Sample Letter for Three Different Denial of Repair Order Scenarios
Following is a sample letter you can use as a guide to document your attempted repair where 1) you have been denied a repair order, or 2) where you have been told they do not have parts in stock to perform the necessary repair, or 3) where you have been told your defect is "normal" and therefore they won't take your vehicle in.
(address: get from your warranty book)
Re: (Your Name)
Vehicle make and Model:
VIN# (this is your vehicle ID number – can be found on your registration)
Dear (dealer & manufacturer)
I am writing today because on (date) I brought my (year-make-model) to your dealership asking that it be repaired under the terms of my warranty.
I was informed that the dealership (provide name of dealership) would not take my vehicle in for repair because _______. (State the reasons given as to why they would not take in it, who said it and when. There are many variables in each case, so this is where you have to think with the information you have read in this article as it relates to your circumstance.)
After providing the basic who, when and where, you may want to select from the following samples below to describe your situation:
"I was told they did not have the parts necessary to perform the repair needed for my vehicle and for this reason would not take the vehicle in, nor would they issue a repair order indicating that I came in for the requested repair. While I can understand why they would not take the car in to just sit and wait for parts to arrive, it is no excuse to not issue a repair order as evidence that I showed up asking for a repair. Indeed, they could have indicated that they do not have the parts available and to return at a later time; however, I wasn't even given that courtesy. California law requires that you (manufacturer) maintain adequate parts for the dealership to honor your warranty. I came to have my warranty honored and was turned away.
I was told by the dealership's service writer that the defect I have complained about (perhaps several times) is now considered to be "normal" and therefore they will not take my vehicle in for warranty repair. The situation with my vehicle is not normal by any means. Regardless, it is no excuse to not receive the vehicle, perform an inspection, and issue evidence that I brought it to you for this concern. It is incredible to me how one can make a determination that something is "normal" when they haven't inspected the complaint. This is a breach of my warranty rights both under the law and according to your warranty. Finally, it is my intention to inform the Bureau of Automotive Repair in California that you have refused to take my vehicle in and provide a repair order receipt showing that I brought the vehicle in for work on a warranty concern.
The service writer (or whomever) performed a repair on my vehicle addressing my concern. But he/she would not issue a repair order evidencing the fact that I brought the vehicle in with my complaint. (If you asked for a repair order and they refused, add those facts as well, including the name of the person who refused.) This is a violation of California law. I am entitled to a repair order receipt evidencing the complaints I voiced and the repairs performed, if any. I intend to report this matter to the California Bureau of Automotive Repair.
Please consider this letter as evidence of my having given you an opportunity to repair my vehicle under the terms of the warranty on ______.
John Q Consumer
Contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair
Finally, in addition to the letter documenting your repair attempt, there is another resource at your disposal that may be a helpful flanking action to combat the refused repair order stonewall tactic. As mentioned in the second and third samples above, you can enlist the assistance of the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR, the state's automotive consumer protection agency) by reporting the dealership that refused to issue you a repair order.
The BAR wants to know when dealers fail to issue repair orders and have even issued a publication for consumers and dealerships called Write it Right, which tells dealerships what is supposed to be contained in each repair order.
Regardless, make sure to familiarize yourself with the information I have provided above, as the BAR may still try to side with the dealer, telling you, "Oh but they don't have parts. Be reasonable." No! The law makes it clear the manufacturer is supposed to provide the parts at all times to be able to honor the warranty. The dealer has no business protecting the manufacturer for their failure to comply with California law by not issuing a repair order to you evidencing your efforts to have your warranty honored.
Here is the BAR's link: http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/Consumer/Complaints/index.html
The wrong thing to do is nothing. Don't let manufacturers trample on your rights. Make them accountable for their actions. Do something about it. Fight back!