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Is Unibody Construction fixable if it is bent out of shape

sgloonsgloon Posts: 322

Hi, All,

I've been off the boards for a while, but I have an issue I would love some help with.

Someone rear ended me (2010 Forester) at a stop light the day before Thanksgiving. Other persons total fault and their insurance company is paying for it.

It was in one shop, got it back with major exhaust fumes coming into the cabin. Went back for fix, they said fumes coming in thru upper seal, after I got it back 2nd time, I still had fumes in the cabin. This was when I noted the hatch does not sit properly on the door frame. It sticks out on the bottom (It was hit more on the left side, so it looks like the left side "frame" needs to be pulled out to make it fit). The Gaps Side to side all the way to the top of hatch vary, ie not uniform. And we can see that the space by the side doors is not straight. It is wider on the top on left side and wider on the bottom on the right side. BTW, I had asked the original shop for frame check and they gave me several different answers why they don't have a printout for me, anything from the insurance won't pay for it, to the dog ate it, to you don't get a print out from the "rack" if it is perfect, and yours was perfect. The new rear inside quarter panel they installed is deformed and the seam just above the left rear light does not look to be a match (they had to replace the L side panel, bumper, rear gate, internal plastic pieces, air lock and more).

I brought it to second shop and they are finally here, 3 month later going to put it on the rack to check it. (Luckily, I have had rental car the whole time.)

My questions for you experts is: 1. Is it OK for them to re-bend the unibody after it was deformed(if this turns out to be the issue) and what will that do to the integrity of the car? 2. Will the value of my car (marked excellent in the initial report, except for the hit) be affected? 3. Will anyone want to buy it if they know the unibody was bent and then bent back? 4. If the unibody is bent, should I accept the car back?

Any help or additional comments would be appreciated. If you need further details, I can be more specific. Thanks!!!

Comments

  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 113
    edited February 24

    The question is, who is going to pay for repairs at the second shop? But yes, a frame can sometimes be straighten out and yes, from this point on your car might lose a lot of its value. And no, I would not buy a car with that kind of damage.

  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 322

    Thanks for your opinion, Rock. The insurance company is paying (the other person' insurance).
    Do I need for them to "total" it rather than try to fix it and take a loss? Do I have a choice to keep it or not?

    If I keep it, does the insurance company then have to compensate me for the difference in value for my car at the time of the accident vs at the time of settlement?

  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 113
    edited February 25

    @sgloon said: Thanks for your opinion, Rock. The insurance company is paying (the other person' insurance).
    Do I need for them to "total" it rather than try to fix it and take a loss? Do I have a choice to keep it or not?

    If I keep it, does the insurance company then have to compensate me for the difference in value for my car at the time of the accident vs at the time of settlement?

    More often than not the insurance company is the one to offer that kind of settlement. You can take a hint from the insurance adjustor. If he offers you a check AND your car, it means he wants to walk away from further claims from the shop because there may be hidden damages that don't show till things are taken apart. It will then be your decision, fix it or dump it. If he thinks it can be repaired, he'll deal with the shop.

    Your car may be reconditioned if you take it to a good shop. Hard to tell, you won't know till the job is finished. This is a personal decision that only you can make. Good luck with your decision.

  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 322

    The adjuster is working with the second shop. Waiting for the results of putting it on the rack. Of course, this second shop had already told the insurance that they were done, so I am not confident that they will fix the problem. I get the feeling that they are working with the insurance company to cover up any issues there may be. Does this happen normally with a big shop and a big insurance company? Now, finally, the adjuster and the shop are agreeing to put it on the rack and do some fixes. BTW, it doesn't have a frame, it is a uni-body. Would that make a difference in whether you would buy it or not? I am guessing that it isn't out by much, getting them to address it is the issue.

    I just found a "new"3rd shop to take it to that has the laser rack to check out the unibody. Unfortunately, by the time I gathered more info and got the name of this shop and drove over to the 2nd shop, I found my car was up on the rack. So, I guess I have to let them give it a go, and then bring it over to the 3rd shop for verification after they "say" they are done next.

  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 322

    Well, just heard they fired the auto body shop manager. The shop the subie has been at for a month and a half. So, if he was the issue, I hope to have good news, or at least better news, shortly.

  • rockmobilerockmobile Posts: 113

    Keep us posted as to the results of the repairs.

  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 322
    Further info: I had problems after getting car back with gate latch wearing away the plastic piece underneath and then having the hatch rattle, etc. So, it is now going to a different shop which I have much better confidence that they know what is going on. They won't know til they take it apart, but they think that they "pulled" the supports underneath the car too far, and that is why things aren't fitting properly. It will be going back in to fix this in December, so hopefully my Christmas present will be to have a car that fits together properly. (I don't recall the exact term he used for what is being pulled, but he said after I was rear-ened they probably had to pull those supports out to get everything to fit, and went a little too far with it.)
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