Current Status Bill Number:
276Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19950110Primary Sponsor: Greg SmithAll Sponsors: Greg Smith, Rose, RankinDrafted Document Number: RES9522.GSResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee 12 SLCISubject: Motor Vehicle Repair and Service
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19950110 Introduced, read first time, 12 SLCI referred to Committee Senate 19941114 Prefiled, referred to Committee 12 SLCIView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 28, TITLE 56, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 1 RELATING TO THE SERVICE AND REPAIR OF MOTOR VEHICLES, SO AS TO REQUIRE A MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR FACILITY TO PROVIDE A CUSTOMER WITH A WRITTEN ESTIMATE, TO REQUIRE ORAL OR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE CUSTOMER BEFORE SERVICE OR REPAIR CAN BEGIN, TO PREVENT A MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR FACILITY FROM EXCEEDING ITS APPROVED ESTIMATE, TO REQUIRE DISPLAY OF THESE REGULATIONS IN THE FACILITY, AND TO GIVE CUSTOMERS THE RIGHT TO INSPECT AND/OR RETAIN REPLACED PARTS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 28, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 56-28-120. Definitions. For the purposes of this article, the following words, phrases, and terms are hereby defined as follows:
(1) `Customer' means a person contracting for, or intending to contract for, diagnoses, repairs, or services upon a motor vehicle used primarily for personal or business use.
(2) `Motor vehicle' means every self-propelled vehicle which subject to registration, except `moped' as defined in Article 9 of this chapter. Such term shall include every vehicle drawn by or designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle, and every device in, upon, or by which any property is or can be transported or drawn upon a highway.
(3) `Motor vehicle repair facility' means any person, motor vehicle dealer, garage, body shop, or other service center engaged in diagnoses, repairs, or services to a motor vehicle for the purpose of making a profit.
Section 56-28-130. (1) Upon request by a customer, and prior to the commencement of any repair work on a motor vehicle for which a consumer is likely to be charged more than fifty dollars, the motor vehicle repair facility is required to furnish the customer a written statement of (a) the estimated cost of labor necessary to complete the work, (b) the estimated cost of parts necessary to complete work, (c) a description of the problem or work as described or authorized by the consumer, and (d) the estimated completion time.
(2) In the case when a customer requests an estimate, the repair facility may not undertake any repair on the motor vehicle without oral or written authorization, other than such diagnostic work as may be necessary for the preparation of an estimate.
(3) When the estimate is for the purpose of diagnosing a motor vehicle malfunction, the estimate shall include the cost of diagnosis and disassembly and the cost of reassembly if the person does not authorize the repair.
(4) In the case when body parts are included in the estimate, the estimate shall clearly state whether such parts were manufactured as original equipment parts for the motor vehicle, or were manufactured as non-original replacement parts or are used parts. In the case when other parts, excluding body parts, are included in the estimate, the estimate shall clearly state whether such parts were manufactured as original replacement parts for the vehicle or are used parts.
(5) A motor vehicle repair facility may impose a reasonable fee for the preparation of a written estimate and related diagnostic work, provided that the fee is disclosed to the customer at the time of his request.
(6) A motor vehicle repair facility shall not charge for diagnoses, repairs, services, or other work exceeding the estimated amount by the lesser of ten percent (10%) or twenty-five dollars ($25), without oral or written consent from the customer. If consent is oral, the motor vehicle repair service shall make a notation on the work order of the date, time, name of person authorizing the additional repairs, telephone number called, specification of the additional parts and labor, and the total additional cost.
(7) A motor vehicle repair facility shall display conspicuously in an area frequented by persons seeking diagnoses, repairs, or services on motor vehicles a sign, not less than 22 by 28 inches in size, setting
forth in boldface letters at least 2 inches high and 1/2 inch wide the following:
`SOUTH CAROLINA STATE LAW REQUIRES THAT UPON REQUEST BY ANY PERSON AUTHORIZING REPAIRS TO A MOTOR VEHICLE, SUCH PERSON SHALL BE GIVEN A WRITTEN ESTIMATE OF TOTAL CHARGES FOR LABOR AND PARTS AND ACCESSORIES, AND THAT NO CHARGE MAY BE MADE EXCEEDING THE ESTIMATED AMOUNT BY 10 PERCENT OR $25, WHICHEVER IS LESS, WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE PERSON AUTHORIZING THE REPAIRS.'
Section 56-28-140. A motor vehicle repair facility shall offer at the time the repair work is authorized to return to the customer any parts which are removed from the motor vehicle and replaced during the process of repair; provided that any part which is required to be returned to a manufacturer or distributor under a warranty agreement, trade-in agreement, or core charge agreement for a reconditioned part need not be returned to the customer. The customer retains the right to inspect requested returned parts even if custody cannot be granted.
Section 56-28-150. Each motor vehicle repair facility shall maintain records and estimates of all diagnoses, services, and repairs performed on motor vehicles for two years following completion of the work. Such records shall be available for inspection by the Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs or his designee during all business hours. Where a motor vehicle repair facility changes its name or location, notification thereof shall be given to the Administrator not more than thirty days therefrom.
Section 56-28-160. Upon completion of service or repair work on a motor vehicle, including work performed pursuant to any warranty, a motor vehicle repair facility shall provide the customer a written invoice which clearly indicates the work performed and the charges for parts and labor, separately stated, and which separately identifies those parts provided under warranty and not under warranty, and identifies those parts, if any, which are used, rebuilt, or reconditioned.
Section 56-28-170. Any action brought under this chapter must be commenced within one year following the date of delivery of the motor vehicle to the consumer.
Section 56-28-180. Each violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a separate prohibited practice and shall be punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars. If it is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction that a violation is willful, the court may impose a fine of no less than five hundred fifty dollars or thirty days in jail, or both, for each violation."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.