According to the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s website, the BAR’s purpose is to:
“To protect and serve California consumers by ensuring a fair and competitive automotive repair marketplace and administering a model motor vehicle emissions reduction program.” –http://www.bar.ca.gov
What they actually do, however, is charge automotive shops $200 a year for the mere title of being “BAR-certified,” and then never talk to them again. I’ve worked at plenty of shops that hand out exorbitantly overpriced estimates only to never replace a single thing in the car, and other shops where the customer comes back multiple times only to be charged every time the shop attempts to fix their car.
There are no “secret shoppers” to investigate, evaluate, and otherwise expose the customer-raping practice of these crooked shops. There are no estimate evaluations done. The only time you’ll hear from them is on the rare occasion when the customer finds their phone number, one that’s almost never found on the estimate or invoice given to the customer by their repair shop because, most of the time, the shop’s BAR account number is listed to small that you’d need a fucking magnifying glass to find it, or the shop itself rip the part of paper with the BAR number off and tells the customer, “Sorry, the printer chewed the invoice.”
Shops pay $200 a year to give their customers the illusion of peace-of-mind. The one time I actually met an agent from the BAR, one of my bosses was selling timing belt replacements but was really only changing motor oil—minus the required filter change—and shipping the cars. The BAR Agent’s admonishment:”Just give them back half of the repair and they’ll go away.“So now a $900 oil change—since they never got the timing belt replaced—got reduced to $400.50. Thank you Bureau of Automotive Repair.
In my opinion the place should be shut down, or forced by the U.S. Government to actually begin regulating the industry like they were assembled to do. Because for at least the past ELEVEN years that I’ve been fixing cars, they’ve done nothing other than charge shops for the privilege of fucking as many people as they’d like in a way that’s Bureau of Automotive Repair-certified.