If you’re looking for an auto body shop in New Jersey make sure you give Peotters Tire & Auto a call as the New Jersey areas premier tire and brake shop. Today’s vehicles are made with many different types of fuel-saving materials like lightweight alloys and plastics. It is important for an auto body shop in New Jersey to be aware of the different materials and techniques used for repairing them.
Auto body shops like Peotter’s Tire and Auto and collision repair services refer to manuals for instructions repairing bumpers. The different material types require various finish materials, removal and installation procedures.
When a plastic bumper is cracked or has a small hole it can be repaired to look as good as new. Replacing the bumper is wasteful and it creates unnecessary debris for our landfills.
A good, eco-friendly auto body shop in New Jersey will only recommend replacing the bumper if the damage is severe enough that repair time would be considered unreasonable and quality of results would be unsatisfactory.
>>> 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.
>> 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.
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.
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.
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.
The cost of repairing small abrasions, cracks and holes in plastic bumpers is often much cheaper than replacing the part.
Of course, many collision repair technicians would rather replace the part and charge a fee for their labor plus mark-up on the price of the part because they lack in cosmetic repair skills and it is easier to warranty the work.
Working with Plastics
The first step to repairing plastic bumpers is to identify the material in order to choose the method of repair. Auto body shops use ISO codes on the parts to identify the various families of plastics. They cross-reference the codes with charts from the suppliers or by accessing reference materials on the internet.
It is important that the collision repair technician determine the type of plastic they are working with so they know the proper welding procedure to use to avoid damage to the part.
Some plastics can be welded with an airless welder or hot-air welder; others require a hot glue type of procedure. Tests must be performed and welding procedures have to be done correctly to avoid adhesion failure. Some bumpers will melt with a slight color change and they will remain tacky in the area where they have melted.
The bumper repair technician must identify the type of plastic they are working with in order to be successful with adhesive repairs. Failure to properly identify the plastic results in adhesion-related problems.
Some repair materials are based on flexible and rigid plastics. Using the wrong material can cause cracking when the part is flexed or it may not provide the correct strength for the repair area.
Cleaning and Prep
Proper cleaning and prep is critical for proper adhesion and finish. Whether the technician is repairing or replacing the bumper, the part will need to be cleaned. The bumper being repaired is likely to be dirty from the road; the new replacement part can have contamination on it from the manufacturing process.
Auto body repair professionals should use a low-VOC surface cleaner or a special plastics parts cleaner to help prevent solvents from going too deep into the plastic. If solvents are too harsh, they go deep into the plastic and cause adhesion problems after repairs are done.
This is an overview of the process of working with plastics. Time is money in the auto body industry; therefore, many collision repair technicians choose to replace rather than repair plastic bumpers and other parts.
Technology allows us to repair many items that are often replaced. As resources become scarce and landfills become over-full, we really should consider repairing rather than replacing when possible.
Who Really IS the Best Auto Body Shop in New Jersey ?
Without knowing what to look for, choosing a quality auto body shop is tough. It's important to select the right auto shop to ensure the vehicle is fixed correctly the first time. It's also the best way to make sure the shop is honest and reliable. There are many important features of a good shop, including an experienced staff and certifications. It can also help to read customer reviews before making a selection.
A Certified Shop
A good body shop is certified by the largest auto organization. Facilities that gain the approval of the organization have proven their abilities as certification is often a lengthy process. To become approved, an auto shop must demonstrate it has the latest equipment, qualified technicians and a proper facility. It must also show it offers above average training to its employees. Larger associations always collect feedback from prior customers as well before issuing an approval. Auto shops can also receive certification from parts manufacturers and organizations like Autobody Alliance, which requires the shop to meet certain qualifications.
Qualified and Experienced Staff
A good auto body shop has qualified staff with a number of certifications. Certification from ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) is especially important. ASE is a non-profit organization that offers certifications to automobile technicians that show proficiency in their trade. Technicians may also have certification from car manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan, showing their knowledge and experience dealing with particular car brands. Some auto technicians also receive aftermarket training from Bendix, Moog, or NAPA. Most training requires a great deal of knowledge and experience and demonstrates a technician is a professional in their field.
Positive Customer Reviews
When possible, former clients should be consulted about their experience with the shop. Some resources to find reviews are online, making it easy to decide if a body shop has good feedback from the public. Reviews should mention that the vehicle was fixed properly the first time and work was completed in a timely fashion. Positive reviews should also discuss whether a warranty was offered by the body shop and if the facility was clean and orderly. A facility that has the approval of a large automobile association has shown a history of positive feedback from customers, although it's always a good idea to check into a shop as much as possible.
Accepts All Insurance
Another important aspect of a good body shop is its acceptance of all forms on insurance. An auto body shop that accepts all insurance providers demonstrates it has experience working with insurance companies to settle claims quickly. A shop that is hesitant to accept major insurance providers is a red flag that something may be wrong. This is also a matter of convenience and makes it easier for the vehicle owner to select a shop they feel comfortable with.
Selecting the right auto body shop requires a bit of patience and consideration. For example, choosing the first shop available can be a disaster if the employees aren't trained properly. A good auto shop is clean and up-to-date with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The shop should have positive reviews and a range of certifications for both the facility and technicians. It should also accept all forms of insurance, making repairs easy and convenient.
Wheel Alignment And Balancing
Jeff 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.
For instance, this Mini Cooper and other BMWs require what's called rivet bonding.
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.
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 ratingdesigned 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 sheduling a rental car, scheduling a tow engaging in conversations with the insurance company and making sure the vehicle is fixed right for the consumer.
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