In the State of Florida, repair orders are legal documents and dealerships are required to give you a copy of your repair order after every service. Surprisingly, many consumers are not aware of this or think it is not necessary to secure a repair order. I would like to tell you why it is important to keep these repair orders neatly in a safe, dry place, outside of the vehicle. Three reasons come to mind:
1. You will need these repair orders if you decide to re-sell your vehicle. Savvy new car buyers want to see the repair orders on your vehicle. The repair orders will show that you have done regular maintenance on the vehicle. The repair orders will also be evidence of any issues you have had with the vehicle, and what you have done to resolve them.
2. Neat and organized repair orders say volumes about the owner and the car. They say: The owner of this car cares about me. He/she is a neat, organized and careful person. He/she is not hiding anything.
3. If you find that you are faced with filing a Lemon Law claim on your vehicle, the repair orders may make or break your case. The State of Florida uses these repair orders to determine if you qualify for legal relief and can proceed with your claim. Later when your claim goes to a Lemon Law Arbitration hearing, these repair orders can determine whether the Manufacturer will have to repurchase or replace your lemon vehicle. Interestingly, all parties involved in the process, from claim to decision, including the Arbitrators, will be influenced by your repair orders, as I discussed in #2. The repair orders are a reflection of you as a car owner.
Make sure that you collect a repair order after every service visit, even for routine maintenance. Store the repair orders neatly in a clean dry place outside of the vehicle. Keep back up records as well, such as receipts for rental, loaners or tow trucks. Emails from the service department or Manufacturer should also be saved if you are experiencing ongoing warranty issues.
If you have a new car, and already have several repair order for warranty issues, you may have a lemon. Call or contact us for a free case evaluation.
But, what do you do if you cannot get the Dealership to give you a repair order after you have serviced your vehicle? I will address that in my next blog.