred
- Administrative tribunals might have to ask parties that first engage with conciliation prior to the hearing while also administrative tribunals often pay for their own costs to be heard
- Please note: This is a timely process
Trusted Northern Beaches Mechanic
When needing a professional mechanic in the Northern Beaches Peninsula Auto Clinic is the auto shop to rely on. We carry out a wide range of mechanic services, including Car Repair work,brake services and pinks slips, for any person. Our mechanics are here for every Northern Beaches local, including Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Palm Beach and Warriewood. 7 Perak Street, Mona Vale is where we are located and are always here to provide professional mechanic services on all cars and if you have a damaged car for whatever reason – our passionate team will certainly be able to help!