This is a topic we have covered before but it certainly bears repeating. How important are your repair invoices when it comes to a Lemon Law claim? The answer in the nutshell—VERY.
Every time your vehicle goes in for service, it is imperative for you to sit down with the adviser and go over every single problem or issue that requires attention. It is the adviser’s job to review the information with you prior to the repair. The invoice should also include mileage in and drop off date. Once you retrieve the vehicle, you are to be presented with a completed copy of this invoice. Now, the paper should include mileage out, date returned to the consumer, and the dealer’s detailed findings pertaining to each complaint.
Did they verify the issue? Did they replace parts? Is there a technical service bulletin attached to the issue? Is there no fix available? Are parts on back order? Is the fix being covered through the manufacturer’s warranty or internally? This information should all be outlined with the driver BEFORE they accept receipt of their vehicle. And if something is incorrect (i.e.”I mentioned the check engine light came on and that is not included on the invoice.” or “The back carpet was damp from the previous water leak. Why is that not listed?”), do not accept receipt of the car until the invoice is revised.
These invoices provide the evidence you need to illustrate that you either have a repetitive problem requiring continuous visits back to an authorized manufacturer’s dealer OR that your vehicle has been in the shop an extended period of time to address a non-conformity under manufacturer’s warranty. Either of these scenarios could lead to a significant recovery under State Lemon Laws and/or Federal Warranty Statutes.
So, treat these repair invoices with much care. Put them in a safe place, keep them organized, and be ready to have them available at a moment’s notice. In other words, treat them like thousand dollar bills, Because, in certain situations, they are indeed.
If your repair invoices indicate repetitive visits to the dealer for the same issue, or your vehicle being out of service an extended period of time, you have rights and depending on the state and circumstances, you could be looking at a new car, a complete refund, or significant compensation to reflect the diminished value of your car as a result of the defect. Call 1800 LEMON LAW ( 1800 536 6652) or visit www.lemonlaw.com/rid.html to find out more about your rights. In the end, those invoices could lead you to the road to recovery.