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Can I have my vehicle towed off a car repair shop that has done work on it, though I did not sign a repair order?

Hood River, OR |
Filed under: Lien Car repairs

I brought my old truck in to be timed. They wrote down the symptoms (smoking, loss of power, etc.,) but did not write down what I brought it in for. The replaced numerous parts over the next few weeks saying "this will fix it". I gave verbal permission. $1800 later, the truck won't even start to drive off the lot. It needs to be seriously timed by realigning certain gears down in the engine. We are at loggerheads now and I want to just tow the car away as I have discovered that I never signed the work order. Will I get in trouble with the law if I do this? Do I have a legal right to do this?

Attorney Answers 2


You have remedies avaible to you under the Unfair TRad PRactices act ,as well as through the Department of Justice Consumer Fraud division. You ndefintely should ocntact an attorney . DO NOT engage in self help, or tow the car away. They will ague they had aposessory lien for work they did ,and that you converted the car. Again contact a consumer fraud attorney and they will get the problem resolved.

This posting does not create an attorney client relationship ,and is for informational purposes only. Any formal representation and advice will require establishment of a contractual relationship with an attorney. For more information go to

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If you gave verbal permission for the repairs you are still liable even without a signed work order. It is common for shops to call during the repair process and get verbal permission to make changes to the original repair order. They have a lien against your car. If you pay for the work they did you would be free to remove your car. If you have a dispute with them as to the repairs you probably need to see a lawyer about your rights.

A more practical solution would be to find another mechanic and pay that mechanic to go to the shop and examine your car and the list of repairs. The mechanic may be able to help you negotiate with the repair shop if they have not been doing things correctly. You may still have to pay to extent they did legitimate repairs that you agreed to.

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

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