Repair Facility Regulation Process
The Department of State is responsible for licensing, registering,
certifying, and regulating vehicle dealers, motor vehicle repair facilities, and
motor vehicle mechanics. The following methods are utilized by the Department to
regulate repair facilities and assure that they adhere to the requirements of
the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MCL 257.1301) and the administrative
rules promulgated pursuant to the Act.
Section 26 of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MCL 257.1326)
authorizes the Michigan Department of State to make investigations and gather
evidence against persons who may have violated, or are about to violate, the
Repair Act or an administrative rule. Complaints filed by consumers are
routinely handled by an investigator of the Department.
The Department's Regulatory Monitoring Division receives thousands of
consumer complaints every year. The Division attempts to gather all of the facts
in these cases. Repair facilities can almost always provide critical information
to the Division to assist in the investigation. When consumer complaints are
filed, the Division will contact the repair facility in one or more of the
- Mail. The Division will send the repair facility a letter asking
for a response to the consumer's complaint. The facility's side of the
dispute is very important in resolving the problem. Providing the Division
with a written response, in the desired timeframe, will help assure that the
dispute is handled as quickly and fairly as possible.
- Telephone Contact. A Department investigator may telephone the
repair facility to discuss the consumer's complaint. It is very important
that the facility's side of the dispute be given. Providing the Division
with forthright answers and copies of transaction records will assist in a
proper resolution of the complaint.
- Personal Contact. Sometimes in-person, face-to-face visits to
repair facilities are necessary to investigate certain complaints.
Department investigators will properly identify themselves when contacting
the facility. Section 17 of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MCL
257.1317) permits the Department investigators and other law enforcement
officers to inspect repair facilities during normal business hours. All
records pertaining to repair transactions performed within the past five
years are subject to inspection.
NOTE: All records of warranties, contracts or agreements that
extend beyond five years must be maintained until the warranty or contract
Timely and Favorable Responses
When a repair facility is contacted by the Regulatory Monitoring Division, a
timely response will help ensure that the complaint is handled quickly. Delays
in answering letters or telephone calls will only prolong the investigation.
Also, failing to cooperate with a Department investigator can result in action
being taken against the repair facility for hindering an investigation. Here are
some helpful hints:
- Reply promptly. This may avoid the need for further follow-up;
- Include copies of all relevant paperwork with your response;
- When responding to a letter, reply in writing. A written response may
avoid the need for further contacts.
When Violations are Alleged
In the course of an investigation or an inspection, the Department
investigator may determine that the repair facility failed to meet the
requirements of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act. The investigator may
find it necessary to issue a Notice of Noncompliance (NNC) which is similar to a
"ticket." By issuing a NNC, the Department investigator believes there was
enough evidence to justify issuing a violation notice. Of course, the cited
repair facility can appeal the Notice of Noncompliance to higher levels in the
Department. The appeal must be made in writing and must include the reason the
facility believes the violation was inappropriately issued. Supporting documents
must be attached. Appeals should be sent to: Michigan Department of State,
Business Licensing and Regulation Division, Lansing, MI 48918.
When a NNC has been issued; it is the responsibility of the Business
Licensing and Regulation Division to determine what disciplinary action, if any,
should be taken against the repair facility or mechanic.
- Depending on the seriousness of the violations, the past record of the
repair facility or mechanic, and the action taken to satisfactorily resolve
the matter, disciplinary action may range from a warning letter to
suspension or revocation of the repair facility's registration or mechanic's
- Typically, before action is taken to suspend or revoke a facility
registration or mechanic certification, the repair facility or mechanic is
given an informal opportunity to meet with Department representatives to
discuss the matter and, hopefully, reach an agreeable conclusion.
- Only in the most serious cases, or when an agreeable conclusion cannot
be reached, is an administrative hearing held to determine whether it is
appropriate to suspend or revoke the registration of the repair facility or
the certification of the mechanic.
Violations issued to a repair facility or mechanic by the Business Licensing
and Regulation Division are kept indefinitely and are a matter of public record
(Administrative Rule 257.102). Violations remain active on repair facility and
mechanic records for two years.
There are times when the repair facility will agree that the consumer is
indeed entitled to some sort of compensation. This can come in the form of
giving money back, reworking a repair job, or extending a warranty period.
Anytime a facility can provide this kind of restitution, it helps to bring the
case to a close.
Related Documents> Consumer's Automotive Information and Complaint Kit - 443745 bytes
Section 17 of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MCL 257.1317)
permits Department investigators and other law enforcement officers to inspect
repair facilities during normal business hours. All records pertaining to repair
transactions performed within the past five years are subject to inspection.
This includes the premises and parts inventories of facilities that engage in
vehicle body work. Inspections may be unannounced. Facility records must be open
to Department investigators and made available during their inspections.