WASHINGTON (Jan. 16, 2002)—South Carolina state Sen. David Thomas, R-Greenville, has introduced legislation requiring automotive repair shops to obtain customer approval for repairs of more than $100. Bill S.831 has been pre-filed with the South Carolina Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, the Automotive Service Association said.
Advocates for motorists developed the bill, which could be considered by the General Assembly when it convenes for its 2002 session, the ASA said.
The bill would require repair shops to obtain customer approval before doing any unanticipated work and bill calls for fines of $500 to $1000 for failure to comply.
Currently South Carolina law does not require such approval. Neighboring North Carolina requires a written estimate for repairs of $350 or more.
“We don't really see need for it,” said Patrick Watson, executive vice president of the South Carolina Automotive Dealer's Association, which opposes the bill. The South Carolina Department for Consumer Affairs, South Carolina Fair Share, a consumer advocacy group, and AAA of the Carolinas support the legislation, the ASA said.