|SB 225 - Motor Vehicle Repair Act - provide|
First Reader Summary
A bill to amend Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of
Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other trade practices,
so as to provide for certain consumer protections on motor
vehicle repair transactions; to provide for a short title; to
provide for applicability; to provide for definitions; to provide
for motor vehicle repair shop registration; to provide for a
detailed, written estimate of repairs.
||Read 1st time
SB 225 97 LC 19 3348
SENATE BILL 225
By: Senator James of the 35th
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1- 1 To amend Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of
1- 2 Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other trade
1- 3 practices, so as to provide for certain consumer protections
1- 4 on motor vehicle repair transactions; to provide for a short
1- 5 title; to provide for applicability; to provide for
1- 6 definitions; to provide for motor vehicle repair shop
1- 7 registration; to provide for a detailed, written estimate of
1- 8 repairs; to provide for disclosure statements; to provide
1- 9 for notice of charges in excess of estimate; to prohibit
1-10 certain acts; to provide for inspection rights; to provide
1-11 for an invoice for all repairs; to provide for the retention
1-12 of repair records; to provide for certain signs and
1-13 notifications to customers; to provide for the posting of a
1-14 bond to release a mechanic's lien; to provide for actions on
1-15 such bonds; to prohibit enforcement of liens; to provide for
1-16 unlawful acts and practices; to provide for remedies; to
1-17 provide for motor vehicle repair training; to create the
1-18 Motor Vehicle Repair Advisory Council; to provide for
1-19 related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal
1-20 conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
1-21 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
1-22 SECTION 1.
1-23 Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia
1-24 Annotated, relating to selling and other trade practices, is
1-25 amended by adding a new Article 34 to read as follows:
1-27 This article shall be known and may be cited as the
1-28 'Georgia Motor Vehicle Repair Act.'
1-30 This article shall apply to all motor vehicle repair shops
1-31 in this state, except:
2- 1 (1) Any motor vehicle repair shop of a municipal,
2- 2 county, state, or federal government when carrying out
2- 3 the functions of that government;
2- 4 (2) Any person who engages solely in the repair of:
2- 5 (A) Motor vehicles that are owned, maintained, and
2- 6 operated exclusively by such person for that person's
2- 7 own use; or
2- 8 (B) Vehicles operated for hire which are rented for
2- 9 periods of 30 days or less;
2-10 (3) Any person who repairs only motor vehicles which are
2-11 operated principally for agricultural or horticultural
2-12 pursuits on farms, groves, or orchards and which are
2-13 operated on the roads of this state only incidentally en
2-14 route to or from such farms, groves, or orchards; or
2-15 (4) Motor vehicle auctions licensed under Code Section
2-16 43-18-17.1 or persons performing motor vehicle repair
2-17 solely for such auctions.
2-18 However, any such person or entity may voluntarily
2-19 register under the terms of this article.
2-21 As used in this article, the term:
2-22 (1) 'Administrator' means the administrator appointed
2-23 pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-395 or
2-24 his or her delegate.
2-25 (2) 'Customer' means the person who signs the written
2-26 repair estimate or any other person whom the person who
2-27 signs the written repair estimate designates on the
2-28 written repair estimate as a person who may authorize
2-29 repair work.
2-30 (3) 'Employee' means an individual who is employed full
2-31 time or part time by a motor vehicle repair shop and
2-32 performs motor vehicle repair.
2-33 (4) 'Final estimate' means the last estimate approved by
2-34 the customer, either in writing or orally, as evidenced
2-35 by the written repair estimate.
2-36 (5) 'Minor repair service' includes repairing and
2-37 changing tires; lubricating vehicles; cleaning,
2-38 adjusting, and replacing spark plugs; changing oil and
2-39 air filters; replacing, adjusting, repairing, or
3- 1 servicing hoses and air filters; changing or otherwise
3- 2 servicing the coolant, automatic door lamp switch,
3- 3 battery, battery ground cable, battery hold-down strap,
3- 4 battery positive cable, battery-to-starter relay cable,
3- 5 oil filter, fan and alternator drive belts, fuses,
3- 6 headlamp foot dimmer, horns, ignition coil output wire,
3- 7 light bulbs and headlamps, ornamental accessories, power
3- 8 steering pump belt, wheels, except alignment, windshield
3- 9 washer tank, and wiper blades; and any other minor
3-10 service which may be performed by persons without the
3-11 skills and knowledge required of motor vehicle mechanics
3-12 and helpers and which the administrator has designated
3-13 by rule to be a minor repair service. No service shall
3-14 be designated as minor for purposes of this article if
3-15 the administrator finds that performance of the service
3-16 requires mechanical expertise or has given rise to a
3-17 high incidence of fraud or deceptive practices.
3-18 (6) 'Motor vehicle' means any automobile, truck, bus,
3-19 recreational vehicle, or motorcycle, motor scooter, or
3-20 other motor powered vehicle, but does not include
3-21 trailers, mobile homes, travel trailers, or trailer
3-22 coaches without independent motive power.
3-23 (7)'Motor vehicle repair' means all maintenance of and
3-24 modification and repairs to motor vehicles, and
3-25 diagnostic work incident thereto, including, but not
3-26 limited to, the rebuilding or restoring of rebuilt
3-27 vehicles, body work, painting, warranty work, and other
3-28 work customarily undertaken by motor vehicle repair
3-30 (8) 'Motor vehicle repair shop' means any person or
3-31 business which, for compensation, engages or attempts to
3-32 engage in repairing, servicing, or maintaining motor
3-33 vehicles owned by other persons and includes, but is not
3-34 limited to, motor vehicle and recreational vehicle
3-35 dealers; garages; service stations; self-employed
3-36 individuals; truck stops; paint and body shops; brake,
3-37 muffler, or transmission shops; and shops performing
3-38 upholstery or glass work. Any person or business which
3-39 engages solely in the maintenance or repair of the coach
3-40 portion of a recreational vehicle shall not be
3-41 considered a motor vehicle repair shop.
3-42 (9) 'Place of business' means a physical place where the
3-43 business of motor vehicle repair is conducted.
4- 1 10-1-903.
4- 2 (a) Each motor vehicle repair shop engaged or attempting
4- 3 to engage in the business of motor vehicle repair work
4- 4 shall register with the administrator prior to doing
4- 5 business in this state. The application for registration
4- 6 shall be on a form provided by the administrator and shall
4- 7 include at least the following information:
4- 8 (1) The name of the applicant;
4- 9 (2) The name under which the applicant is doing
4-11 (3) The business address at which the applicant performs
4-12 repair work;
4-13 (4) Proof that the applicant maintains liability
4-14 insurance with respect to repair work;
4-15 (5) Copies of all licenses, permits, and certifications
4-16 obtained by the applicant or employees of the applicant;
4-18 (6) Number of employees which the applicant intends to
4-19 employ or which are currently employed.
4-20 (b) Any motor vehicle repair shop maintaining more than
4-21 one place of business may file a single application
4-22 annually, which, along with the other information required
4-23 by this Code section, clearly indicates the location of
4-24 and the individual in charge of each facility. In such
4-25 case, fees shall be paid for each location.
4-26 (c) Each application for registration must be accompanied
4-27 by a registration fee set forth as follows:
4-28 (1) If the place of business has one to five employees:
4-30 (2) If the place of business has six to ten employees:
4-31 $150.00; and
4-32 (3) If the place of business has 11 or more employees:
4-34 (d) No annual registration fee is required for any motor
4-35 vehicle repair shop which has a local municipal or county
4-36 license issued pursuant to an ordinance containing
4-37 standards which the administrator determines are at least
4-38 equal to the requirements of this article, or for any
5- 1 motor vehicle dealer licensed pursuant to Code Section
5- 2 40-2-39.
5- 3 (e) The administrator shall issue to each applicant a
5- 4 registration certificate in the form and size as
5- 5 prescribed by the administrator. In the case of an
5- 6 applicant with more than one place of business, the
5- 7 administrator shall issue a registration certificate for
5- 8 each place of business. The certificate must show at
5- 9 least the name and address of the motor vehicle repair
5-10 shop and the registration for that place of business.
5-11 (f) Each motor vehicle repair shop which performs only
5-12 minor repairs is exempt from the provisions of subsections
5-13 (a) through (e) of this Code section; however, any motor
5-14 vehicle repair shop claiming to be exempt shall annually
5-15 file with the administrator an affidavit of exemption
5-16 accompanied by a $10.00 fee prior to engaging in business
5-17 in this state. The affidavit of exemption shall be on
5-18 forms prescribed by the administrator and shall include
5-19 the name of the business and the business address where
5-20 minor repair is performed. Any motor vehicle repair shop
5-21 maintaining more than one business, each of which performs
5-22 only minor repairs, may file a single affidavit of
5-23 exemption annually, which, along with the other
5-24 information required by this Code section, clearly
5-25 indicates the location and individual in each place of
5-26 business. In such case, fees shall be paid for each
5-27 location. Notwithstanding any exemption from the
5-28 provisions of subsections (a) through (e) of this Code
5-29 section, all other provisions of this article shall apply
5-30 to any motor vehicle repair shop claiming to perform only
5-31 minor repairs.
5-32 (g) Any person applying for or renewing a local
5-33 occupational license on or after January 1, 1998, to
5-34 engage in business as a motor vehicle repair shop must
5-35 exhibit an active registration certificate from the
5-36 administrator or a copy of the affidavit of exemption
5-37 before the local occupational license may be issued or
5-39 (h) Each registration and affidavit of exemption must be
5-40 renewed annually.
5-41 (i) No annual registration application or fee is required
5-42 for an individual with no employees and no established
5-43 place of business.
6- 1 10-1-904.
6- 2 (a) When any customer requests a motor vehicle repair shop
6- 3 to perform repair work on a motor vehicle, the cost of
6- 4 which repair work will exceed $50.00 to the customer, the
6- 5 shop shall prepare a written repair estimate, which is a
6- 6 form setting forth the estimated cost of repair work,
6- 7 including diagnostic work, before effecting any diagnostic
6- 8 work or repair. The written repair estimate shall also
6- 9 include the following items:
6-10 (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the motor
6-11 vehicle repair shop;
6-12 (2) The name, address, and telephone number of the
6-14 (3) The date and time of the written repair estimate;
6-15 (4) The year, make, model, odometer reading, and license
6-16 plate number of the motor vehicle;
6-17 (5) The proposed work completion date. The motor
6-18 vehicle repair shop shall perform any repair within 24
6-19 hours of receiving the motor vehicle unless the customer
6-20 has agreed to a longer repair period;
6-21 (6) A general description of the customer's problem or
6-22 request for repair work or service relating to the motor
6-24 (7) A statement as to whether the customer is being
6-25 charged according to a flat rate or an hourly rate, or
6-27 (8) The estimated cost of repair;
6-28 (9) The charge for making a repair price estimate or, if
6-29 the charge cannot be predetermined, the basis on which
6-30 the charge will be calculated;
6-31 (10) The customer's intended method of payment;
6-32 (11) The name and telephone number of another person who
6-33 may authorize repair work if the customer desires to
6-34 designate such person;
6-35 (12) A statement indicating what, if anything, is
6-36 guaranteed in connection with the repair work and the
6-37 time and mileage period for which the guarantee is
6-38 effective. Upon completion of any repair, if the motor
6-39 vehicle repair shop returns the motor vehicle to the
7- 1 customer, and the customer has reason to believe that
7- 2 the repair problem has not been corrected, the motor
7- 3 vehicle repair shop shall make additional repairs at no
7- 4 cost to the customer, unless the motor vehicle repair
7- 5 shop conspicuously discloses that it does not guarantee
7- 6 its work;
7- 7 (13) A statement allowing the customer to indicate
7- 8 whether replaced parts should be saved for inspection or
7- 9 return; and
7-10 (14) A statement indicating the daily charge for storing
7-11 the customer's motor vehicle after the customer has been
7-12 notified that the repair work has been completed.
7-13 However, no storage charges shall accrue or be due and
7-14 payable for a period of three working days from the date
7-15 of such notification.
7-16 (b) If the cost of repair work will exceed $50.00, the
7-17 shop shall present to the customer a written notice
7-18 conspicuously disclosing, in a separate blocked section,
7-19 only the following statement in capital letters of at
7-20 least 12 point type:
7-21 PLEASE READ CAREFULLY, CHECK ONE OF THE STATEMENTS
7-22 BELOW, AND SIGN.
7-23 I UNDERSTAND THAT, UNDER STATE LAW, I AM ENTITLED TO A
7-24 WRITTEN ESTIMATE IF MY FINAL BILL WILL EXCEED $50.00.
7-25 _____I REQUEST A WRITTEN ESTIMATE.
7-26 _____I DO NOT REQUEST A WRITTEN ESTIMATE AS LONG AS THE
7-27 REPAIR COSTS DO NOT EXCEED $________. THE SHOP MAY NOT
7-28 EXCEED THIS AMOUNT WITHOUT MY WRITTEN OR ORAL APPROVAL.
7-29 _____I DO NOT REQUEST A WRITTEN ESTIMATE.
7-30 SIGNED ___________ DATE ______.
7-31 (c) The information required by paragraphs (8) and (12) of
7-32 subsection (a) of this Code section need not be provided
7-33 if the customer waives in writing his or her right to
7-34 receive a written estimate.
7-35 (d) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this Code
7-36 section, a copy of the written repair estimate required by
7-37 subsection (a) of this Code section and the disclosure
7-38 statement required by subsection (b) of this Code section
7-39 shall be given to the customer before repair work is
8- 1 begun. The disclosure statement may be provided on the
8- 2 same form as the written repair estimate.
8- 3 (e) If the customer leaves his or her motor vehicle at a
8- 4 motor vehicle repair shop during hours when the shop is
8- 5 not open or if the customer permits the shop or another
8- 6 person to deliver the motor vehicle to the shop, there
8- 7 shall be an implied partial waiver of the written
8- 8 estimate; however, upon completion of diagnostic work
8- 9 necessary to estimate the cost of repair, the shop shall
8-10 notify the customer as required in subsection (a) of this
8-11 Code section.
8-12 (f) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to
8-13 require a motor vehicle repair shop to give a written
8-14 estimated price if the motor vehicle repair shop does not
8-15 agree to perform the requested repair.
8-17 (a) No motor vehicle repair shop shall charge for making a
8-18 repair price estimate unless, prior to making the price
8-19 estimate, the shop:
8-20 (1) Discloses to the customer the amount of the charge
8-21 or, if the amount cannot be determined, the basis on
8-22 which the charge will be calculated; and
8-23 (2) Obtains authorization on the written repair
8-24 estimate, in accordance with Code Section 10-1-904, to
8-25 prepare an estimate. No motor vehicle repair shop shall
8-26 impose or threaten to impose any such charge which is
8-27 clearly excessive in relation to the work involved in
8-28 making the price estimate.
8-29 (b) It shall be unlawful for any motor vehicle repair shop
8-30 to require that any person waive his or her rights
8-31 provided in this article as a precondition to the repair
8-32 of his or her vehicle by the shop.
8-34 (a) In the event that:
8-35 (1) The written repair estimate contains only an
8-36 estimate for diagnostic work necessary to estimate the
8-37 cost of repair and such diagnostic work has been
8-39 (2) A determination is made by a motor vehicle repair
8-40 shop that the actual charges for the repair work will
9- 1 exceed the written estimate by more than $10.00 or 10
9- 2 percent, whichever is greater, but not to exceed $50.00;
9- 3 or
9- 4 (3) An implied partial waiver exists for diagnostic work
9- 5 as described in subsection (e) of Code Section 10-1-904
9- 6 and such diagnostic work has been completed,
9- 7 the customer shall be promptly notified by telephone,
9- 8 telegraph, mail, or other means of the additional repair
9- 9 work and the estimated cost thereof. A customer so
9-10 notified shall, orally or in writing, authorize, modify,
9-11 or cancel the order for repair.
9-12 (b) If a customer cancels the order for repair after being
9-13 advised that a repair which the customer has authorized
9-14 cannot be accomplished within the previously authorized
9-15 price estimate or time period, the shop shall
9-16 expeditiously reassemble the motor vehicle in a condition
9-17 reasonably similar to the condition in which it was
9-18 received unless:
9-19 (1) The customer waives reassembly; or
9-20 (2) The reassembled vehicle would be unsafe.
9-21 After cancellation of the repair order, the shop may
9-22 charge for the cost of teardown, the cost of parts and
9-23 labor to replace items that were destroyed by teardown,
9-24 and the cost to reassemble the component or the vehicle,
9-25 provided the customer was notified of these possible costs
9-26 in the estimate prior to commencement of the diagnostic
9-28 (c) It shall be unlawful for a motor vehicle repair shop
9-29 to charge more than the written estimate plus 10 percent,
9-30 but not to exceed $50.00, unless the motor vehicle repair
9-31 shop has obtained authorization to exceed the written
9-32 estimate in accordance with subsection (a) of this Code
9-34 (d) It shall be unlawful for any motor vehicle repair shop
9-35 to fail to return any customer's motor vehicle because the
9-36 customer has refused to pay for unauthorized repairs or
9-37 because the customer has refused to pay for repair charges
9-38 in excess of the final estimate plus 10 percent, but not
9-39 to exceed $50.00.
9-40 (e) Upon request made at the time the repair work is
9-41 authorized by the customer, the customer is entitled to
10- 1 inspect parts removed from his or her vehicle or, if the
10- 2 shop has no warranty arrangement or parts exchange program
10- 3 with a manufacturer, supplier, or distributor, have them
10- 4 returned to him or her.
10- 5 10-1-907.
10- 6 The motor vehicle repair shop shall provide each customer,
10- 7 upon completion of any repair, with a legible copy of an
10- 8 invoice for such repair. The invoice may be provided on
10- 9 the same form as the written repair estimate and shall
10-10 include the following information:
10-11 (1) The current date and odometer reading of the motor
10-13 (2) A statement indicating what was done to correct the
10-14 problem or a description of the service provided;
10-15 (3) An itemized description of all labor, parts, and
10-16 merchandise supplied and the costs thereof, indicating
10-17 what is supplied to the customer without cost or at a
10-18 reduced cost because of a shop or manufacturer's
10-20 (4) A statement identifying any replacement part as
10-21 being used, rebuilt, or reconditioned, as the case may
10-23 (5) A statement indicating what, if anything, is
10-24 guaranteed in connection with the repair work and the
10-25 time and mileage period for which the guarantee is
10-26 effective; and
10-27 (6) The registration number from the certificate issued
10-28 by the administrator pursuant to this article.
10-30 (a) Each motor vehicle repair shop shall maintain repair
10-31 records which shall include written repair estimates and
10-32 repair invoices. A customer's records shall be available
10-33 to the customer for inspection and copying for a period of
10-34 at least six months. A reasonable charge may be made for
10-35 copying if copying facilities are available. The customer
10-36 may not remove such original records from the premises.
10-37 (b) Each motor vehicle repair shop shall allow the
10-38 administrator to inspect or copy the repair records
10-39 required to be maintained under subsection (a) of this
10-40 Code section during regular business hours.
11- 1 10-1-909.
11- 2 (a) The administrator shall prescribe by rule the
11- 3 specifications for a sign to be posted by all registered
11- 4 motor vehicle repair shops in a manner conspicuous to the
11- 5 public. The sign shall contain the toll-free telephone
11- 6 number of the administrator for consumer information and
11- 7 assistance and shall inform customers that they may
11- 8 request, at the time the work order is taken, the return
11- 9 or inspection of all parts that have been replaced during
11-10 the motor vehicle repair.
11-11 (b) All motor vehicle repair shops required to register
11-12 under the provisions of this article shall include the
11-13 registration number from the certificate issued by the
11-14 administrator in any advertisements, announcements, or
11-15 listings relating to motor vehicle repair which are placed
11-16 in a newspaper, magazine, or directory.
11-18 (a)(1) Any customer may obtain the release of his or her
11-19 motor vehicle from any lien claimed under Code Sections
11-20 44-14-360 through 44-14-366 by a motor vehicle repair
11-21 shop for repair work performed under a written repair
11-22 estimate by filing with the clerk of the court in the
11-23 circuit in which the disputed transaction occurred a
11-24 cash or surety bond, payable to the person claiming the
11-25 lien and conditioned for the payment of any judgment
11-26 which may be entered on the lien. The bond shall be in
11-27 the amount stated on the invoice required by Code
11-28 Section 10-1-907, plus accrued storage charges, if any,
11-29 less the amount paid to the motor vehicle repair shop as
11-30 indicated on said invoice. The customer shall not be
11-31 required to institute judicial proceedings in order to
11-32 post the bond in the registry of the court, nor shall
11-33 the customer be required to use a particular form for
11-34 posting the bond, unless the clerk shall provide such
11-35 form to the customer for filing. Upon the posting of
11-36 such bond, the clerk of the court shall automatically
11-37 issue a certificate notifying the lienholder of the
11-38 posting of the bond and directing the lienholder to
11-39 release the customer's motor vehicle.
11-40 (2) The lienholder shall have 60 days to file suit to
11-41 recover the bond. The prevailing party in that action
11-42 may be entitled to damages plus court costs and
11-43 reasonable attorney's fees. If the lienholder fails to
12- 1 file suit within 60 days after the posting of such bond,
12- 2 the bond shall be discharged.
12- 3 (b) The failure of a lienholder to release or return to
12- 4 the customer the motor vehicle upon which any lien is
12- 5 claimed, upon receiving a copy of a certificate giving
12- 6 notice of the posting of the bond and directing release of
12- 7 the motor vehicle, shall subject the lienholder to
12- 8 judicial proceedings which may be brought by the customer
12- 9 to compel compliance with the certificate. Whenever a
12-10 customer brings an action to compel compliance with the
12-11 certificate, the customer need only establish that:
12-12 (1) Bond in the amount of the invoice, plus accrued
12-13 storage charges, if any, less any amount paid to the
12-14 motor vehicle repair shop as indicated on the invoice,
12-15 was posted;
12-16 (2) A certificate was issued pursuant to this Code
12-18 (3) The motor vehicle repair shop, or any employee or
12-19 agent thereof who is authorized to release the motor
12-20 vehicle, received a copy of a certificate issued
12-21 pursuant to this Code section; and
12-22 (4) The motor vehicle repair shop or employee authorized
12-23 to release the motor vehicle failed to release the motor
12-25 The customer, upon a judgment in his or her favor in an
12-26 action brought under this subsection, may be entitled to
12-27 damages plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees
12-28 sustained by such customer by reason of such wrongful
12-29 detention or retention. Upon a judgment in favor of the
12-30 motor vehicle repair shop, the shop may be entitled to
12-31 reasonable attorney's fees.
12-32 (c) Any motor vehicle repair shop which, or any employee
12-33 or agent thereof who is authorized to release the motor
12-34 vehicle who, upon receiving a copy of a certificate giving
12-35 notice of the posting of the bond in the required amount
12-36 and directing release of the motor vehicle, fails to
12-37 release or return the property to the customer pursuant to
12-38 this Code section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
12-39 (d) Any customer who stops payment on a credit card charge
12-40 or a check drawn in favor of a motor vehicle repair shop
12-41 on account of an invoice or who fails to post a cash or
12-42 surety bond pursuant to this Code section shall be
13- 1 prohibited from any recourse under this Code section with
13- 2 respect to the motor vehicle repair shop.
13- 3 10-1-911.
13- 4 A motor vehicle repair shop may not refuse to return a
13- 5 customer's motor vehicle by virtue of any miscellaneous
13- 6 lien, and it may not enforce such a lien in any other
13- 7 fashion if it has failed to substantially comply with the
13- 8 provisions of this article.
13- 9 10-1-912.
13-10 (a) It shall be a violation of this article for any motor
13-11 vehicle repair shop or employee thereof to:
13-12 (1) Engage or attempt to engage in repair work for
13-13 compensation of any type without first being registered
13-14 with or having submitted an affidavit of exemption to
13-15 the administrator;
13-16 (2) Make or charge for repairs which have not been
13-17 expressly or impliedly authorized by the customer;
13-18 (3) Misrepresent that repairs have been made to a motor
13-20 (4) Misrepresent that certain parts and repairs are
13-21 necessary to repair a vehicle;
13-22 (5) Misrepresent that the vehicle being inspected or
13-23 diagnosed is in a dangerous condition or that the
13-24 customer's continued use of the vehicle may be harmful
13-25 or cause great damage to the vehicle;
13-26 (6) Fraudulently alter any customer contract, estimate,
13-27 invoice, or other document;
13-28 (7) Fraudulently misuse any customer's credit card;
13-29 (8) Make or authorize in any manner or by any means
13-30 whatever any written or oral statement which is untrue,
13-31 deceptive, or misleading and which is known, or which by
13-32 the exercise of reasonable care should be known, to be
13-33 untrue, deceptive, or misleading;
13-34 (9) Make false promises of a character likely to
13-35 influence, persuade, or induce a customer to authorize
13-36 the repair, service, or maintenance of a motor vehicle;
13-37 (10) Substitute used, rebuilt, salvaged, or straightened
13-38 parts for new replacement parts without notice to the
13-39 motor vehicle owner and to his or her insurer if the
14- 1 cost of repair is to be paid pursuant to an insurance
14- 2 policy and the identity of the insurer or its claim
14- 3 adjuster is disclosed to the motor vehicle repair shop;
14- 4 (11) Cause or allow a customer to sign any work order
14- 5 that does not state the repairs requested by the
14- 6 customer or the automobile's odometer reading at the
14- 7 time of repair;
14- 8 (12) Fail or refuse to give to a customer a copy of any
14- 9 document requiring the customer's signature upon
14-10 completion or cancellation of the repair order;
14-11 (13) Willfully depart from or disregard accepted
14-12 practices and professional standards;
14-13 (14) Have repair work subcontracted without the
14-14 knowledge or consent of the customer unless the motor
14-15 vehicle repair shop or employee thereof demonstrates
14-16 that the customer could not reasonably have been
14-18 (15) Conduct the business of motor vehicle repair in a
14-19 location other than that stated in the registration
14-21 (16) Rebuild or restore a rebuilt vehicle without the
14-22 knowledge of the owner in such a manner that it does not
14-23 conform to the original vehicle manufacturer's
14-24 established repair procedures or specifications and
14-25 allowable tolerances for the particular model and year;
14-27 (17) Perform any other act that is a violation of this
14-28 article or that constitutes fraud or misrepresentation.
14-29 (b) A violation of this article shall also constitute a
14-30 violation of Code Section 10-1-393.
14-32 (a) Any customer injured by a violation of this article
14-33 may bring an action in the appropriate court for relief.
14-34 The prevailing party may be entitled to damages plus court
14-35 costs and reasonable attorney's fees. The customer may
14-36 also bring an action for injunctive relief in the superior
14-38 (b) The administrator shall process consumer complaints
14-39 received pursuant to this article according to the
14-40 provisions of Code Section 10-1-395.
15- 1 (c) All motor vehicle repair shops shall allow the
15- 2 administrator to enter their place of business to
15- 3 ascertain whether the registration certificate is current.
15- 4 If the administrator is refused entry or access to the
15- 5 premises of a motor vehicle repair shop, the administrator
15- 6 may seek injunctive relief in a superior court in order to
15- 7 obtain compliance with this subsection.
15- 8 (d) The administrator may enforce the provisions of this
15- 9 article by imposing administrative fines not to exceed
15-10 $1,000.00 per violation or by taking action to suspend or
15-11 revoke the registration of a motor vehicle repair shop
15-12 when the business has:
15-13 (1) A pattern of failing to comply with or violating the
15-14 provisions of this article;
15-15 (2) Filed an application in which any material fact is
15-16 omitted or falsely stated; or
15-17 (3) Intentionally defrauded the public through dishonest
15-18 or deceptive means.
15-19 All hearings under this subsection shall be conducted in
15-20 accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the 'Georgia
15-21 Administrative Procedure Act.'
15-22 (e)(1) The Attorney General or the district attorney, if
15-23 a violation of this article occurs in his or her
15-24 judicial circuit, shall be the enforcing authority for
15-25 purposes of this article and may bring a civil action in
15-26 a superior court for temporary or permanent injunctive
15-27 relief and may seek other appropriate civil relief,
15-28 including a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for
15-29 each violation, restitution, and damages for injured
15-30 customers, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees.
15-31 (2) The enforcing authority may terminate any
15-32 investigation or action upon agreement by the offender
15-33 to pay a stipulated civil penalty, to make restitution
15-34 or pay damages to customers, or to satisfy any other
15-35 relief authorized in this Code section and requested by
15-36 the administrator.
15-37 (f) If, in any proceeding brought pursuant to this
15-38 article, it is determined that the repairs and costs
15-39 thereof were in fact authorized, orally or in writing, the
15-40 repairs were completed in a proper manner, and the
15-41 consumer benefited therefrom, then the enforcing authority
15-42 may consider such factors in assessing penalties or
16- 1 damages and may award the reasonable value of such
16- 2 repairs.
16- 3 (g) The remedies provided for in this Code section shall
16- 4 be in addition to any other remedy provided by law.
16- 5 10-1-914.
16- 6 The administrator is authorized to establish by rule a
16- 7 program to provide financial assistance for individuals to
16- 8 undertake technical training or courses of study in motor
16- 9 vehicle repair. The administrator may use up to 10
16-10 percent of the annual proceeds from the registration of
16-11 motor vehicle repair shops for this purpose. The
16-12 financial assistance program shall comply with the
16-13 following general criteria:
16-14 (1) Motor vehicle repair shops shall submit a financial
16-15 assistance application to the administrator for
16-16 technical training on behalf of their employees; and
16-17 (2) Motor vehicle repair shops that receive financial
16-18 assistance for any course work, seminar, in-service
16-19 training, or other such program shall submit to the
16-20 administrator proof of attendance or completion of the
16-21 program. If such proof is not provided, the motor
16-22 vehicle repair shop shall refund to the administrator
16-23 the sum of the financial assistance received for the
16-24 program not attended or completed.
16-26 (a) The Motor Vehicle Repair Advisory Council is created
16-27 to advise and assist the administrator in carrying out
16-28 this article.
16-29 (b) The membership of the council may not exceed 11
16-30 members to be appointed by the administrator as follows:
16-31 (1) Four industry members of the council shall be chosen
16-32 from individuals already engaged in the motor vehicle
16-33 repair business who are eligible to be registered under
16-34 this article. Such members shall become registered by
16-35 January 1, 1998. Thereafter, the professional members
16-36 of this council shall be licensed under this article.
16-37 The administrator shall select industry members from
16-38 among the following categories:
16-39 (A) Independent automotive mechanics shops;
17- 1 (B) Franchise or company owned automotive mechanics
17- 2 shops;
17- 3 (C) Independent automotive collision shops;
17- 4 (D) Franchise or company owned automotive collision
17- 5 shops;
17- 6 (E) Independent tire dealers;
17- 7 (F) Franchise or company owned tire dealers;
17- 8 (G) Independent motor vehicle dealers; and
17- 9 (H) Franchise motor vehicle dealers;
17-10 (2) One member of the council shall be chosen from
17-11 persons already engaged solely in minor repair service
17-12 who are eligible to submit an affidavit of exemption and
17-13 who submit such affidavit by January 1, 1998.
17-14 Thereafter, the minor repair shop member of the council
17-15 shall file an affidavit of exemption pursuant to this
17-17 (3) Six consumer members of the council shall be
17-18 residents of this state and shall not be connected with
17-19 the motor vehicle repair business. At least two of the
17-20 consumer members shall be attorneys representing Georgia
17-21 Indigent Legal Services or any other legal aid society;
17-23 (4) Within 30 days after July 1, 1997, the administrator
17-24 shall appoint three consumer members and two industry
17-25 members for terms of two years and three consumer
17-26 members, one minor repair shop member, and two industry
17-27 members for terms of four years. As terms of the
17-28 members expire, the administrator shall appoint
17-29 successors for terms of four years. Members shall serve
17-30 from the time of their appointment until their
17-31 successors are appointed.
17-32 (c) The council shall annually elect from its members a
17-33 chairperson and vice chairperson.
17-34 (d) The council shall meet at the call of its chairperson,
17-35 at the request of a majority of its membership, or at the
17-36 request of the administrator.
17-37 (e) In conducting its meetings, the council shall use
17-38 accepted rules of procedure. The administrator shall keep
17-39 a complete record of each meeting, which shall show the
17-40 names of members present and the actions taken. These
18- 1 records and other documents about matters within the
18- 2 jurisdiction of the council must be kept on file with the
18- 3 administrator.
18- 4 (f) The administrator shall be responsible for providing
18- 5 administrative and staff support services relating to the
18- 6 functions of the council.
18- 7 (g) The council shall review the rules relating to this
18- 8 article which are adopted by the administrator and shall
18- 9 advise the administrator on matters relating to
18-10 educational grants, advancements in industry standards and
18-11 practices, and other issues that require technical
18-12 expertise and consultation or that promote better consumer
18-13 protection in the motor vehicle repair industry."
18-14 SECTION 2.
18-15 This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1997.
18-16 SECTION 3.
18-17 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are
Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98