California Bureau Of Automotive Repair

Debora Carley

— You probably visit several bars during SEMA events. However, most body shop managers and owners have little interest in bars that sell $20 specialty cocktails. Instead, this BAR goes by the name of the California bureau of automotive repair, which can give you an eternal hangover if you don’t […]

California Bureau Of Automotive Repair

You probably visit several bars during SEMA events. However, most body shop managers and owners have little interest in bars that sell $20 specialty cocktails. Instead, this BAR goes by the name of the California bureau of automotive repair, which can give you an eternal hangover if you don’t comply with its rules and regulations. Observing the BAR’s guidelines is the best way to protect your company from disciplinary actions and fines. The CA bureau of automotive repair is responsible for licensing and regulating automotive repair technicians and dealers, majoring in inspections and repairs of the brake, lamp, plus Smog Check business in California.

At some point, we all take our cars into a mechanic shop, whether it’s for regular maintenance that comes with your extended car warranty or for comprehensive work, such as collision repairs. Are you always confident that the auto repair facility will repair your vehicle correctly and for a fair price? Well, the California BAR says that you should. And when you feel that the auto shop has done work improperly or have received unfair treatment, you can turn to them for help.

What Issues Does The California Bureau Of Automotive Repair Handle?

The CA bureau of automotive repair handles different types of complaints from consumers that violate the Auto Repair Act or any other laws. For example, if you own a new car, can the dealer refuse to honor its factory warranty because you prefer someone else doing routine maintenance and repairs? According to the Federal Trade Commission, the protection agency for consumers, it is against the law for any dealer to turn down your warranty coverage just because you had someone else perform regular maintenance and repair work.

Routine maintenance entails various things like oil changes, belt replacement, new brake pads, tire rotations, fluid checks and flushes, as well as inspections. Maintenance schedules usually vary according to the make, model, and year of your vehicle.

Many consumers are struggling to keep up with outrageous car repair bills from phony auto repair dealers. Routine maintenance and repairs should not be expensive because you are afraid of voiding your warranty using recycled or aftermarket parts. An aftermarket component is a car part not made by the original equipment manufacturer or vehicle manufacturer. Recycled components are those that the carmaker or original equipment manufacturer makes and installs in a new vehicle and later removes it from the car, making it available for reuse or resale.

Using a recycled or aftermarket part should not void your factory warranty or extended auto coverage. According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, companies cannot deny coverage in a warranty or annul the warranty just because you used a recycled or aftermarket component. However, the dealer or manufacturer can require you to use certain parts only, if they provide them free in the warranty.

Besides, if the recycled or aftermarket part was defective or was not properly installed, damaging another component in your auto coverage, the dealership or manufacturer can deny you coverage for the part and levy you for any repairs. Even so, the law says the dealer must prove that the aftermarket component caused the damage to deny you warranty coverage.

Each year, the Bureau of Automotive Repair in CA negotiates refunds, adjustments, and rework, amounting to millions of dollars, on consumers’ behalf. The BAR also offers a full range of consumer protection services, such as:

  • Registration and regulation of about 36 thousand automotive repair dealers in CA
  • Licensing Smog Check inspectors, technicians, and stations.
  • Licensing brake and lamp stations and technicians
  • Arbitrating automotive repair complaints
  • Investigating and taking disciplinary action against auto repair operations violating the law
  • Administering and enforcing the CA Smog Check Program
  • Helping to reduce motor vehicle air pollution in California by enforcing emission laws


Contact the BAR anytime to investigate a complaint you feel requires redress. You can file a complaint with the association in one of three ways.

  • Fill out the online Complaint Form.
  • Complete the form manually, print, and mail it to them
  • The BAR can also mail you its Complaint Form if you request at (800) 952-5210

How Does The California Bureau of Automotive Repair Resolve Complaints?

Once you file a complaint with the California bureau of automotive repair, here is how they will resolve your issue:

  • The CA BAR will allocate a case number for your compliant.
  • You will receive their postcard within ten days, acknowledging receipt of the complaint and informing you of the BAR representative in charge of your case.
  • The BAR’s supervisor reviews your complaint to see if the auto-repair shop went against the auto repair act regulations.
  • Your assigned representative will also review the case before contacting you.
  • The representative will then try to negotiate with the auto repair facility on your behalf.
  • Once there’s an outcome, the BAR representative will notify you by mail, in person, or phone.


Note that there are things the bureau of automotive repair in CA cannot do on your behalf, including:

  • Representing you in court
  • Levying fines on your behalf
  • Collecting money


You’ll want to be patient during the resolution process. Efforts to redress your complaint may mean the BAR representative contacting you and the auto repair facility several times. In the process, the agent will also describe your complaint to the repair shop to reach a satisfactory agreement.

If you don’t reach an agreement, it’s best to consult a lawyer or consider taking the matter to a civil court. Remember, the BAR does not represent consumers in court, making an attorney’s services essential, if you reach an agreement through a court verdict.

Five Things Auto Repair Shop Owners And Managers Should Know About CA BAR

If you are an investor in the CA automotive repair industry, you should know five important things about the California bureau of automotive repair:

1. The California BAR Is 100 Percent Complaint-Driven

The BAR in CA never conducts random auto repair shop inspections. Therefore, if they are contacting you, the chances are that a client complained. You can keep the BAR away from your door by improving your facility’s customer service to satisfy customers. Poor customer service can hurt your business in more than one way since the BAR might check your online reviews during investigations.

2. Anyone Else Apart From Customers Can Turn You Into The CA BAR

Most body shop managers and owners believe that customers are the only people that can complain at the BAR. While keeping your clients happy is paramount, failing in other aspects of your business can also result in a complaint to the CA BAR. For instance, the organization receives many complaints from competitors and insurance firms on a range of things like careless repair orders, incomplete authorizations, erroneous estimates, and other issues that can ruin your gains.

3. The CA Bureau of Automotive Repair Is Always On The Look Out For Fraud

The climax for any agency like the California bureau of automotive repair is exposing fraud. If the organization is investigating you for fraud, you’ll only come to know of it when they are ready to tell you. The BAR will not warn you or assist you in making amends with a dissatisfied client once they detect fraud. Fraud has serious consequences, including losing your license. Therefore, you’ll want to take calls from the BAR very seriously.

4. Sloppy Paperwork Is Often The Start Of Many Problems

Many body shop owners seem unconcerned about the BAR’s visits because they’ll probably only look at the paperwork and vendor invoices. Unknown to many, such visits are usually serious. The CA BAR will look at your paperwork to see if they can find fraud. According to the Bureau of automotive repair in California, negligence or incompetence, estimates and invoices, authorization, misleading and false statements, and fraud are the top five allegations people cite against repair shops. If you look carefully at all these, nearly all of them begin with sloppy paperwork. It usually gives concrete evidence against any collision and body facility the BAR is investigating. Ensure to keep accurate and complete records at all times.

5. Multi-Shop Operators Are More Vulnerable Than Independent Franchises

If you are the owner of multiple repair facilities, you already know you cannot be in all the shops simultaneously. It increases the odds of having documents with omitted details or inaccurate estimates and invoices. There are thousands of moving components in an MSO, presenting a whole range of additional issues that an independent establishment doesn’t have. If you are a manager or owner of an MSO, the CA BAR is more likely to knock at your door since you are handling more customers, increasing the complaint’s odds.

Final Thought

If you own a vehicle, you know how vital it is to follow routine maintenance and repairs. It is even more important to be sure that you will get quality services from an auto repair shop. Fortunately, you can file a complaint and receive redress poor services through the California bureau of automotive repair. Protecting customers from fraudulent and substandard work remains the top priority of the CA BAR.

Automotive repair shops, dealers, and technicians should not have anything to worry about the BAR if they have nothing to hide. It means doing quality work, producing quality paperwork, and running a transparent and accountable franchise. Besides, keep in mind that everyone is watching you, and most of them might not be your biggest fans.

This content is brought to you by Shafiq Ch.

Photo: Shutterstock

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