Every consumer who purchases a car under warranty should keep a detailed record of all repair orders and invoices for their vehicle. There’s a few reasons for this.
For one, it helps keep the manufacturer accountable for the services they perform on your vehicle. Whether it’s a simple fix or a multi-stage repair, you want assurance that your money is being spent on professional services that actually help you get back on the road. When you purchase a new car, it’s best to have it serviced at a certified dealership’s service center. Subpar repair services can provide temporary fixes that help you get from point A to point B, but you risk the eventuality of your car breaking down again just beyond the scope of your warranty.
Another important reason to maintain a record of your repair invoices is because they are an essential element of establishing your case for potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law. When a Texas Lemon Law attorney has access to your repair invoices, it makes it significantly easier to assess your case, propose a solution, and pursue the manufacturer for compensation for your lemon.
Clearly, saving your repair invoices is an essential part of car ownership, especially if you want to protect your right to potential relief under the Texas Lemon Law. But what should you do if you lose your repair invoices?
Consult Your Dealership’s Service Center
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) notes that, under the Texas Lemon Law, “You are required to allow the manufacturer a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect(s) before you may file a complaint for lemon law relief.”
This means that consumers attempting to get their vehicles repaired by third-party vendors could lose their right to potential lemon law relief. Always consult your dealership’s service center for repairs. And if you lose your repair invoices, contact them for copies of your records. There’s a good chance that the dealership has an advanced recordkeeping system with an individual account for storing information pertaining to your vehicle. Any ethical dealer should happily oblige your request for repair records. Parts replacements have warranties and services that are often guaranteed for a certain amount of time or mileage, which means records should be retained for, at the very least, the length of the warranty. The Internal Revenue Service notes that these types of documents should be held for as long as seven years. One award-winning accounting firm also asserts that vehicle repair orders should be maintained for seven years.
Ask for Copies of All Repair Orders or Invoices and Your Service History
When you contact the dealer, you absolutely need to request complete copies of all repair orders (ROs) or invoices, but it doesn’t hurt to request a print out detailing your vehicle’s complete service history, too. That said, your ROs are the key to a successful claim — not the service history. Your ROs will provide a detailed breakdown of the work that has been performed on your vehicle. The service history may be able to help you illustrate the pattern of repairs, but the ROs provide the hard evidence your Texas Lemon Law attorney requires to assess your case.
However, if the dealer is unable (or unwilling) to give you new copies of your ROs, you should still request the complete service history for your vehicle. It’s not ideal for pursuing a claim, but a Texas Lemon Law attorney will do their best to prove that your vehicle is a lemon if you only have the service history available. The bottom line: if you’re currently dealing with a vehicle that you suspect to be a lemon, make sure that you save all of your ROs!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.