Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop

Claudia Diaz - Mechanics - December 12, 2022

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Did you take your car to a mechanic shop or car repair shop and had an unpleasant experience? Consider writing a demand letter to the mechanic shop if you have a dispute against them for damages, improper repair work, etc. In this article, learn how to write a demand letter to a mechanic shop, what to include in your demand letter, and how to send the demand letter.

Common Reasons to Send a Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop 

Below are some common reasons to send a demand letter to a mechanic shop:

  • Poor mechanic work. You took your car to a mechanic shop for repairs but the work was not done correctly. 

  • Damage to your car. You took your car in for repairs and the mechanic shop damaged your car door as they were making the repairs. 

  • Incorrect or bad estimates. You took your car to a mechanic shop and got an estimate for $1,000 for necessary repairs. When the work was completed and you attempted to pay for the repairs you were told it was actually $2,000 for the repairs. 

  • The mechanic shop didn’t perform. You took your car to a mechanic shop and paid for repairs that were never performed. 

Why is a Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop Important?

A well-crafted demand letter can be a useful tool if you have a dispute with a mechanic shop. Not only does a demand letter send notice to the mechanic shop of your intent to sue if you can’t resolve the problem, but it also gives you an opportunity to try and settle your dispute outside of court. 

Here are some other good reasons to first send a demand letter to a mechanic shop before taking legal action:  

  1. Depending on the state you are filing a lawsuit in, you may be required to demand payment from the mechanic shop before filing. For example, in California, small claims courts you are required to first demand payment from the mechanic shop before suing. By sending a demand letter you are completing this requirement. 

  2. A demand letter can help you better organize your case. If you end up filing a lawsuit against the mechanic shop you will need to make a concise claim and prove your case to a judge. Writing a demand letter will help you think through every aspect of your case, including the important facts, legal arguments, and evidence you'll need to prove your claim. A demand letter will prepare you for litigation even before you file a lawsuit.

  3. A demand letter signals to the mechanic shop that you are serious about resolving the dispute and that you are willing to take action. 

  4. Sending a written demand letter to a mechanic shop assures you there is a record of your attempt to settle. So while demands can be made orally, we recommend making any demands in writing. Writing a letter can sometimes be very effective as it is a more formal way of making a demand to a mechanic shop. 

  5. The most important reason to send a demand letter to a mechanic shop is that it may lead to a settlement without incurring court costs!  

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Write a Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop?

The decision is up to you to make. There is no formal requirement that states you need an attorney to write your demand letter, you can do it on your own. 

What to Include in Your Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop

Unsure of what to include in your letter? Below we have included suggestions on the most important things to include in your demand letter to a mechanic shop:  

  • Discuss the important facts and explain why you are seeking payment. For example, you are demanding payment from a mechanic shop because they damaged your car while making repairs to it. In the demand letter, discuss where the car was damaged, the state of your car before taking it to the mechanic shop, how much it will cost to fix the damages, etc. 

  • Include your contact information so the mechanic shop knows where to reach you in case they want to reach a settlement. Our clients often chose to communicate via email or other forms of writing. Make sure to include an email address along with any other form of communication you are comfortable with. 

  • Include where you would like to receive payment. Consider using Venmo or Paypal if you are comfortable with those options. If not include your mailing address so the mechanic shop knows where they can mail a check to you.

  • Attach other documents or photos that may be necessary and could be used as evidence later in case of legal action. For example, if the mechanic shop improperly repaired your motor and you need to take it to another car repair shop to fix the motor include the invoice from the car repair shop.  

  • Include a deadline to respond to you. Consider giving the mechanic shop 14 days to respond to you and state that if they do not respond within that time, you intend to sue them. 

Once you have sent your demand letter, keep it in your records. In the event, you do end up filing a small claims lawsuit you can bring it to the hearing and show it to the judge. This is especially handy if the mechanic shop claims they didn’t receive the letter. 

Sample Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop 

Below is a sample demand letter for car repairs to a mechanic shop. This sample demand letter involves a mechanic shop that improperly worked on someone’s car. Use this sample to help you write your own demand letter, but remember to only discuss the dispute you are having with the mechanic shop. Make sure to be as detailed as possible when discussing what happened between you and the mechanic shop and why you are seeking payment. 

How to Send a Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop 

You may send your demand letter to a mechanic shop via email or mail. For letters that you mail, consider sending your letter with tracking information so that you know when it has been delivered. 

Next Steps After Sending a Demand Letter to a Mechanic Shop

Did you send a demand letter to a mechanic shop and never received a response? It may be time to consider suing the mechanic shop in small claims court. Small claims courts handle a variety of cases involving mechanic shops at a low cost. This is because small claims courts were intended to be affordable and user-friendly. In some small claims courts, attorneys are not even allowed to represent you making the cost of small claims litigation affordable. 

Besides filing a small claims lawsuit, you may also want to consider filing a complaint against the mechanic shop with a state, federal, or non-governmental organization. For example, your state’s Attorney General’s Office may handle complaints against mechanic shops. 

Author

Claudia Diaz

Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Claudia holds a J.D. degree and is a certified mediator in New York and Florida. She has participated in dozens of small claims mediations in New York City courts.

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