Help! Car lowered onto my car by service department!

I took my car (bought 5 weeks ago - on the day of my first car payment) to the dealership for an emissions inspection and for them to check the transmission. While in the service area, another car was lowered onto the driver’s side door which had been left open. The door is folded in half.

The dealership says that they will replace my door and that only the door was damaged - that the hinges are fine. They also said that they will pay for the transmission work that I originally needed (~$800-900 worth of work). They have also given me a rental for the next few weeks while my car is in the shop.

My questions:

1. What sort of damages could be lurking within/on my car from this accident?

2. Should I seek out reimbursement for the depreciation?

3. Is there anything else I should do? Get my insurance involved?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

The dealership’s solution sounds like a fair deal to me. Just make sure that the new door shuts correctly after they are done.

The door will be repaired and if there is damage to a “hinge” they will fix that too. You should inspect the door carefully for alignment, closing and latching smoothly with no binding, and paint match. You should not be able to tell the repaired door from the original. If you can see a difference don’t accept the car until you are fully satisfied.

I don’t think you can prove any depreciation. The car depreciated the moment you took delivery of it. You have to prove greater depreciation above the norm, that would need a lawyer.

At this point your insurance isn’t involved. You were not in the car. This is a shop accident and the shop’s insurance is handling it unless the dealer is taking this loss on his own. Others may see if differently but I’d leave my insurance company out of it.

The other thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that you want to test drive the car on the highway, and listen for air leaking around the door while driving at ~65 mph.

If you hear air now, when you didn’t before, then the door wasn’t properly repaired, and needs to be looked at.


They’re already going the extra mile for you. In addition to putting the car back into the condition prior to the mishap, they’re doing $900 worth of repairs to your trans. I doubt you’d get that much in diminished value and you’d have to fight for it. Seems like fair compensation to me.

They are offering you a $900 freebie of transmission work you otherwise would have paid for. Maybe a slight hassle.

Be gracious. Sounds like a good dealer.

Thanks for the sound advice - I agree that the dealership is being very helpful…I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t an ignorant perspective on my end. Thanks again!

I’m in agreement with the others that the dealer is being very decent about this. The sad part is that a mechanic may be out of a job right before Xmas due to an accident.

There is a chance that there really was no other damage. I like what they are trying to do and so would any judge who had to hear it in court. You usually get points for trying to help. The only drawback is that it is so new and owners who buy a perfect car have a hard time living with the issue.

I’d also take the car through a touch-free automatic car wash once the paint work has cured and look closely for any leaks.

I put one down in another mechanics tool box. I never became accoustomed to the concept of two mechanics on one car. We had on of these air over oil lifts that liked to come down so a stand was placed under it for the weekend, the lift had a 90’s vintage Corvette on it. Short story is the stand slipped and poked a hole in the Corvette’s floor. I know you have a dozen questions on why things were done like this and so did the insurance company.

One day the maintence man was going around checking on fluid levels in the lifts. you check the level with what is just an enormous dip stick. Well the procedure is to let the air pressure off before you loosen up the dip stick, this one mechanic did not and the dip stick stuck in the cieling and the oil shot out like a “gusher” oil well, and into two cars parked nearby. The lift can be dangerous.

OP you are being taken care of well.

You must be dealing with the single most awesome dealer in the whole world. I’d take that deal in a second and offer them the other door to break as well.

Dealer sounds like they are doing the right thing.

  1. make sure the door shuts and opens nice. See if the door sags after it is opened slowly or drags on the striker when closed slowly.
  2. drive it to check for wind noise.
  3. go through a car was right away. you do not need to wait for the paint to cure. Wash it all you want but do not wax for 90 days.
  4. make sure the paint matches
  5. i would believe the hinges are bent and possibly even the door post.
  6. can you post a pic?

I’m new here, but I’m curious. What kind of 5 week old car needs 800-900 $ worth of transmission work? Shouldn’t that be covered under warranty?

True. Good reading Dude.

I wondered about that too. Maybe it’s a used car outside of warranty.

I’m going guess it’s the same make and model new car that has 150K on it. It’s 5 weeks old to THEM!

Same make and model as what? It was never specified. I figured it had to be a used car that needed financing, and that’s just not part of my financial universe.

Not only is the model year of the vehicle missing, but so is the Original Poster…