Cowpens, SC asked in Products Liability, Consumer Law and Business Law for Tennessee

Q: What is considered illegal with automotive parts mark-up?

I purchased tires, took said tired to dealership for mount and balance. I was informed of need for alignment, I approved service. Then notified of need for ball joints x's 4, approved service (based on prior experience I expected total bill to be $400 or less. I was charged $1,240. The ball joints, exact ones, were: 2 @ $152.83 from dealer, yet available for 2@$$43.05..and 2@ $100.35, yet available for 2@ $25.95. I was also charged an additional $396 for the installation of said ball joints.

2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: I am not aware of ANY limitation on the mark-up of automotive parts. If you have not yet paid them, I would confront them with the prices you've obtained and try to negotiate a reduction. If you have already paid them, you may still want to confront the management with all this information. If they won't make any adjustment, Consider giving them negative reviews on their website and other social media. ( But don't discuss these actions with them). If you do so, publish only what is absolutely true to avoid potential slander claims. You may not have a legal remedy for the excessive markup, but you can certainly take your future business elsewhere and encourage others not to do business with them based on these charges.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: You say the ball joints were "exact ones." Were they manufactured by the brand of the car or by an automobile parts supplier? In the old days Manny Moe & Jack's ball joints were maybe close to as good as manufacturer's. Nowdays, it varies--the ball joints from one non-OEM supplier may be just as good, while others may be really poor. Most OEM parts carry a warranty of sorts. A problem is they didn't give you an estimate for each which isn't illegal but avoids misunderstandings. Installation is charged on a flat rate per job--agains something they should have told you to avoid misunderstandings, but if they didn't.....and you didn't ask........I don't see any thing that violates a law or consumer protection type statute.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.