Why Is “Customer States…” Printed On Car Repair Bills?

  • October 12, 2022
  • 3 min read

When you entrust your vehicle to a service center or your new car dealer for repairs, you’ve likely noticed a recurring phrase on your repair order: “Customer States.” In this article, we delve into the reasons behind this common wording and its crucial role in the legal and diagnostic processes of automotive repairs.

Understanding “Customer States”

The phrase “Customer States” holds a specific purpose within the automotive repair industry. Its consistent appearance on repair orders is not mere formality but a deliberate choice made by repair centers to navigate potential legal complexities. The intention is to accurately attribute reported issues to the customer rather than prematurely assuming responsibility for a specific problem with the vehicle.

Mitigating Legal Risks

Putting down exactly what the customer states on the repair bill is a strategic move to mitigate legal risks for the repair center. By documenting the issues as reported by the customer, repair centers avoid unintentionally admitting to a problem with the vehicle. This becomes particularly relevant when it comes to warranty work, claims against the vehicle seller, or potential liabilities tied to vehicle repairs.

Navigating Warranty and Liability Issues

Imagine a scenario where a customer reports an engine noise, and the repair center documents it as “Customer States engine making a noise.” Until the diagnosis confirms the engine issue, the repair center refrains from stating on the repair bill that the engine is making a noise. This legal maneuver helps the repair center navigate potential warranty claims or liabilities, especially if the issue is not replicated during the diagnosis.

Ensuring Accurate Documentation

For vehicle owners, the appearance of “Customer States” on the repair order serves as a reassurance that their reported concerns are being duly acknowledged. However, the process doesn’t end there. When you receive your vehicle back, it’s crucial to review the repair order for notations regarding the technician’s findings. If the identified problem was not duplicated or discovered, the repair order should explicitly state, “Technician did not duplicate the problem” or a similar notation. This step ensures a transparent record of customer-reported issues and the corresponding outcomes.

Protecting Both Consumers and Repair Centers

Whether you’re a consumer or part of a repair shop or independent garage, adherence to the practice of “Customer States” until a thorough diagnosis is conducted is essential. For consumers, it ensures that your reported issues are accurately documented, while repair centers safeguard themselves from potential legal entanglements.

Transparency in Automotive Repairs

The inclusion of “Customer States” on repair orders is not a mere technicality but a legal and diagnostic necessity. It fosters transparency in the automotive repair process, benefiting both consumers and repair centers. By following this standardized approach, repair centers can address reported concerns methodically, and consumers can have confidence that their issues are being duly recognized and documented. The collaborative adherence to this practice streamlines the automotive repair journey and contributes to a more efficient and transparent experience for all parties involved.

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