When we provide our free evaluation of a vehicle, the first thing we will ask for is the repair invoices for the vehicle. Many people wonder why since they can tell us when their vehicle was repaired and what was done. However, we cannot evaluate a case based upon the oral history of the vehicle and we will insist on getting the repair invoices (or the vehicle repair history in a pinch).
The first reason is that repair invoices are considered the best evidence of what was done on the vehicle. It is usually the first and the last thing that a lemon law judge will look at if there is a repurchase hearing.
The Texas Lemon Law and the other statutes revolve around warranty repairs. Sometimes repairs are done under “goodwill” by the dealership. These goodwill repairs are provided at no charge to the consumer, just like a warranty repair and are unrecognizable by most consumers. Manufacturers generally do not believe that good will repairs should count as repairs under the Texas Lemon Law (we tend to disagree in most circumstances).
Additionally, in many cases, what the consumer thinks was done to the vehicle does not match what the invoice says. That happens for a variety of reasons – the service person working for the dealership is not a mechanic and may not understand what was really done. Some times things are just missed on the invoice. A mechanic will forget to enter a code into the invoicing computer and the repair will not appear. We have even seen instances where it appears that repairs were just not put down or the consumer was lied to regarding what was done.
We rarely think that dealerships intentionally do not list repairs because it is not in their best interest – they will not get paid by the manufacturer if they do not list the repair. However, unlisted repairs do occur often when a dealership screws up an initial repair and will not be paid for the subsequent repair.
Regardless, the best way for us to let you know your situation and how to proceed is to review your invoices and then discuss the situation with you.