The consumer may choose the location used for regular maintenance
The consumer may choose the location of regular maintenance of the car, but servicing must be performed in accordance with the servicing program. If regular maintenance is not performed by an authorised repairer, you should ensure that the car is serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's servicing programme valid in Finland.
If a defect in the car is due to a mistake in regular maintenance or negligence of maintenance, the vendor, manufacturer or importer may refuse responsibility for repairing the fault or refuse to provide the other compensation for which they would otherwise be liable on the basis of the warranty policy or liability for defects. If no causal relationship is discovered between possible neglect of servicing and a fault that has appeared, the vendor, manufacturer or importer cannot deny their responsibility merely due to the servicing having been neglected.
The consumer may have work not included in the actual servicing programme, such as additional rustproofing, performed on the car, provided that such a measure does not damage the car.
The warrantor may demand that repairs based on warranty are performed by a repair shop designated by the warrantor.
A detailed work order should be drawn up
The best practices of automotive repair shops involve technically and economically appropriate maintenance. A work order is an agreement binding on both parties and should be as detailed as possible.
It is often necessary to make a work order for diagnosing a fault before drawing up the actual work order. In such a case, the actual work order is drawn up only after the fault diagnosis and price estimate have been performed. The work order should include at least the following:
- the work to be performed and spare parts to be used, in as much detail as possible
- information about the price of repairs and what it includes
- how to proceed if a need for additional work appears during repairs
- terms of payment
- deadline for completion
- contacts during the repair shop opening hours; telephone number for the consumer during the day
- whether or not used parts should be used
If the consumer cancels the work order before the work is started or completed, the repair shop may charge the customer for work performed before the cancellation, for spare parts and accessories used or acquired for the work that was ordered, and other necessary costs incurred due to the work order.
Determining the price of repairs
The price quoted by the repair shop covers all repairs, including any spare parts and accessories used. When the car is handed over after repairs, the work performed and the contents of the invoice should be reviewed by the owner and the repairer together.
Should any disputes arise regarding the price of repairs, the company must present proof of the price agreed. The following principles usually influence the price:
If the price of the repairs or servicing is not agreed, the consumer must pay the price demanded by the company, as long as this is not deemed unreasonable. Factors that affect the reasonableness of a price include the content and scope of the work, the financial viability of the way in which the work was completed, and the general prices or price calculation methods applicable at the time the agreement was made.
If a price estimate was provided, the repair shop may not exceed the estimate given, including additional work, by more than 15 per cent, unless otherwise agreed.
If a fixed price has been agreed, the sum to be paid may not change even if the time spent on the work, the cost of materials or other such factors change. In other words, the company may not bill the consumer for any sum higher than what was agreed. On the other hand, nor is the company obliged to give any discounts if the work turns out to be cheaper than anticipated.
If an indicative price is provided, and exceeded significantly, the company must immediately inform the buyer and, if necessary, interrupt the work.
If a maximum price is agreed on, the company may not charge any sum higher than the maximum, even if the work turns out to be more expensive. The price may be lower, however, if the work or the materials turn out to be cheaper than anticipated.
Agreeing on the cost of services
Additional work performed
During the course of repairs or servicing, it may turn out to be best to perform the repairs in another way or to an extent other than that agreed when the work order was placed. When the work order changes, the repair shop is obliged to seek the customer's permission to perform extra work. At the same time, the repair shop must notify if any danger is caused to the customer due to additional work not being performed.
The repair shop may perform minor and appropriate additional work not included in the order, if it is unable to contact the customer within a reasonable period of time. The maximum amount for costs incurred from additional work can be agreed on in advance. The repair shop may not exceed the maximum price specified in the work order even due to additional work, unless otherwise agreed.
Delay in repairs
The repair shop must inform the customer in the case of any delay in completing the repairs. In most cases, the consumer must allow reasonable extra time in the case of a delay.
The customer has the right to refuse to pay the price of the servicing, or part of it, until the work is done. By and large, the sum withheld must correspond to the share of the delayed work. The entire payment can be withheld only if the delay is so substantial that it might entitle the cancellation of the sale.
Compensation for damage in the case of a delay
The consumer is entitled to compensation for damage caused by a delay. In order to receive compensation, the claimant must present proof of damage. This entails a receipt or some other reliable report on the costs incurred.
Both the consumer and the repair shop must act to ensure that the costs caused by the damage are as limited as possible. If, for example, the consumer could justifiably have reduced the costs caused by the defect by acting differently, then any costs regarded as groundless do not have to be covered.
No compensation will be paid for trouble and upset or emotional distress.
Cancellation of contract
The consumer has the right to cancel the contract if the repair shop does not perform the work, even within the extra time allowed by the consumer.
If the customer has demanded the fulfilment of the agreement without allowing any extra time, he or she has the right to cancel the purchase if the work has not been completed within a reasonable time of such a demand being presented.
If it becomes apparent during the course of the work that it cannot be completed by the agreed deadline, the customer may cancel the contract. In such a case, the customer must have justifiable reasons for assuming that the work will be subject to a crucial delay.
The right to cancel only applies to the part of the work that remains undone. In most cases, the full price must be paid for flawlessly performed work. If, due to the delay, the purpose of the work remains fundamentally unfulfilled, the customer may cancel the contract in full.
Defect in repairs
If repairs or servicing have been incorrectly or otherwise defectively performed, the consumer has the right to demand that the defect be corrected and the repair shop, in turn, has the right to perform the rectification. When the repair shop has discovered the defect, it must be repaired within a reasonable time with no extra charge.
In most cases, repeated repairs must be performed by the same repair shop that performed the original repairs. If repeated repairs cannot be performed within a reasonable time from the consumer's notification, the parties concerned may agree on a price reduction instead of repeating a repair. Such a reduction must be in proportion to the defect.
Repeated repairs can be commissioned from another repair shop, at the cost of the original repair shop, only for justified reasons, for instance if the repairs of the defect cannot be postponed, or the repair shop cannot be contacted. For instance, it may be the case that a defect in the repair of a car only appears while travelling in another locality. Even in such a case, the consumer must contact the repair shop that made the original repairs as soon as possible. If the consumer had the repeated repairs made without a justified reason by another service provider, compensation can be demanded from the original repair shop only for the costs that rectifying the defect would have caused for the repair shop in question.
The consumer has the right to refrain from paying the original invoice for the part corresponding to the defect, until the defect has been rectified in full.
The consumer is entitled to compensation for any damage caused by the defect. To receive such compensation, the claimant must present proof of damage. This entails a receipt or another reliable report of the costs incurred.
Both the consumer and the repair shop must act so as to ensure that the costs caused by the damage are as limited as possible. If, for example, the consumer could justifiably have reduced the costs caused by the defect by acting differently, then any costs regarded as groundless do not have to be covered.
No compensation will be paid for trouble and upset or emotional distress.
Defects in service