Make Sure Auto Body Repairs Are Done Right

by Chris Bjorklund

Here’s something a lot of California consumers don’t know about. The State Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has an auto body inspection program that isn’t widely advertised due to budget constraints. Bureau Chief Sherry Mehl told me that she initiated this service to help consumers find out if they were getting the auto bodywork they paid for. The way it works is that you contact the BAR (1-866-799-3811) after a job is completed to set up an appointment. You must have your invoice. A field investigator will come to your home or office to check the invoice against the actual repairs performed. They want to know if things like the bonding and painting were done properly. They also check if new parts were installed, rather than used parts. In most cases, says Ms. Mehl, her investigators don’t find any problems. If they do though, BAR will open an investigation and/or mediate on behalf of the customer.