Is my body shop trying to rip me off? - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

My car was in an accident a few weeks ago in which our rear bumper, the rear aero flares, driver's side rear quarter panel, rear driver's side door, and a few incidental part were damaged. We weren't at fault, the insurance company paid for a rental which everything was being worked out/repaired, and it wasn't too bad. When the estimator came out he said they'd replace all the panels, and refinish the ones adjacent to the panels being replaced so they'd blend and match. They had it towed to the only dealer in the area that did body work as the insurance company had a working relationship with them, and things proceeded smoothly.

I picked the car up about a week ago, and at first glance everything was OK. Of course, it was sleeting at the time so the car was covered in snow/ice. Appearances can be deceiving; over the next week I noticed that:

* The aero flares were noticeable brighter than the bumper. It looks like they hadn't been blended at all
* The gap between the bumper and the bottom of the trunk was noticeable larger, like the bumper wasn't mounted correctly
* The edge of the bumper where the gap started had globs of clear coat on it, like it hadn't been sanded down
* My raised spoiler was chipped and worn across the back edge, like someone had removed the trunk and set it on the ground resting against the spoiler
* The trunk was scratched up in specific patches, supporting the spoiler damage theory above

I took the car back in, and they took a look at it. They tried to explain off the aero flares ("You can't match metal and plastic, they dry differently&quot, even though I realized they were both plastic after I left. They said they'd take care of the other problems, but the guy who set up their loaner cars wasn't there and they'd call back on Monday to arrange a drop-off.

Over the weekend it was nice out so I figured I'd wash the car, even if they were going to work on it this week. I realized the 2.3 badge on the driver's side door was missing (even through it's clearly visible in the BEFORE pictures), but more importantly I noticed a discoloration in the paint above the driver's door. I knew exactly what the discoloration was; soon after I got the car a rock flew up and chipped the paint. I had gone at it with touch-up paint and Langka for a while, as it was the first chip I'd found and it really bugged me.

I didn't think anything more of it until I realized that the driver's side rear quarter panel seems to extend up and over the passenger and driver's side door, past where the touch-up paint was. I took a look at the inside of the door frame on the rear driver's side door and found what appeared to be a bit of bondo (the mica in the Winning Blue paint didn't really match up, and the texture was different). The part of the panel around the wheel well also seemed to look different than the passenger's side; bent a little differently and with some more abrasions on the inside of the wheel well.

The estimate definitely said they're replace the rear left quarter panel with an OEM part, and the invoice from the shop definitely charged for it (Part# BNYB71410, $578.95). If the section above the driver's side door is part of the panel, and the panel is still chipped I can't see how they could have, though. Is there any chance the section above the driver's door is separate (it seems seamless, but I'm not sure), or are they trying to rip me off here?


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 05:16 PM
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

Never never never go to the body shop your insurance company wants you to. They are in it to win it if you know what I mean and they scratch each others back, like having your wifes brothers represent you at divorce court. They sometimes replace panels in sections, that is pretty common practice. If the body shop is saying they wont make ANYTHING you dont like right call your insurance company and if they wont help threaten then with the Better Business Bureau and if all else fails get a lawyers advice.
I had work done a while back where somone rearended me and they had to redo most of the work when I went and picked it up, it was terrible! They were a recommended body shop through my insurance but I used to work for the owners so I though it would be great, not even close. When they went back over it everything was okay but they should not have had to.

Good luck and don't settle for less than the best, that is what we all have to pay those crazy insurance rates for!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

I finally managed to get ahold of the insurance company this afternoon, and they actually sounded pretty ticked off about it (they were the ones that paid to have the quarter panel replaced, after all). They recommended talking to the body shop first but said depending on how that went they could send an adjuster out to take a look at the panel. I'm bringing the car back in to the body shop tomorrow morning so we'll see what they say about the rear panel.

I've actually been pretty impressed with the insurance company so far, apart from it being hard to get my adjuster on the phone most of the time. They sent an estimator out pretty quick, made arrangements for me to get a rental car at the drop of a hat, and got the car towed to the shop without an fuss. If the body shop was half as efficient as they were I feel like my car would be almost perfect by now.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 06:10 PM
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

do not accept anything less than 100% perfect.

i've had to do this a few times too. one shop i had to bring it back four times, literally, just to have the side-skirt that i dinged mounted and painted properly. now i look today and the paint is literally flaking off exposing the primer underneath. i'll be going back for my fifth visit in about a year and a half. luckily they "guarantee" their work so it'll be free.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 06:45 PM
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

Oh god, I did'nt want to read this story but my curiousity got to me.

I'm going to be so afraid when I go to pick up my car. I hope everything blends great.


I got to pick mine up next week.
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 06:52 PM
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

Sorry to hear about the drama. Hopefully it works out.

On a note..isn't it illegal to use bondo for a repair job?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

[quote author=ShaleZoom3 link=topic=73031.msg1292713#msg1292713 date=1174949565]
Sorry to hear about the drama. Hopefully it works out.

On a note..isn't it illegal to use bondo for a repair job?
[/quote]

Hmm, I've never heard of that; it's possible. It definitely seems illegal to invoice a part that you didn't replace, though.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 08:22 PM
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

yup, i smell sheet if they invoiced for a new panel. easy 578 bucks for them if they got away with it.

good luck buddy, we're all hoping it works out for you.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2007, 11:54 PM
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

[quote author=ShaleZoom3 link=topic=73031.msg1292713#msg1292713 date=1174949565]
Sorry to hear about the drama. Hopefully it works out.

On a note..isn't it illegal to use bondo for a repair job?
[/quote]

It's quite legal if both parties are aware it's going to be used. What's illegal in this case is charging for a part that wasn't used. That's called fraud.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2007, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my body shop trying to rip me off?

Well, just got back from the body shop/rental car place. The body shop is saying that the panel above the driver's door is actually a separate piece, and is wielded to the quarter panel (which is why it looks continuous). I tried looking it up on the online shop manual but that seems to be one of the sections that's missing. Does anybody know what a BNYB71410 looks like, and if there's a separate panel immediately above the driver's door??


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