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Collision shop woes - what to do?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by ab3ju, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Aug 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM
    #1
    ab3ju

    ab3ju [OP] New Member

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    So, a month ago someone didn't see my bright red Tacoma coming the other direction with the headlights on at 2 PM on a sunny day and decided to make a left turn immediately in front of me. Didn't end up too well for my truck, but I got the better end of the deal...

    damage photos, post-repair photos

    Finally got the truck back from the shop on Saturday. Immediately I noticed that the trim panel below the headlamp was scraped up. The shop said that Progressive said it was existing damage because it was rusted... not sure how a plastic part is supposed to rust. The bumper alignment was also a little bit off, and one of the brackets on the grille was cracked.

    Driving it home, I ran into two issues. First, the brakes feel like there's air. I never had any problems with the brakes before, and the first time I stepped on the brakes pulling out of the shop I thought the pedal was going to go to the floor. I talked to the shop about this and they said they didn't think it would have anything to do with the collision and that they didn't touch the brakes at all during the repair. Also, the top of the driver's door isn't sealing, and it looks like the upper door hinge is bent away from the body (or the body itself is bent, can't tell).

    Looking at the truck after I got home, I found even more. The clutch switch is iffy -- sometimes the engine won't crank, sometimes it will, sometimes I have to wiggle the pedal a bit. The guy at the shop apparently thought it was normal to have to hit the clutch start cancel switch every time... The front section of the frame has corroded a bit from the battery being punctured. The brake line from the ABS module to the frame is bent. I had known that the suspension pockets on the frame had been bent, but the shop said they had been able to correct that. They're still bent, and it doesn't look like anything had been done to them. They also said that they measured the frame and it checked out okay. I just measured diagonally between two crossmembers (the one between the engine and transmission and the one behind it, between inside corners) and came up with an inch of difference.

    At this point, I'm planning on trading it in for a new one for all of the new features and a chance to start over on all of the messing around I did for my ever-changing radio install. It's a 2005 4WD access cab with the 2.7 and all of 37,400 miles.

    Should I continue to deal with the same shop and insurance, push it over to my agent (State Farm) and find another shop, or just get rid of it as is? How picky should I be with what gets fixed?
     
  2. Aug 8, 2011 at 3:23 PM
    #2
    Lexirob

    Lexirob Member

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    Some insurance companies are nortorious for not paying for repairs you are entitled to. Where did you find this repair shop? Had you used them before? Unless you negotiated the settlement yourself, and then contracted separately with a body shop to perform the bare minimum, that shop should be representing your best interest. You are entitled to have your vehicle restored to pre-accident condition. The first step is to get a copy of what the body shop charged for, what the insurance paid for, and make sure that all repairs paid for were actually performed. If you find that repairs were paid for but skipped by the body shop, that is fraud, and you should contact an attorney.
     
  3. Aug 8, 2011 at 3:41 PM
    #3
    Fightnfire

    Fightnfire Recklessly tired

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    I would start with the insurance company and let them know you are not happy, see what they have to say. If they seem unwilling, which they shouldn't because it wasn't your fault and they're just going to bill the other insurance company, contact a lawyer. A simple letter from a lawyer stating your willingness to work with them to resolve the issue should go a long ways.
     
  4. Aug 8, 2011 at 4:29 PM
    #4
    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    Talk to YOUR insurance company first and ask what to do. The other company can't get out of paying for fixing your truck back to the way it was before the accident and/or compensating you for any damage that can't be fixed (e.g. lost value).

    I would not likely have left with the truck if I saw obvious problems with the work.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2011 at 4:40 PM
    #5
    TiMe

    TiMe Well-Known Member

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    That shop did a SHIT job. Theres no way in hell a car would leave the shop I work at lookin like that man. Sorry to put it so blunt.

    Complain to your insurance company, and dont take no for an answer.
     
  6. Aug 8, 2011 at 4:53 PM
    #6
    BUZZCUT

    BUZZCUT Well-Known Member

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    That truck would be going down the road after I totally ripped someone a new ass after that shoddy shit. Personally I would have never accepted that shit workmanship.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2011 at 5:46 PM
    #7
    Snowman11

    Snowman11 Supreme Ruler

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    THAT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. Do not go to your insurance company first. Go to another shop with a good reputation and drop it off. Notify your insurance company that you didn't feel safe driving it because the brakes were not working properly. There is nothing they can do. They will come to the shop and discuss the repairs. If you are not happy with that outcome, take it to a third shop. If two out of three shops are unanimous that the repair was not fixed properly, Progressive will have no choice but to repair it correctly. You want top dollar for that truck. When you trade it you will get raped if you don't get this fixed.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2011 at 6:15 PM
    #8
    ab3ju

    ab3ju [OP] New Member

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    This is all being done through the other driver's insurance (Progressive), the shop is the one they recommended (somehow I drive 40,000 miles a year in the Baltimore/DC area and this is the first time I've been involved in a collision worth reporting). The shop's invoice does show 3 hours of labor for repairing the suspension mounting area. That said, the front cam on the left side is basically all the way out - well past the markings on the cam. I did do some frame measurements on the front as best I could in the driveway, and they came out close -- much better than the 1" of difference I saw yesterday, so that might have just been a fluke.

    As for shoddy, there's all sorts of overspray on the frame, and the two panels on the inside of the wheel well are missing in action. They also didn't bother to tighten the wing nuts on the battery (I squeezed a dual-terminal group 31 in there... might not be pretty, but it fits), but I caught that before I left.

    I talked with both Progressive and the shop today, and at the moment the plan is to take it back there when I can (hopefully tomorrow). If I don't like what I hear there, it's going to the dealer to see what they think.
     
  9. Aug 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM
    #9
    Snowman11

    Snowman11 Supreme Ruler

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    I'm glad you are getting it fixed however I would not take it back to that place under ANY circumstances. Take it somewhere else. You do not have to listen to Progressive. In fact, I would have it towed to a shop just to be an ass. Nice guys will finish last.
    I've worked with many accidents (not that I'm a bad driver), trust me, call a tow truck, have them deliver it to the dealer and pick up a rental car. If it's they OP's insurance, they have to pay for it if you feel that it is "unsafe." Talk to your own insurance agent if anything and don't ever talk to the Progressive company again, EVER. Deal only with YOUR agent. It's not too late.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2011 at 4:35 AM
    #10
    buddywh1

    buddywh1 Well-Known Member

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    If you took the shop Progressive sent you to then you have warranty for life of the vehicle for the repairs. Assuming that, I think you're kinda locked into working with that shop and Progressive, at least for the time being, to get them to make good on repairs. If the shop won't work with you then you'll have to work with Progressive to get it right. I'm not sure what your insurance company will do for you, most likely just send you back to Progressive since it's Progressive that's offering the warranty.

    If there's disagreement on pre-existing damage, demand to see a Progressive adjuster at the vehicle and point out the obvious to them. Adjusters are usually pretty reasonable when you're with them. I think you're insurance is only an option if Progressive refuses to cover what you believe to be accident-caused damage, but you'll have to make the same case with their adjusters.

    Adjusting the door and bumper fit and touching up those bad spots shouldn't be hard. As would replacing the grill... definitely hold them to task for it! I dunno about the rust/corrosion from the battery acid. Probably just rattle-can it with some rust converting black paint.

    The brakes could be a side effect of the truck sitting so long during repairs and will settle out. But you could contact Progressive and tell them there's hidden damage that's making the truck unsafe. They should at least pay for a mechanic's diagnostics. I have no ideas on the clutch: how could it have been involved?

    It would sure be a shame to get rid of a low miles truck for this reason alone. There's record of the collision on carfax now so anyone will look closely at it so if it's not perfect you'll get killed. And that over-spray on the suspension components sucks! Careless workmanship that will glare at a buyer.
     
  11. Aug 9, 2011 at 11:04 AM
    #11
    ab3ju

    ab3ju [OP] New Member

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    I've had the truck sitting for close to a month before and never had an issue like this with the brakes. I've driven around town a few times with it since and there hasn't been any sign of improvement. As for the clutch, I'm not sure if the firewall may have been bent back slightly or something like that... it wouldn't take much, before if the clutch was maybe 1/4" off the floor it wouldn't start.
     
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