My Car’s Still Not Fixed! (Help for Motor Vehicle Owners)

Are either of these situations happening to you right now?

  • The repair shop has completed the repairs to my vehicle, but it still doesn’t run properly and I’ve already paid the bill.
  • The repair shop has made repairs to my vehicle that I did not authorize; now the shop is holding my vehicle because I refuse to pay the bill.

These are just two of many situations where you may need help when dealing with a motor vehicle repair shop.  It may be worthwhile to consider your options.


Depending on whether you or the automotive repair shop is in possession of your vehicle, you can apply to a court requesting that the court make determinations about:

  1. what work was authorized to be done on the vehicle (see Notes 1, 2, and 3);
  2. did the repair shop comply with its statutory requirements under the Repair and Storage Lien Act and the Consumer Protection Act  (see Note 4);
  3. the quality of the work (see Notes 1, 2, and 3);
  4. the right to place a lien on the vehicle (see Notes 1, 2, and 3);
  5. the amount of a lien placed on the vehicle (see Notes 1, 2, and 3);
  6. the sale of the vehicle by the repair shop to satisfy payment;   (see Notes 1, 2, and 3).


Knowing what automotive repair shops are obligated to do under the law and your legal options, helps protect you as well as the reputation of respectable repair shops.



All citations taken from Repair and Storage Liens Act, R.S.O., c. R. 25


1.     s. 23(1)  Determination of rights by court. – Any person may apply to a court for a determination for the rights of the parties where a question arises with respect to,

(a)  the seizure of an article under Part II (Non-possessory Liens), any right of seizure in respect of the article, whether the costs of seizure are recoverable or whether they exceed the amount permitted under subsection 14(3.1);

(b)  the sale of an article under Part III (Redemption , Sale or Other Disposition);

(c)  the distribution of the proceeds of the sale of an article under Part III, including the right of any person to share in those proceeds, and the obligation of any lien claimant to account for those proceeds;

(d)  the amount of a lien or the right of any person to a lien; and

(e)  any other matter arising out of the application of this Act,

 and the court may make such order as it considers necessary to give effect to those rights.


2.     s. 24(1)   Return of article when dispute. – Where a claimant claims a lien against an article under Part I (Possessory Liens) and refuses to surrender possession of the article to its owner or any other person entitled to it and where one of the circumstances described in subsection (1.20 exists, the owner or other person lawfully entitled to the article may apply to the court in accordance with the procedure set out in this section to have the dispute resolved and the article returned.


3.     s. 24(1.2)  Dispute. – Subsection (1) or (1.1) applies if there is,

(a)  a dispute concerning the amount of the lien of the lien claimant including any question relating to the quality of the repair, storage or storage and repair;

(b)  in the case of a repair, a dispute concerning the amount of work that was authorized to be made to the article; or

(c)  a dispute concerning the right of the lien claimant to retain possession of the article.


4.     s. 3(2)  When lien arises. – A repairer’s lien arises and takes affect when the repair is commenced, expect that no repair’s lien arises if the repairer was required to comply with sections 56 and 57, subsection 58(1) and section 59 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, if applicable, and the repairer has not done so.

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