The Importance of The Repair Invoice

June 03, 2010
By: Robert Silverman

I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but we cannot stress the importance of repair invoices. A young lady called today on the 1800 LEMON LAW hotline  to complain about the water leaks in her Jeep–she has been there too many times to count.  Now, anyone who reads our blog knows that we are very familiar with the problem and can help her.  We just need her to provide proof of her repairs. That’s where the problem lies-the dealer never gave her repair invoices.

Every time you pick up your car from a warrantied repair visit, it is essential that you receive an invoice which outlines the mileage in, mileage out, the complaint and the solution.  Could they duplicate the problem?  Were parts replaced?  Were codes found?  Is your problem related to a technical service bulletin, known as a TSB?  Were recalls performed?  Were these repairs covered internally by the dealer, under the manufacturers warranty, or were they the responsibility of the consumer? The answers to these questions could make or break a lemon law or breach of warranty claim.

Invoices provide proof of a continuous defect and illustrate that the problem was so severe that you had to return to the dealer time and time again. In addition, the invoices and repair histories can actually strengthen a claim.  We frequently ask potential clients to fax over their repair invoices so we can have them reviewed by one of our ASE-certified experts (we have three full-time mechanics on staff).  Sometimes, problems are related and the consumer has absolutely no idea.  This afternoon alone, we took two cases dealing with issues that may not have seem related to the “every man,” but our mechanics discovered the pattern immediately.

So, I know that we all dislike clutter, but do yourself a favor and hold on to those invoices.  Throwing them away could turn out to be very costly in the long run.

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