Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Body shop takes too long to repair! what can i ask them for?!

brought a new honda civic 2016 on Feb but just got hit in an accident at 4/22/16, and my car was towed to body shop at the same day. They said in will be 10 days work at 5/15. But at 5/20 they claimed that it will be more work for that because some parts need to be fixed again. Till today they said there will be 2 more weeks for repair (They have promised again they would have done in a week at 6/2!!!), because they said the car cannot pass the wheel alignment test(WTH!) and need to repair again

question is: Should i ask them the real deadline of repair in a letter to be written via mail to me, so that i can sue them if they pass out the deadline?

And: in case my insurance rental coverage was in maximum, can i ask the body shop to pay me for rental for the next two weeks, because they take too long for that?

Insurance agents often have some leverage w/body shops b/c they do business with them all the time. Suggest to consult your own insurance agent on this problem. And ask the insurance agent to add another two weeks to your free rental as this delay isn’t your fault.

It’s possible the techs doing the repair are skilled pros working diligently, and there was unanticipated hidden damage from the accident that still needs repair. If that’s the case, in my opinion the insurance company should just extend your free rental and let the shop finish the job. It’s a safety thing, so I expect all you have to do is ask.

Another vote to have your agent get involved. They will have the answers that might only apply in your state. If nothing else they can direct you to your states Insurance Commissioner and the best way to contact them.

Here’s something you need to understand.

You don’t own the vehicle. The party that lent you the money to purchase the vehicle owns the vehicle. Until you pay that loan off, it’s not your property.

So the loan company want’s the vehicle fixed because it’s their property.

Your insurance company will continue to pay in an attempt to repair the vehicle until the cost of such repair exceeds about 75% of the value of the vehicle. And since the vehicle is new, that’s a lot of money.

So, you’re just a pawn in this situation.

But in my opinion, if they can’t get the vehicle to track straight after the second attempt of aligning the unibody, the vehicle is totaled.



so u mean i cannot do anything expect asking the extra rental fee from insurance right?
and i only can have a seat and wait?

All you can do is explain to your insurance company that you’re making monthly loan and insurance payments on a vehicle you can’t use, and don’t know when you’ll be able to use it.

Maybe they’ll be sympathetic and help out with the car rental?

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.


Well in my view an estimate is only an estimate and if they run into problems it can take longer. Sure, ask for a rental extension bit let them repair the car properly. One small item though is in most states you own the car and retain title to it, but the lending agency has a Lein against it plus the contract language you signed that protects their interest in the car.

Just how bad was this car hit? How fast was it going when it hit something or how fast was something going when it hit you"

If they’re struggling to bring the chassis into alignment it sounds like the floor pan has been buckled and/or subframes bent. That gets into the territory of why bother fixing it.

Our new cr got rear ended, waited for a coulple of months to have the repair done as parts were not yet available. sounds like a unibody or frame issue, yes we got a free rental car but I think your car may be toast.

yeah my car did get crushed bad when it was parked.
but it doesnot matter

the body shop has asked insurance money twice for that. I cannot believe how they continue discovering hidden dmg like 3 or 4 times, or they just want to stall or earn profit from it.

i want to get back my car asap, cuz i dont know if there will be another extra 2 weeks from body shop. thats why i want to get the deadline in paper from them

anyway, thanks for that u guys are helpful

give me some ideas that i havent thought about

WTH . . . ?!

OP said he bought a new vehicle

OP did not mention financing

OP may be just like me and own the vehicle outright

I don’t finance cars, and there’s a few others on this forum that are the same way

It is not unusual for a collision repair to take 3 months. The damage is reassessed several times during disassembly and repair.

Insurance companies will sometimes pay for only 30 days of rental car coverage, negotiate with the body shop to cover the balance of the expense, they may pay for your rental and that is all you can sue for unless this is a commercial vehicle that can’t be replaced with a rental.

Demanding completion by a particular date won’t assure quality, it is best to allow sufficient time to complete the repair.

Is The Body Shop Part Of A Honda Dealer? With A fairly New Car And With Major Damage, I Would Have It Repaired At A Dealer (with a reputable body shop, of course).

They are familiar with these cars and how they typically damage in a crash. Parts knowledge and availability is usually better.

Also, depending on whether or not you want to take a “hit” on cost in order to get a “do-over,” it could be possible to trade the car in before it’s done being repaired. A dealer principal can possibly over-see an coordinate (between departments) a pretty sweet deal because they get the shop business, parts sales, and a new car sale.

We had customers at the dealer body shop that I managed that did just that. They drove out with a new car and when their old car was fixed it headed straight to the used car lot.

I have to disagree with you that the car being “crushed bad” does not matter. It could matter a lot for several reasons.

One is that it could be the reason why new problems are constantly being discovered. Not all damage is laid out in broad daylight for the world to see initially.

Two is that it may reach the point when the car will never be right and that point may come after you have gotten the car back and eventually discover that it possibly should have never been fixed to begin with.

Right now I’m giving the shop the benefit of any doubt.

This is why it is still important to have an insurance agent in this day and age. If this were me I would simply go to my agent and tell him to get the car rental covered. My agent is like a badass Harry Potter and he gets things done for me. It’s why I won’t ever use one of those online insurance companies.

I agree w/Nevada. Going in there and demanding it be done by a certain date and worse, threatening to sue if they’re late, is almost as bad as insulting the cook BEFORE they finish cooking your meal.

If it was sitting in the back parking lot with a plastic sheet over it for a month that would be one thing. They’re working on it. Chill out and let them get it right.

You demand it gets done faster and it will…but likely you will not be happy with the result.

“It is not unusual for a collision repair to take 3 months. The damage is reassessed several times during disassembly and repair.”

A repair shop is bound to repair the damage to the vehicle as outlined in the insurance company approved estimate, unless they want to absorb additional parts and labor expenses (They won’t stay in business very long by doing so.).

As pointed out, additional damage can be discovered that was originally hidden, when disassembly commences. Then that usually requires contact with the insurance company and a wait until the insurance adjuster comes out to inspect and authorize additional repairs. Then, often times, parts need to get ordered, causing more delay.

This can happen more than once in the repair process. Repairs stop during these events and the body repairman gets involved working on other vehicles, not just standing around.

Depending on the insurance company, authorization for original repairs can take days, weeks…
Parts can go on back-order (especially on a newly changed body-style or parts seldom damaged)…

It’s not always the body shop at fault when repairs take a long time.

A repair shop can charge what ever they want. They are only obligated to agree to the insurance estimate if they are one of the insurance companies approved body shops. You can have any interest repair the vehicle you want to.

A repair shop can charge what ever they want. They are only obligated to agree to the insurance estimate if they are one of the insurance companies approved body shops. You can have any interest repair the vehicle you want to.”

True, Mike.
However, if a shop wants to charge more than what the insurance will pay then they either have to try ad negotiate with insurance, charge the difference to the customer, or tell the customer they won’t do the job and to get the car out of there.

Do you know what those sops are called? Answer: Shops no longer in business.