Honda Pilot has been at the repair shop since Feb

Our 2015 Honda Pilot was hit Feb 2nd. It sat at the towing/junkyard for a week before our insurance company moved it to their inspection yard, which they eventually told us was an auction lot because they were deeming our car as a total loss. It sat there 2 weeks before all of a sudden they decided it was no longer a total loss and they took it to the body shop.
It’s been at the body shop since Feb 22nd.
Insurance quoted 6k to be fixed. So far it’s been 13k.
The body shop called me 3 separate times saying my car was ready but each time there was a problem— they forgot a sensor, they didn’t do an alignment on the front end (they didn’t even have this approved with insurance and yet called to tell me my car was done), the last time I picked it up it was completely dead. They ended up driving it out to my house. An hour after they dropped it off it was dead again. And not only that but the front tow was not aligned. All the gaps were wrong on the front end. The hood, fender, grille, headlights, none of it lined up. There were multiple scratches and touch up paint all over, and the paint job they did didn’t match.
We took the car back to the shop. The body shop is trying to say none of the alignments will ever be straight, that’s just how cars our. They told our insurance company they could tweak it and make it a little closer.
They have now had the car another 2 weeks since saying this. The body shop requested new panels because they said they scratched the bumper. This was denied by insurance saying they can fix the scratch, which they probably can. I wouldn’t doubt that the aftermarket parts aren’t fitting or they did other damage though and they need new ones. insurance is telling them the aftermarket parts they have will fit, to make it work.

Basically, what are your thoughts? We are now afraid to get this car back and something be wrong with it and us end up being screwed.

We were hit by someone running a stop sign into our right front end.

Refuse to accept the SUV Until it is fixed. The insurer took a chance that it could be fixed. If it doesn’t work out, they blew it, not you. If this is not your insurer, they should help you with the other insurance company. Mine does, and they don’t mess around.


Here are my blunt opinions . . .

The car should have been totaled . . . somebody bit off more than they can chew. Possibly the insurance adjuster is hopelessly incompetent. It’s better to err on the side of caution and total a car, versus trying to save it, and probably opening a can of worms.

The body shop is doing a lousy job, and is full of lame excuses

It sounds like your insurer is doing a lousy job representing you

If I were you, I would say everything I just said to your insurer, but in a polite and firm manner.

Good luck, you’re obviously going to need it.

You might even want to consider telling your insurer you want the car totaled, and you do NOT want it back, because it clearly won’t ever be pre-accident condition again. Legally, I don’t know what your options are, though.

Please keep us informed

After this fiasco is over . . . whenever that is . . . I suggest you start shopping for a different insurer. It sounds like they’re not doing right by you. I wouldn’t stand for this treatment.


I agree. You really need to hold out for a cash payment instead and let them have the car. It was a mistake all around and now they are in it deep. There are insurance folks out there that will represent you in a claim so maybe it would be best to contact one and let them settle it for you. They can talk the same language and know who to contact to move it along. I can’t for the life of me remember what they are called though.


Agreed. The car should have been declared a total permanently. Thirteen grand of work means bad, bad news.

Lousy insurance company and lousy body shop.


Providing you aren’t exaggerating the quality problems with the body work (repainting almost never matches perfectly at first, but will later fade and blend better with the rest), then your best bet is to come to an honest arrangement with the insurance company where they keep your “fixed” car, which they can sell to somebody else, and write you a check for what they’d normally pay you for your totaled car.

If you think the delays have made you a little over-sensitive when judging the results of the body work, tell the insurance company if they can deliver you a reliable vehicle in good condition, you’ll drive it for a couple weeks, and decide at that time if you want to go the above route or not. You may decide owning your own car, even if the panels don’t match up perfectly, is a lower risk than owning somebody else’s used car, or new car payments.

Wrong again. The rear quarter panel on our wagon was repainted after dents repaired. I saw no difference when we got it back 5 years ago or none now.


Sunlight also has to do with color matching. A car exposed to sunlight for years will being to fade in color. The sunlight’s ultra-violet rays absorbed some of the pigments in the auto body paint. Blue paint colors will shift to a green shade, reds will begin to turn pinkish or sometimes even an orange. So once you apply what you think is your auto body color code paint, you will see the new coat of paint will look brighter.

I don’t know why but the places I’ve seen the most paint jobs off a shade are in the east. Might be my imagination since you notice mismatched paint but not the ones that have been matched.
They use computer matching so scan the existing paint and mix it to match. Still have to do a little blending but shouldn’t be able to tell.

The car was in the insurance yard. The insurance company took the car to “their guy”.

I would not be surprised in the least if the reason why the insurance company is not wanting to declare a total is because “their guy” is cuting them a “help a buddy out” deal on the repair costs. Say 7 grand…


You’re much kinder than I. I suspect a kickback to the shop the insurer dragged the car to on a significant percentage of the savings. I’m sure the kickback is hidden in the paperwork’s figures.

And in writing. Perhaps even on the letterhead of a legal office.


Thanks for the info. We are looking into a lawyer.
We had doubts taking the car back since they first told us it was a total loss then decided to fix it.

Definitely not exaggerating… yes, the wait time has been long but we were willing to wait for it to be done right. The hood doesn’t even close properly and first the body shop said “well it will never be perfect. No hoods are flush on both sides” he tried to tell us it was like that before and we just didn’t notice. However, I had a Picture of the car after the crash proving the hood was pushed up from the accident, and also proving some of the door panel damage NOT being there during accident and either happened at the junk yard during towing or at the body shop.

Suggestions on taking it to a post vehicle repair inspection? Should I do this and then tell progressive we don’t want this car? Or just go straight to not wanting this car back?

Frankly, it looks like a lawyer is what you need. Seriously, any advice from a forum on a problem as bad as this is worthless because you have no way to show it really applies or is even correct.
Do post back your final results because most of the regulars really would like to solve this for you.


Yeah, agreed. You’re getting toyed with by both the body shop and your insurance company. You need to stop playing nice.

There’s a ton of details not provided that may be relevant to “what to do next” but here’s what I would do- I would call my insurance rep/supervisor and state my position calmly and matter of fact-ly. :slight_smile: The chosen shop is doing shoddy work, has had the car for X days which is unreasonable and there is no assurance they will complete the repair satisfactorily in the end, whenever that may be. As far as I’m concerned the car is beyond repair and I would like a settlement check within the week so I can be made whole by finding a like replacement vehicle I can drive and trust.Then say that I will seek legal representation if necessary but hope it doesn’t come to that as it will just increase costs for them in the end.

That may be enough for them to decide to do the right thing. If not, follow through.


There’s always a huge conflict of interest when an insurance company uses a specific body shop and it’s not because they’re friends to the nth degree. They’re getting a wink and a nod deal.

I agree. It may be time to have a lawyer send them a letter and even request copies of the payments made by the insurance company to the body shop.

The unknown is whether the body shop gets 13 grand and slides a grand or so in cash back to the adjuster.
I know it’s hard to believe that insurance companies and adjusters can be weasels.

An adjuster used to live a block from me and he pulled all kinds of cxxp with claims. Several times people have stopped me while I was mowing and wanting to know where he lived. I gladly pointed his house out.
These people were planning to extract a pound of flesh from him. It got hot enough on him he bailed and went to Kansas.


And now there’s people in Kansas that wish him the worst . . .

No doubt. Even his wife dumped him before he bailed out.

He would total a car and then buy it from the insurance company for a few hundred bucks. Another conflict…

He did some Bondo slathering and paint work on the side. This led to his getting vehicles on the cheap with no more than sheet metal damage and then resellng them at near retail.

I spent 30 years in the Property and casualty insurance business. I always suggest that you submit a claim through your carrier even if it not at fault. Your post seems to state that you did so and the carrier is Progressive. I would file a complaint with your state Insurance Commission. Google insurance complaint and your state. That complaint will get the carriers attention. Simply state what you said here. Its free and you can do it today.

If they won’t total it, it may be time for a post repair inspection by another body shop. Check youtube for examples. Cars are often totalled after shoddy repairs. Good luck.