It is unlawful under the NJ Auto Repairs Deceptive Practices Regulations and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for an automotive repair dealer to do, among other things, any of the following:
1. Make any written or oral statements that are misleading and deceptive which the automotive repair dealer knows to be untrue or misleading.
2. Start work without first giving the consumer a written estimate. The total price must be stated either as "price not to exceed" a certain amount or as an exact figure broken down into parts and labor.
3. Make false promises which are likely to influence, persuade, or induce the consumer to authorize the repair, service, or maintenance of the vehicle.
4. Fail to record on an invoice all repair work performed by the automotive repair dealer for a customer. The invoice should clearly and separately itemize the charges for parts and labor and also state whether any new, rebuilt, or used parts were supplied in the repair.
5. Fail to provide a copy to the consumer of any guarantee that clearly discloses all of its terms.
So, it may be that the 1st shop either engaged in fraud or it was negligent and did not honestly know what it was doing.
1. I wonder weather I should sue the auto repair shop?
You may want to threaten to sue first by hiring a local lawyer to send a demand letter which may cost you about $200.00. You may also want to sue the shop either in small claims court or higher, depending on the dollar amount that you would be seeking. See this link.
2. And if I sue, will I win this case?
This depends on whether you can get an expert to come testify favorably and he is more credible than whatever counter testimony the 1st shop's mechanic offers. Since the dealer's mechanic inspected the vehicle just after it was towed from the first shop, you would want to find out the name of that mechanic and subpoena him to come testify at trial of the case. Since he would be a fact witness and not a pure expert, he should be permitted to charge a fee for that other that a nominal witness fee which the court rules may provide for.
3. So, In this case, do I have the legal right to sue them?
Yes, it appears that you may be able to sue for negligence because balancer was not installed properly; for breach of contract; and or fraud as discussed above.
4. More specifically, do I have the right to request them to redo the work and fix my car for free?
Sounds like you do. Your best bet is to get paperwork from the dealer that expresses that the balancer was not installed correctly and show that to the 1st shop. If that does not work, you can let them know that you will get someone else to fix it and send them the bill.
More to come...