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If your vehicle needs repair, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities before taking any action.

Motor Vehicle Damage Repair shops provide repairs needed due to fire, theft, vandalism, or collision. These types of shops are required to be registered with the MA Division of Standards and must obtain a $10,000 bond.

However, shops that perform routine mechanical repairs and maintenance are not licensed through any state agency. They are, however, required to follow the Attorney General’s Motor Vehicle Regulations 940 CMR 5.05. These regulations dictate the information that must be on repair orders, and require shops to repair at no charge any work that was not performed in a manner in accordance with acceptable trade standards. They also forbid mechanical repair shops from telling a consumer that repairs are needed if that is not true. For more information, visit our Massachusetts Consumer Guide: Mechanics of Auto Repair.

Filing a complaint:

It is recommended that consumers first attempt to resolve any complaints directly with the business. If that is not possible, you have other options.

If there has been a violation of 940 CMR 5.00, consumers may pursue recourse under 93A, the MA Consumer Protection Law. Both types of repair shops are required to obtain a business license from the municipality they wish to operate in.

If you have serious complaints against either type of repair shop, report them to the licensing authority of the municipality and/or your Local Consumer Program.

If you have complaints about Motor Vehicle Damage Repair Shops, inform the MA Division of Standards. Consumers may also choose to hire an attorney or research other legal options at www.masslegalhelp.org.

Cars that are sold with less than 125,000 miles on the odometer at the time of sale may be protected under the Massachusetts Used Vehicle Warranty Law if they have defects that impair the use or safety of the vehicle that appear within the term of protection. Consumers may wish to check their eligibility under the law before paying to have them repaired.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Program and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

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