Auto Body Shop Summit, NJ – What Can they do for You?
If you experienced some frame damage to your car, you’ll need some repair and Peotter’s Tire & Auto is just the place to get it taken care of.
What are the three questions should ask a body shop before they consider dropping their car off for repairs?
Well what’s important is that the repair shop actually be qualified to fix that particular vehicle.
Today modern cars require specialized training and equipment to be able to perform repairs to the manufacturer’s standards.
So, glue joints and rivets.
They’re actually repaired like aircraft today.
This is important because this maintains the structural integrity the manufacturer designed for a repair situation.
A car is a very complex piece of machinery. Each individual part is vigorously tested before it ever goes into production models and, like a chain, relies upon every other part in order for the vehicle to function. One poorly built aspect can cause serious malfunctions leading to costly repairs, or worse, an accident.
Even something as simple as the glues used to hold a tire tread to the rest of the tire is an integral part of a car or truck. Just ask Firestone. That exact issue resulted in a costly recall of thousands of tires, legal recourse, as well as over 500 injuries and 148 deaths. All of which could have been prevented with only a little bit of testing. Be wary of new designs rushed into mass production.
Often a seemingly superficial part to a vehicle actually provides a significant amount of safety. Everyone knows a windshield protects the driver and passenger from wind and debris. Most also know that they are also designed with a thin film that prevents them shattering upon impact. What most people don't know is that the windshield provides over half of the structural support for the car during an impact. The windshield combined with the frame of the car makes it structurally safer than a car without one. Cracks in a windshield can greatly reduce their protective power, as well as obstruct the driver's view which is even more dangerous.
Replacing or repairing cracks and chips in a windshield should be done by trained professional at a certified and insured auto glass or body shop. Avoid independent installers and people who operate only out of their truck. The adhesive used dries in about an hour, so if any body shops quote you a turn around time less than that, they are either lying or don't know what they are doing.
Also, it is a good idea to know a little bit about the glass windshields they will be installing. There are three aftermarket windshields that exceed OEM and DOT specs, they are P.P.G., L.O.F. and Plinkington.
Other suitable windshields are made by the car factory. Ford's factory glass is called Carlite, and Chrysler's is Safeguard. Expect to pay more money for factory glass. A good auto glass installer will sand all the rust around the windshield after it is removed, and then prime and paint it before installing the new windshield. It is best to go with body shops that have been around for at least five years as they are more likely to be around to guarantee warranties and make repairs in the future. Many shops will also work with your insurance carrier to get you the best price on a windshield, sometimes completely paid for by the insurance company.
Body repair is another story and can become very expensive. Newer cars with plastic and fiberglass bodies are almost impossible to repair, the body panels are often much easier to just replace, and that can be accomplished by almost anyone with a wrench and screw driver. Repairing dents and rust on metal bodies can be time consuming as well as expensive. It also requires a matching paint job which is similarly expensive. If the dented or rusted panels can be removed it makes it much easier. Dents can be pounded back into shape. In addition to this, it is often just easier to work on and paint a detached piece. Some work can be done by the average Joe, but extensive body work should be done at an established body shop.
Like this fixture frame bench here that utilizes actual jigs to support the vehicle across its entire platform and place factory components precisely where the manufacturer has designated.
These systems are different than generic systems that simply are reverse engineered and don’t have jig and holding capacity.
Shops that aren’t trained and equipped to properly perform a repair utilizing generic equipment or generic procedures can’t restore the vehicle to the manufacturer’s standards and that doesn’t necessarily maintain the safety rating designed for the vehicle.
You potentially jeopardize the collision energy management system.
The vehicle might not perform the same in a future collision and you could possibly be more injured than you would if the car doesn’t perform as the manufacturer intended.
The second question a consumer should ask is “Where does the body shop’s loyalty lie?”
Is it an independent repair center that relies on satisfied customers to drive business through their door and therefore fixes vehicles correctly? Or is the body shop on the insurance company’s “preferred network?”
Those body shops rely on the insurance referrals and when those body shops utilize cheap, imitation, and savage parts utilize the quickest possible repair times and keep costs as low as possible that generates the next referral.
But that’s a recipe for shortcuts.
The third question, Paul, is “Can the repair shop make this process convenient for me?”
Most consumers today want convenience and ease.
Repair shops that are high-quality repair shops are going to put their customers’ interests first & do everything they can to have a satisfied customer.
That includes scheduling a rental car, scheduling a tow engaging in conversations with the insurance company and making sure the vehicle is fixed right for the consumer.
>>> WELL, IF YOUR CAR IS EVER DAMAGED IN AN ACCIDENT OR REPAIRED THROUGH MAJOR INSURANCE COMPANY IN THIS COUNTRY, THERE ARE STATE AND FEDERAL LAWSUITS IN THIS COUNTRY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. AUTO BODY SHOPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MORE THAN 500 OF THEM CLAIM SOME BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES LONG DELIBERATELY SKIMPED WHEN IT COMES TO REPAIR DAMAGED VEHICLES. ALSO, THE INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN HAVE THEIR PROFITS. THE LAWSUITS ALLEGE IT'S A SCHEME THAT CANNOT ONLY LEAD TO RUSHED AND MINIMAL REPAIRS BUT RECYCLED, REMANUFACTURED AND ONE LAWYER PUTS IT JUNKED PARTS TO FIX YOUR CAR. ATTORNEY GENERAL BELIEVES THE ALLEGED SCHEME YOU COULD BE DRIVING A DANGEROUS CAR. CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT DREW GRIFFIN REPORTS. >> Reporter: TO SEE WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON, YOU'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING YOU PROBABLY CAN'T DO AT HOME. LIFT WHAT YOU THINK IS YOUR REPAIR CAR, GET OUT SOMETHING CALLED A BORROW SCOPE AND CHECK THE FRAME TO SEE IF THE AUTO BODY SHOP FIXED IT, WHAT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY LIKELY RECOMMENDED. >> THERE'S THE RIFF IN THE RAIL. >> Reporter: BILL BURN, A NATIONAL AUTO REPAIR EXPERT TESTIFIES ABOUT BAD REPAIRS AND THIS, HE SAID, IS ONE OF THEM. THE RESULT OF A SYSTEM DESIGNED TO SAVE MONEY FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES. >> WHAT THEY DID WAS REPLACED THE NEW END CAP ON THERE AND THE END CAP COVERS THAT, SO THE CONSUMER WOULD NEVER SEE THIS. IT IS UNSAFE. >> AND YET THEY PUT IT BACK. >> CORRECT. >> Reporter: BURN IS NOW PART OF THE MAJOR LAWSUIT INVOLVING MORE THAN 500 AUTO BODY SHOPS IN 36 STATES. ALL SUING DOZENS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE SHOPS BELIEVE THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IS INVOLVED IN A DELIBERATE SYSTEM TO SEND YOU AND YOUR CAR TO SHOPS THAT ARE PRESELECTED BY INSURERS TO DO THE ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM TO FIX IT. EVEN TELLING BODY SHOPS TO USE USED OR RECYCLED PARTS BECAUSE THEY'RE CHEAPER. MATT PARKER IS AN AUTO SHOP OWNER IN MONROE, LOUISIANA, WHO SAID HE SEES THE SAME PROBLEM. HE SAID STATE FARM TOLD HIM TO USE A REMANUFACTURED HEADLIGHT IN A TOYOTA TACOMA. THIS IS WHAT HE GOT. >> IT'S GOT A HOLE IN IT HERE AND THEN YOU CAN SEE WHERE THEY SCREWED THIS BRACKET BACK ON THE VEHICLE. NOW, YOU CAN SEE HERE WHERE ALL THESE PARTS WERE KNOCKED OFF AND GLUED BACK TOGETHER. YOU CAN ALSO SEE HERE WHERE THE TOP CORNER AND THE LENS IS BUSTED AND THIS PART OF THE HEADLIGHT IS BROKEN. THIS CAME OUT OF A BOX WRAPPED LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE -- ABSOLUTELY, LIKE A NEW PART. THE INSURANCE COMPANY WANTS US TO PUT THIS STUFF ON THE CAR. IF WE REFUSE TO PUT IT ON THE CAR, THEN THEY LABEL US AS A SHOP NOT WILLING TO GO ALONG WITH THEIR PROGRAM AND THEN TRY TO STEER OUR BUSINESS AWAY FROM US. >> Reporter: THIS IS WHY HE AND THE OTHER SHOPS RETAINED JOHN ARTHUR EVES TO SUE. >> EVERY STATE IN THE UNION IS EXPERIENCING THE SAME SORT OF STRUGGLE HERE BETWEEN THE BODY SHOPS TRYING TO DO AND INSURANCE COMPANY TRYING TO USE UNSAFE PARTS AND METHODS ON THEIR CARS. >> Reporter: BUDDY CALDWELL OF LOUISIANA BELIEVE IT TOO. PREPARING A LAWSUIT. LOUISIANA FILED CLAIMING STATE FARM'S PRACTICE IS PUTTING DRIVERS IN DANGER. AND WHAT IS THE PRACTICE? WHAT'S BEING PUT IN THEIR CARS? >> AFTERMARKET PARTS, JUNK YARD PARTS AND ALL OF THIS WITHOUT ANY COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER AND THAT'S THE MAIN ISSUE, THE SAFETY ISSUES AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR PRODUCT IS BEING DEVALUED BY THE PRACTICES OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY. I MEAN, BUDDY HAS FOUND NUMEROUS CASES HERE IN LOUISIANA. WE FOUND IN MISSISSIPPI, THE BODY SHOPS, PUT JUNK PARTS AND WELD THE PATCH. >> Reporter: WHEN AUTO SHOPS DON'T GO ALONG, MISSISSIPPI'S ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID THOSE AUTO SHOPS BUSINESS GETS CUT. IT'S CALLED STEERING. INSURANCE COMPANIES STEERING BUSINESS ELSEWHERE. >> THEY'RE GOING TO SAY, WE'LL BLACKBALL YOU. WE WON'T PUT YOU ON OUR SELECT SERVICE LIST AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE YOU SEND ESTIMATESTOUS TO FIVE TIMES. >> Reporter: U. S. SENATOR RICHARD BLOOMEN THAT WILL WHO USED TO BE CONNECTICUT'S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOT ONLY THE POTENTIAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS TO BE HURT BUT BELIEVE CARS REPAIRED THROUGH THE PREFERRED SERVICE CENTERS PROPOSE A SAFETY RISK AND ASKED THE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO INVESTIGATE. >> SALVAGE PARTS INFERIOR OR EVEN COUNTERFEIT PARTS RAISE SAFETY CONCERNS AND OFTEN, THOSE KIND OF PARTS INVOLVED IN THE PRACTICE OF STEERING AND THAT'S WHY I HAVE BEEN CONCERNED FOR YEARS ABOUT IT. AND WHY I THINK THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATING. >> Reporter: LOUISIANA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL CHOSE STATE FARM BECAUSE THEY'RE THE BIGGEST INSURER IN HIS STATE AND LEGAL FILINGS, THE COMPANY DENIES ALL THE ALLEGATIONS INCLUDING THE ALLEGATION THAT STATE FARM MANDATES USING AFTERMARKET PARTS. STATE FARM WOULD NOT GRANT INTERVIEW BUT SENT A STATEMENT INSTEAD. IT SAID OUR CUSTOMERS CHOOSE WHERE THEIR VEHICLES ARE GOING TO BE REPAIRED. WE PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR SELECT SERVICE PROGRAM WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAKING IT CLEAR THEY CAN SELECT WHICH SHOP WILL DO THE WORK. STATE FARM TOLD US TO BRING OUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO NEIL OLRIDGE WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES. >> IT'S NOT JUST IN THE ECONOMIC INTEREST OF THE INSURER TO HAVE A CAR GO IN AND OUT OF AN AUTO BODY SHOP FOUR OR FIVE TIMES TO GET IT RIGHT. >> Reporter: WHY WOULD THEY RECOMMEND USED PARTS, FIXED PARTS OFF MARKET? >> SURE. MOST COMPANIES DON'T REQUIRE THIS. MOST COMPANIES OFFER A CHOICE TO CONSUMERS. MOST OF THE ANY SORT OF AFTERMARKET PART YOU MIGHT HEAR ABOUT ARE USUALLY COSMETIC PARTS. NOTHING RELATED TO THE SAFETY, THE MECHANICAL PARTS OF THE OPERATION OF THE VEHICLE. THERE ARE LAWS IN ALMOST EVERY STATE THAT REQUIRE CONSUMERS TO BE TOLD THAT IF AFTERMARKET PARKTS ARE USED AND WHAT THEY ARE. >> Reporter: WE FOUND THIS NOTICE ON PAGE FOUR OF THE ESTIMATE ON PAGE SIX OF THIS ONE. >> IN MANY CASES, THESE PARTS ARE NO DIFFERENT. THEY'RE MADE ON THE SAME FACTORIES. ONE JUST COMES OUT WITH AN AUTO MANUFAC MANUFACTURER'S NAME ON IT AND OTHERS DON'T. >> THAT'S NOT TRUE. >> IT IS TRUE. >> Reporter: IT CERTAINLY ISN'T TRUE IN THE CASE OF THIS REPLACEMENT HOOD FOR A HONDA MADE IN TAIWAN AND ALREADY COMING APART. THIS AFTERMARKET BUMPER STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX NOT ONLY DOESN'T FIT BUT THE FASTENERS HAVE BEEN GLUED BACK TOGETHER AND THEN THERE'S THE QUESTION ABOUT THAT BROKEN AND REPAIRED TOYOTA TACOMA HEAD LAMP. >> IT'S OBVIOUSLY A REPURPOSED PART FROM A JUNK YARD AND IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY, YOU'LL SEE HOW IT WAS GLUED TOGETHER, SNAPPED TOGETHER AND IN SOME CASES, EVEN WELDED AND SCREWED TOGETHER AND THIS IS WHAT THE INSURER TOLD THE PREFERRED BODY SHOP TO PUT ON THE CAR. LOOK AT THIS. YOU WOULDN'T WANT THAT IN YOUR CAR, I WOULDN'T WANT THAT IN MY CAR. >> I DON'T KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PICTURE, SO I REALLY CAN'T COMMENT ON IT. >> Reporter: SO ARE THE ATTORNEY GENERALS WRONG IN SAYING THAT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE, STATE FARM IN PARTICULAR, IS STEERING THEIR CUSTOMERS TO PREFERRED BODY SHOPS, PREFERRED BECAUSE THEY SAVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY MONEY, NOT THE CONSUMER? >> THE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY PROVIDE A LIST OF AUTO BODY SHOPS. AND THE CUSTOMER CAN SAY NO, I WANT TO GO TO JOE'S BODY SHOP AROUND THE CORNER AND THAT'S THE CHOICE. >> Reporter: THAT'S WHAT PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE TOLD US HAPPENED FOR THIS CAR. REMEMBER, IT'S THE CAR WE TOLD YOU ABOUT EARLIER WITH THE RIP TAIL FRAME THAT YOU COULD ONLY SPOT WITH THE BOROSCOPE. ONLY HIT FROM BEHIND. A PREFERRED BODY SHOP AND SENT BACK ON THE ROAD WITH A RIPPED AND HIDDEN TAIL FRAME. TURNS OUT IT WASN'T OLD, NOT REPAIRED. THREE OF FOUR TIRE RIMS ARE DAMAGED AND THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE CAR IS PUSHED IN ACCORDING TO AUTO EXPERT BILL BURN AND OUTSIDE, THE PAINT JOB IS FILLED WITH POCKMARKS. PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE SAY THEY DIDN'T CHOOSE THE BODY SHOP, THE OWNER DID. WELL, THIS IS THE OWNER. EUG EUGENEA RANDALL WHO NEEDS THE CAR TO CARRY HER 2-YEAR-OLD SON ROMAN AND REMEMBERS THE CONVERSATION WITH PROGRESSIVE MUCH DIFFERENTLY. >> THEY DIDN'T GIVE ME A CHOICE AS TO WHERE I WANTED TO TAKE IT. THEY JUST TOLD ME TO TAKE IT TO THEIR PREFERRED SHOP. >> Reporter: RANDLE SAID BECAUSE IT WAS A PREFERRED SHOP, IT WOULD BE REPAIRED TO A HIGHER STANDARD BUT WHEN SHE PICKED IT UP, SHE IMMEDIATELY KNEW SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT. >> COSMETICALLY TO ME IT LOOKED FINE BUT ONCE I GOT IN AND GOT DOWN THE STREET, IT JUST STARTED DRIVING REALLY CRAZY AND I IMMEDIATELY TOOK IT BACK. >> Reporter: SO HOW CRAZY WAS RANDLE'S CAR DRIVING? I DECIDED TO FIND OUT FOR MYSELF BY GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL. >> ANYTHING OVER 50 MILES PER HOUR, THIS THING JUST SHAKES. THIS THING IS REALLY SHAKING NOW. >> Reporter: NOT ONLY THE TAIL SECTION RIPPED AN UNREPAIRED, THREE OF FOUR TIRE RIMS DAMAGED AND AS I DROVE, THE STEERING WHEEL SHAKING SO VIOLENTLY, I HAD TO GRIP DOWN FROM VEERING TO THE RIGHT. THE FRONT LEFT TIRE WAS JUST WOBBLING. I CAREFULLY DROVE THIS SHAKING CAR RIGHT BACK TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY'S PREFERRED AUTO BODY SHOP. WHERE THE GENERAL MANAGER PROMPTLY TOLD US TO LEAVE. >> DON'T TURN THAT ON WITHOUT THE SERVICE PERMISSION IF YOU DON'T MIND. >> Reporter: AS FOR THE SHAKING CAR, THE INSURANCE COMPANY EVENTUALLY DECLARED IT A TOTAL LOSS GIVING HER FULL REPLACEMENT VALUE. BUT ONLY AFTER SHE HIRED AN ATTORNEY AND CNN BEGAN INVESTIGATING THIS STORY. >> THE VEHICLE SPUN OUT. >> UNBELIEVABLE. DREW GRIFFIN JOINING US NOW. I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THIS WHOLE PLAN THEY HAVE. DID THE REPAIR COMPANY THAT SUPPOSEDLY FIXED THE SHAKING CAR EVER GIVE AN EXPLANATION? >> Reporter: THE COMPANY SERVICE KING SAID THEY DID WHAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY APPROVED AND SAID ALL THEIR REPAIRS COME WITH A WRITTEN LIFETIME WARRANTY. SERVICE KING'S CORPORATE OFFICE SAID IT WAS UNAWARE THERE WERE PROBLEMS OR COMPLAINTS AND.