You take your car to the mechanic for a diagnostic or you leave it at the shop to get one thing done and when you go back to pick up your car, the mechanic has fixed things you did not authorize. On top of repairing your car without your consent, the mechanic tells you that they will not release the vehicle to you until you pay the entire bill. Are you stuck with paying it to get your car back? Read on to find out.
In the state of Georgia, explanation for this issue can be found through O.C.G.A. § 40-3-54 which states that mechanics do have the right to place a lien on your vehicle for work done or for work to be done and they may keep the vehicle until the repairs are paid for. If the repairs are not paid for within a certain amount of time, the mechanic can foreclose on your car to obtain payment. In other words, mechanics can keep your car until they are paid and if they aren't paid in a certain amount of time, they can repossess your car! But this doesn't mean that they can do unauthorized repairs and then demand payment. The Georgia Statute makes it clear that a mechanic must always act in good faith and work must be authorized by the owner of the vehicle for a mechanic's lien to be valid. If a mechanic performs repairs without a contract by the owner, then the lien is not valid and the mechanic does not have the right to keep your car.
In the instance where a person did not authorize repairs, the mechanic has the option of undoing the work and putting the vehicle back in the condition it was before the authorized repairs or doing the work for at not costs. A mechanic or body shop cannot refuse to release your vehicle after having done repairs you did not agree to.
If your car has been repaired without your consent and the mechanic refuses to return your car without payment, you may be entitled to damages amounting to the length of time the mechanic has kept your car without authorization and other remedies under the law. Contact Embry Legal for assistance, we can help!