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Office of Consumer Protection

Licensing & Registration

Motor Vehicle Repair, Maintenance & Towing

Return of Replaced Parts

Both the county and state repair laws require that replaced parts be returned to consumers.  Consumers do not have to ask to have their replaced parts returned; each part is to be returned unless the customer expressly states that he or she does not want it.  Written proof of this waiver is best, and our enclosed sample invoice includes a space for the consumer to waive this right.  Obviously, good business practice dictates that dirty parts be appropriately packaged so they don't soil the consumer's car.

Core parts are not exempt from this requirement. When a core part is involved in a repair you should explain to the consumer how much money they can save if they let you retain the part.  They may then opt to waive their right to the part.  If they do waive their right to a core part, you should still make the old part available for inspection by the consumer or their representative.

The only parts exempt from the return requirement are those that must be returned to a manufacturer or distributor under a warranty agreement. 

Of all your obligations to a customer, probably none is more important than returning replaced parts.  In fact, the highest court in Maryland has held that when key parts in a repair job are not returned, the customer is not obligated to pay for the repairs.  Design & Funding v. Betz Garage, 292 Md. 265, 438 A.2d 1316 (1981).  The OCP will take enforcement action when it finds a violation of this requirement.

 
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