Can a dealership keep my car parts because we are disputing a bill?

He did work I didn’t authorize. He quoted me $120 for towing but then billed me $200. I paid the 120.00 but now he won’t release my car parts unless I pay $200 of unauthorized services. What are my rights?

Asked on June 20, 2014 under Business Law, Iowa


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, it is illegal for a dealership to keep a customer's car parts as opposed to the car (as security for a mechanic's lien) over a dispute concerning car repairs. Your options are to pay, consult an attorney in your locality (one can be found on or contact your state department of Bureau of Automotive Repairs to file a grievance against the mechanic.

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