[urq] body shop recourse

Ed Kellock ekellock at adelphia.net
Fri Feb 13 21:10:09 EST 2004

Back in December I was hit in my Coupe GT.  It was not my fault and the other party acted quickly and responsibly.  I had a phone call from their insurance company within 4 hours.  I was given a list of body shops and picked one and had my car in there a week later.

The damage to my car from the accident was limited to the driver's side rear wheel arch.  Nothing more was touched in the accident.  

The body shop had the car for over a month and I was told the reason for that was that they had to replace the molding on the door and the parts were back ordered.  I know that the door was entirely untouched in the accident.  

Later I needed something from the trunk and they were very accomodating in retrieving this item and having it for me in the office.  I did not see the car at that time.

When I first picked up the car it was obvious that the door had been removed from the car.  It did not swing right, and the lock linkage was catching on something when I locked or unlocked it.  They even left one of the screws out of the armrest.  It was on the floor of the car.  And the door handle was not secured tightly.  There were stress cracks in the paint around each hinge and other knicks and dings in the door opening.  And 80% of my dash lights are out.  Also there was a brand new door catch rod and there was obvious paint and body work around the catch rod opening in the door.  

I asked about the issues with the door and mentioned it looked like the door had been sprung open.  I asked why the door was removed to repair damage to the rear quarter panel?  I was told they had to totally strip the quarter panel due to previous repair work and body filler that was old and cracked.  When I asked about the door catch rod, I was told that they supplied the new door catch rod for me, no charge, because the old one "was so worn that it fell apart when they removed the door.  The attachment to the door sill is now by means of a nut and bolt and I was told that was because it would be more secure than the pin that is supposed to be used.  None of this made any sense, but I was still in a trusting state of mind.

I returned the car to them to have the door made right and they did further work to correct these items.  The painted the door opening around the hinges and used more body putty and paint to repair the knicks in other areas of the door opening.  When I picked it up the second time, I was told that they had ordered a new door striker post and that I could come back by later to have them install that.  Again, no charge.

This afternoon, I noticed that there is a very obvious crease where the door had in fact been sprung open.  There is obvious body putty there and the repair was a joke at the very least.  Absolutely none of this was present prior to them having my car in the their "care".

To top it all off the wheel arch wasn't even repaired well.  It was quite obviously not even close the same shape as the other side or even the front.  I was told that they are more accustomed to replacing parts and that sort of body work (working with and shaping putty) was sort of beyond the scope of their operation.

I have absolutely no doubt that my driver's side door was sprung while the car was at their shop and now I know that they have lied to me on more than one occasion.  There is no other explanation.  The whole side of the car was painted.  The paint work seems to be of decent quality, but it was unnecessary, at least as of the time I dropped my car off at their shop.

Needless to say, I am completely enraged by this experience.  Until this afternoon when I noticed the crease in the front of the door, I felt that everything was in order.  There is no question, none, that the door was sprung open and that they blatantly lied to me several times.

I don't feel that I can trust them at all at this point and unless they capitulate entirely and tell me exactly what all happened to my car, I will contact the insurance company who paid for this work and the better business bureau.  None of this however will get my car made right.  

If they come completely clean with me I may consider allowing them another chance to make it right, but I'm not optimistic about this course of action.

If anyone has any input or advice about what sort of recourse I might have, I'm all ears.  I intend to contact them first and tell them in no uncertain terms that I know I was lied to and that there is no question that the damage occurred to my car while it was in their shop.

Colorado Springs

P.S. Body and Fender Shop on Iowa street.  At the moment, I do not recommend them.

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