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MA Auto Repair Shop and consumer protection laws

I have a question about the Massachusetts laws concerning auto repairs. I have an Audi which I left off for service at a reputable local shop exactly one month ago today. The initial estimate was for $900, but soon thereafter they had to transfer the car to an Audi dealer for work, then the car came back to them and it has been there since. They have been continually feeding me stories about how they are having problems with programming my computer, and the current estimate is up to $2300. They have continued to promise me the car by certain dates and then pushed those dates back. Last Wednesday they told me the part was wrong and that they would expedite a new one by the end of the week, Monday at the latest. They still have not finished the job and now here we are on Tuesday and I am being told it should be ready sometime this week. Do I have a case against these clowns or do I just have to suck it up? Any help would be appreciated, Chris.

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There is a series of regulations in Massachusetts describing a number of actions that constitute unfair and deceptive acts and practices by automobile mechanics and repair shops.  For example, this recent post about illegal storage fees.  You should review 940 CMR 5.05(4), see the link below, and compare the actual behavior of your mechanic to the behavior prohibited by Massachusetts law.  I cannot tell you if you have a claim or if you should sue.  Sometimes repairs cost more than we think they will, especially when you have to buy a part for certain types of cars.  But if your mechanic has violated a MA regulation and committed unfair and deceptive acts, that opens the door for your use of a demand letter, a powerful bargaining tool even if you never actually file a lawsuit.  Good luck.

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