What are the ramifications for garages that fit parts supplied by their customers? The legal team at the Independent Garage Association (IGA) provides its recommendations.
In recent times we’ve seen more cases of garages being asked to fit parts that the car owner, rather than the workshop, has supplied. So should garages use components they’ve not personally sourced, or is it best to steer clear?
Who is liable for any parts fitted?
When a garage supplies and fits parts, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 requires that the parts are:
a) of satisfactory quality;
b) fit for purpose;
c) match any description given.
When fitting these parts the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 require them to be fitted:
a) as agreed;
b) with reasonable care and skill;
c) in a reasonable time, if no specific time agreed;
d) for a reasonable charge, if no price was set in advance.
In essence, should a repair fail then the garage will be liable to repair or replace the parts concerned if the parts are faulty or if they’ve been fitted incorrectly. Where the fault is due to a parts failure, in most cases these costs can be passed to the parts supplier.
The quality of parts as well as the ease of dealing with any issues should be a major consideration for most garages when choosing a parts supplier.
Parts supplied by the car owner
Where a part is supplied by the owner, the garage is NOT liable for the part; only the fitting and any diagnosis carried out. Should the part prove to be incorrect or faulty then this is an issue for the owner themselves.
The garage will remain under a duty to diagnose any fault and fit any parts correctly. This will include exercising a reasonable level of care and skill. If the part is obviously wrong or inappropriate this will need to be brought to the owner’s attention and specific instructions sought.
The RMI Legal Advice team offers guidance and reassurance on a wide range of essential topics. We’d advise any motor trader that is looking for more advice or assistance on owner-purchased parts fitment to contact us for a more detailed position.