There are implied warranties provided in the Sale of Goods Act, and, consumer rights provided in the Ontario Consumer Protection Act (OCPA). Vendors or repairers cannot contract out of these rights they represent your minimum rights.
The OCPA addresses several consumer rights. Part VI of the Act deals specifically with repairs to motor vehicles and other goods. Here are some important rights regarding car repairs:
a) Estimates for repair work are required unless you do not want one, or, you say but only up to a certain cost;
b) No fees for estimations are allowed unless the repairer tells you before hand that an estimation fee will apply, and you agree to it. An estimation fee is deemed to include the cost of the diagnosis of the problem, and the cost of reassembly if the repair work is not authorized by you after the inspection;
c) In all cases, a repairer cannot charge for any work or repairs unless you have authorized the work in writing, or provides clear direction otherwise;
d) The final bill cannot be more than 10% higher than the estimated cost;
e) All repairers are required to offer to you all parts removed in the course of repairs;
f) You must be provided with a detailed invoice;
g) The Act provides a deemed warranty on all new or reconditioned parts installed, and the labour required to install them, for a minimum of 90 days or 5,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. The repair must be of reasonable quality, not just If the vehicle breaks down afterward, and it is not practical to return it to the original repairer, you can have it repaired at the nearest repair shop. You can recover the costs of this repair from the original repairer, including towing charges, assuming the breakdown was not your own fault. You are expected to return any defective parts to the original repairer for his inspection.
You are protected under the law for repair work, but are expected to pay your account to the repairer when it is due. The repairer has rights under the Repair and Storage Liens Act to protect its account.
Bryan Embree is an Associate at the law firm of Cobb & Jones LLP.