My poor VW

Last Sat I was driving east in a mixed residential/business area on a three lane street. A pick up was headed west and as we both came to an intersection an idiot driving a small Toyota SUV blew through a stop sign doing at least 50 MPH. The pick up T boned the Toyota on the driver’s side and sent it air borne. The Toyota turned upside down and landed on the hood of my 2012 VW Jetta with only 9300 miles. Trust me, not a sight one wants to experience as it seemed to be out of a movie or TV show.

The owner of the body shop assures me they can repair it to like new condition and we both think the front suspension adsorbed a lot of the energy. The hood, driver’s side outer & inner fender, windshield, DS headlamp assembly, the driver side front pillar, some trim and possibly the grill will need replacement. We do not know how much hidden damage there is under the hood & fender. The bumper, both side view mirrors, the passenger side fender all will need some repair and/or repainting.

Bottom line is the value of my car will be depreciated due to the accident, no matter how well the repairs are completed. What do you recommend for me as to how I should go about obtaining compensation for the reduced value of my car? I’ve attached a pic of the car in question.

Thanks in advance


“Reduced Value” exists in your mind more than in fact…If the car is properly repaired and painted it should be impossible for anyone (except a skilled body-man) to detect the repair…

Assuming the person who caused the accident has adequate insurance, they may voluntarily make you a generous offer to compensate for the perceived “lost value”…Or you might need a lawyer to remind them of the terrible psychological trauma you suffered during the accident…

In the picture, I’m looking at the drivers side “C” pillar that supports both the windshield and door frame. If that pillar is deformed, it is VERY difficult to repair properly…

Take it back to the dealer let them do a full assessment. Get in touch with the insurance company and insist on using just original factory parts. Your car is new enough so the paint is not aged so it would be easy to use the correct color. Again the dealer using the vin can pull the actual color code and even the percentages of the pigments and shiny flakes in them.
On the other hand if there is some hidden damage with the chassis or a subframe they might total it…
But again first step would be to take it a reputable dealer for a thorough assessment.

First how long to you plan to keep the car? If you plan to keep it a long time don’t worry about reduced value. Your car can be fixed to like new condition. Most used cars have had damage thats been fixed. Walk around a car lot and they seem to get a good price for them. If was me I would get it fixed and drive it and not worry.

  1. The color code is in the glove box or under the hood. The Vin does not have the color code in it. Also it the paint formula that can give you the what pigments are in the color. That will vary with the bran of paint used to make it. Also hue’s of the color vary as cars are painted. New or not it will need to matched by the painter. Also a dealer body shop is no better than a inde shop.

When I had my shop I had 3 dealers that sent me work because they could not do that type of work. Mostly frame/unibody work. I looked at the pic ,this is a easy fix.

I’d also be worried about damage to the engine since there isn’t much room under the hoods of cars these days.

@ oldbodyman Good post. I did not want to send the op to the dealer for repair just for an evaluation. As the op has a very recent and new car I think the dealer is a place to start the eval. Now it is fine if the dealer sends the car of to an indy shop later or for further checking.
Sure you are right about the color code in the glove box. But the vin helps trace the car back to the assembly line and their records so the correct pigment and hue can be achieved.

My gut feeling is that the insurance company should just take the car and compensate you for another one.
The body shop guy assures you that they will make it like new but no one knows what kind of damage may be lurking on the floor pan, subframes, and so on. I’m also in agreement with Caddyman about that C pillar.
While it’s difficult to tell from the pic, it also looks to me like that driver’s side rear wheel is tucked under a bit but maybe that’s just the pic. Or not.

I would also think that a front suspension may have a near impossible time absorbing this kind of energy.

For what it’s worth, a few years back my youngest son wrecked his Camaro when a Crown Vic turned in front of him. Initally the damage did not look that bad; not nearly as bad your car.
The headlights were not broken, radiator fine, battery fine, front fascia barely scraped, etc, etc, etc.
Closer inspection some weeks later showed the floor pan was buckled in 3 or 4 places with a few barely noticeable cracks. In a nutshell, the car was wiped out although from standing 20 feet away and eyeballing it the car did not look that bad at all.

The problem is in figuring the reduced value. It really doesn’t count until you sell the car. Talk to your insurer and see if they think you have a case. You may need to talk to a supervisor or specialist rather than the customer service agent that answers your call.

My only concern would be with the pillar and getting that right so the door and windshield fit with no leaks and wind noise etc. If it were me, I think I’d just try to turn it back in for a new one. You’d have to pay for the 9,000 miles but no hassle. If not, fix it and trade it in a year. Don’t think diminished value is insured, only making you whole with a repaired or like car. I’d make a deal with the dealer-trade it, let them fix it and auction it or whatever.

Thanks for the comments & advice. I had the car taken to an independent shop as there is no VW dealer in town. This shop has the best reputation in town and since the car is insured though State Farm I’ll have a lifetime warranty on the repairs.

The shop owner & I discussed the pillar damage and they will cut out a section and weld the new one in place. I’ve already talked to him about the subframe & suspension. I’ll bring up the floor pan, but the way the Toyota landed on me I do not think the pan was subjected to any forces.

I have decided to take the car to the nearest dealer and have the engine & trans-axle inspected before I’ll sign off on the settlement.

“I have decided to take the car to the nearest dealer and have the engine & trans-axle inspected before I’ll sign off on the settlement.”

That’s prudent. You seem to have an excellent handle on the issues with your post-crash repairs.