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Ripped off by autobody shop, what can i do?

I’m not sure if this is the right place, but hopefully someone can help me.

I’ve been rear-ended a second time in the last 2 years. When I took my car to be fixed for the 2nd rear-end accident, the auto shop told me that the metal bar in the bump was upside down (I have pictures of it now)! It seems that the auto shop that did the repair for my first accident did an extremely poor job repairing my car!

For both accidents, the other person’s insurance paid for the repair cost. Thus, the second auto shop just left the metal bar upside down and repaired everything else since the damage from my 2nd accident was a lot less than the 1st accident. Now my question is, what I do to get my car completely fixed? It’s been more than a year since the first repair. Do I take that first auto shop to small claims court? The 2nd auto shop estimated to repair/install that metal bar and other damage (there is some rusting and corrosion because of that metal bar now) to take about $4K.

Any advice would be extremely helpful. Sorry for the long post!

Do you have that information from the second shop in writing??
Do you have photos of the rusted areas?

If you have everything properly documented, write them a letter requesting that they correct the problems. When they refuse, you’ll then have a case for small claims court. Expect them to want to examine the car before answering.

They may surprise you. Once they examine the car they may accept responsibility and fix it right. Unlikely, but possible.

Thanks for the advice! Lucky I do have photos of the rusted area. And hopefully the estimated of the resultant damages would be enough documentation…I’ll send them a letter and see what happens

Thanks again!

The first body shop may have insurance to take care of the cost of their error. Give them a chance to say yes.

Does Your State License And Regulate Body Repair Shops And, Are The Repairmen Required To Be State Certified?

Knowing this could arm you with a lever if need be.

Were you sent to these shops or did you choose them yourself?


You say a bar was upside down,doesn’t sound so bad,you say some rusting,doesn’t sound so bad,you then say $4000.00,how did we get there?

How did a upside down bar cause 4K in rust? Or what was the real result of that bar being upside down?

Common Sense Answer: They have I- CAR CERTIFIED, ASE CERTIFIED, AAA APPROVED. Are those the normal certifications for an autoshop? I only went to them because the local Nissan dealership recommended that place. Since I was new to the area, I trusted the recommendation. I should have looked more into it though and now I know better.

Old School: Actually, the 4K was my bad memory, sorry. I pulled out the estimate to repair after posting and the amount is about 2k. Most of the cost is on labor.
The rusting resulted in the welding on the bumper brackets. I’m not really sure why the bar was upside, the mechanic from the 2nd place couldn’t give a guess either. However, he did assure me that welding was of poor quality.

Thanks everyone!

AAA Approved is for the shop.
iCar cetifications and ASE cetifications are ones that the individuals get for passing nationally standardized tests. A tech can get whole list of certs in different subject matters.

I would also contact the first accident’s insurance company, because they paid for the work. There is an outside chance that with the proper documentation they can help you force the first auto shop into getting the needed repairs done (additional leverage). Some shops also have a workmanship warranty that may come into play here, also.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their advices! I sent out a letter to the first auto shop and they contacted me back. Apparently I wasn’t the only with a complaint. The auto shop is taking full responsibility and is going to re-repair their earlier work. And they’re going to pay for the car rental.
I’m going to ask them to take before and after photos of this second repair. That way I’ll be able to have proof if they really did do to the job this time.

Thanks again everyone!

I am glad that things may be turning out OK on this one. However, I would be taking my own “before” pictures before turning the car over to them. Amazing how many photo opportunities like this can be “forgotten” until too late to be meaningful.

Oh! That’s a good call! Thanks!

After all these I would suggest you report to BBB and write bad review on site like, yellowpage, etc.

The thing I get from this post is just how hard it is to convey in words just what is actually facing the OP. It’s almost better to withold any comment on such situations until you have a complete picture of what is really going on.

The post really demonstrats the limitations of internet interpetations and diagnosis.

I took my car in for repairs to the driver’s side door and the front and rear panels No damage to the frame or interior. I paid $2500 up front and $2000 when I picked it up. Imagine my horror when they had replaced my interior with salvaged seats, vinyl, windows, amp and subwoofer, floor console and dashboard. I had taken plenty of pictures of the exterior of my car, but only a limited number of interior, which is what the shop owner was probably counting on. This matter is currently not settled, but I just wanted to say, take pictures of your entire car, even the decals on your windows, you never know how unscrupulous a repair shop can be. And don’t count on the cops to so much as take a peek or write a report, all they are taught to say is ‘it’s a civil matter’. Live and learn how many ways you can be screwed.