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Should I accept "recycled" door from insurance company for my 2009 Prius?

A moving truck backed up into my 2009 Prius and destroyed the driver side door and window. I filed a claim with my insurance company, Geico, and the mover’s insurance company (Progressive) has already agreed to pay my deductible.

The adjuster’s estimate is based on a “quality recycled” door to replace my door and he pushed pretty hard for me to accept that. Is that pretty standard even for a relatively new car like my 2009 or is it likely to be much worse than my original door? How hard should I push for a new OEM door? If I have to pay the difference out of pocket, might that be worth it if I think it is likely that Progressive will reimburse me or is it not much better to go new and not worth the risk of being stuck with the extra ~$1000 or so of parts and labor costs?


By a “recycled” door they probably don’t mean “recycle” - they mean “reuse” - as in the door was probably pulled from another Prius at a salvage yard. It will be an “OEM” door. The only important thing is that a good body shop then does the paintwork to match it to the rest of your car.

Either that, or get clarity on what they mean.

Yes, they mean a used door. They just say recycled to emphasize the green-ness of it or deemphasize the possible prior wear and tear a la “pre-owned.” It would be OEM, but I’m worried if there might be hidden damage from whatever accident caused the car they took it off of to be junked in the first place. Of course they claim there isn’t, but I worry it would harm the resale value more if I get a recycled door than a new one as a replacement.

BTW, mileage is ~26k.

Sometimes A Recycled Door Is A Better Way To Go Than A New Door Shell, Providing The Part Is As New As The One It's Replacing And Doesn't Have Damage That The Shop Must Fill Or Repair Prior To Painting It.

Most insurers try and specify used doors because of all the labor involved in "building" a door. Brand new doors often sound tinny (sometimes lack sound absorbing materials) or result in problems with components being transferred. Probably the only thing that will need transferring are the interior trim panel and the key lock if it's got one.

When I managed a body shop, we'd carefully screen the used doors, only accepting them if they were as good or better than what was on the car. You can see if they'll find you an 09 (or newer ? I'm not sure if the body changed) door and if they'll let you have a look at it if you'd like if you can arrange it so you don't hold up the work schedule. We preferred used doors because of the hassle building them which wasn't very lucrative, anyhow.


One advantage to a used door - if they find one in your color no matching will be required, and you’ll have a factory paint job.

As long as the color matches I see no problems with a junk-yard door. We should all recycle parts like this whenever possible.

The Door That Was On Your Car Before Being Caved In Was A Used Door.

Hurt the resale ? Not any more than the crash and repair would and it's just a Prius, not a Maybach.

A tinny sounding brand new door will cause buyers to become skeptical, though.

Ask the insrance company and shop about a warranty. Most shops probably give 6 months or a year, but many insurance companies will warrant used parts forever. Also, most insurers will make sure you're completely satisfied with the job. Check it out.


With the problems resulting from the earthquakes in Japan, some of the Toyota factories are not up to fulll production. I don't know whether Prius parts are manufactured in the U. S. or Japan, but if the parts come from Japan, maybe you had better accept a recycled door.

Thanks for all your comments. Sounds like I should just go for the used door they’re pushing.

As long as it’s from an '09 model, or in at least as good of a condition, yes.

One Caveat . . . The Shop May Have Trouble Locating An 09 Or Newer Recycled Door For Your Car Or, By Specifying "Recycled," The Insurance Company Or Shop May Allow A New Aftermarket (Non-Genuine Toyota) Door Shell.

If it was my Prius, I wouldn't allow the use of anything other than O.E. genuine Toyota parts, new, used, or otherwise. I wouldn't accept an aftermarket door. Many aftermarket parts don't match the quality of the originals.


I filed a claim with my insurance company, Geico, and the mover’s
insurance company (Progressive) has already agreed to pay my deductible.

Wait a second. Clarify this please. Are you saying that your insurance company is paying for the repair, and the at-fault insurance company is only paying the deductible? Surely this can’t be what you mean.

That's How It Works In My "No-Fault" State (12 States Have No-Fault Law). If You Don't Have Insurance And Somebody Hits You, They Can Even Total Your Car And You Are Left Holding The Bag (or the salvage).


The used door is not even an issue…It’s standard procedure to do this. The issue is, was there ANY damage or deformation to the door FRAME, the opening in the car body the door fits into…If there is, it’s very tricky to get ANY door to fit properly…

A factory assembled door is a FAR better choice than a replacement part(s)…

Further explanation for Shadowfax – That’s how it worked when somebody broadsided my car and and totaled it. My insurer (Geico) offered to pay me under my collision coverage. That way I got the money, less deductible, right away. Then, Geico went after the liable party’s insurer to recover Geico’s cost and, incidentally, to get my deductible for me – which took forever.

A lot depends on the laws in your State. I don't believe you can demand a part be "new" in most states. Further, there is probably some verbage in your policy which allows the use of LKQ (Like Kind and Quality) parts.

Put it this way, what if your car were 10 years old? Wouldn't it be reasonable to have a 10 year old part put in, as long as it was of simialr qualiy to the rest of your car? All you can reasonable expect si to be made whole again, not have your 3 year old car end up better than it was beforehand.

If the door is of the same year and properly inspected I’d have no problem with it. However, once you agree to this you have no control over these factors. Prius has been around for quite a few years, and you cold end up with a 5 year old door that’s begun rusting at the bottom seam…or even worse, one that’s been pulled from a disassembled flood victim.

Your car is only two years old. Since you were in no way at fault, you deserve a NEW door. You should demand one.

My insurer (Geico) offered to pay me under my collision coverage. That
way I got the money, less deductible, right away. Then, Geico went
after the liable party’s insurer to recover Geico’s cost and,
incidentally, to get my deductible for me – which took forever.

Yes, that makes sense. The OP doesn’t say anything about his insurer going after the other insurer. The other insurer is already involved - paying the deductible - and so if his insurer is paying the claim, something isn’t right.

Yep, it was a used door that was on there so nothing wrong with an OEM used door and it will have all of the rust proofing and so on that was original.

Your insurance will pay the bill and then go back to the mover's insurance to collect the damages. Its called subrogation and a good reason to carry collision.

Thanks again all. I agree I don’t deserve a better door than I had, I just worried that a used door might have come from a flooded car etc. They assured me it will be like new, painted to match, from a 2009, and a warranty for as long as I own the car, so I accepted. Hopefully it will be.

Caddyman: good point about damage to the frame beyond the door itself. Any good way for me to know if the frame was damaged?

Shadowfax: I filed with Geico, my insurer, who is paying the claim minus the deductible. Because the other party was at fault (my car was parked), Progressive, their insurer, has already sent me a check for the deductible and I assume Progressive is paying Geico back from the rest of the claim (subrogation). But I’m still dealing with Geico and its policies, even though they will probably recapture any expenses they incur.