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      07-29-2011, 04:33 AM   #1
Talk2meg00se
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Body damage repair work

Not too long ago, damage was done to my car. I started a thread devoted to it and its causes (NYC valets, haha). I convinced the garage to allow me to take it to a well respected BMW-only repair shop just outside of the city. They did a very good job with the paint match. However, certain things are now slightly off.

Specifically, they installed a new bumper and a new tail light. Because the light mount was damaged, they had to reconstruct the mount. Now, the light is no longer perfectly flush in its holding. Additionally, and maybe slightly more annoying at least from my perspective, is the fact that the bumper no longer sits perfectly. In other words, the gaps between the bumper and the quarter panel are fairly large; at one portion, the bumper "bulges" slightly relative to the QP.

They are very minor issues, but they do bother me. I'm now contemplating my next move: clearly, this sort of damage will significantly impact the value of the car. Any potential buyer who seeks the light / bumper issues will have reservations. A dealer - haha - you know what a dealer would do (mega deductions). In light of this, should I seek additional compensation from the garage for this additional loss? Conversely, should I take it back to the body shop to see if they can repair it? I think that maybe with respect to this last point, my expectations might be unrealistic. If the car could have been put back together in its original form, I suspect that the BMW shop would have done it.

Anyway - thoughts here?

Maybe the best solution is just to take it as is. Anything beyond what has been done already will be a fight - the garages here are endlessly cheap.
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      07-29-2011, 05:52 AM   #2
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I wouldn't take it as is. Bring it back to the body shop. I would expect a perfect fitting of all parts.
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      07-29-2011, 06:44 AM   #3
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While I would also take it back to the body shop to see if they could improve the appearance; remember, the best is the enemy of the good.
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      07-29-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
Talk2meg00se
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This whole thing has been a mess. I'll post photos of the slight misalignments this weekend. I'm guessing that the garage will want nothing to do with it.

I foresee a trip to small claims in my future
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      07-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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Take it back and tell them you need to fixed correctly.

No one listens to me when i tell them just because your taking it some some "high end" place to fix a car doesn't mean they always do whats right.

I've seen independent body shops do better work than BMW shops, and Mercedes as well.


I do however think you should have pointed these things out when you picked up the car op, because when you take it back now, they may give you the run around.
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      07-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2meg00se View Post
This whole thing has been a mess. I'll post photos of the slight misalignments this weekend. I'm guessing that the garage will want nothing to do with it.

I foresee a trip to small claims in my future

I understand your frustration, but I doubt the court will. The garage paid to have your car repaired at the facility of your choice. If you're now unhappy with your body shop, then the court will advise you to resolve it with the body shop. At the end of the day you have to accept you got fucked and then move on.
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      07-29-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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Slight misalignments are not uncommon - even at good shops. Many people don't notice. I would take it back to the shop and politely ask them to readjust it. If it is a good shop, they will do it.

I can tell you it is a huge pain in the ass to get the taillights perfect - as crazy as that sounds. The lights mount with these posts, which have variable amounts of washers on them from the factory. You have to tweak these to get them to fit perfect, even on a car that has not been in an accident.
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      07-29-2011, 09:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I do however think you should have pointed these things out when you picked up the car op, because when you take it back now, they may give you the run around.
Yeah I agree 100%. I was a bit rushed, was caught up in evaluating the paint match, etc. It was an easy thing to miss. But yeah, in hindsight, I should have ID'ed these issues then.
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      07-29-2011, 12:12 PM   #9
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I understand your frustration, but I doubt the court will.
Meh, I'm a lawyer - this is what I do. I think that I would have a fairly decent chance, given the body shop's inability to restore the car to its original condition, of receiving whatever financial discrepancy there is between the blue book and my now misaligned (haha) M3.

Tort law requires the transgressor to return the Plaintiff to whatever position he/she would have been in but for the tort. If the body shop can't do it, then they have to show me the $$$.

I'm really guessing here, but I'd think that a off-kilter bumper + light drops the value of the car at least $5,000. At the very least, I could turn that around and put it into track mods. It might not be pretty, but at least it'll go fast
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      07-29-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2meg00se View Post
Meh, I'm a lawyer - this is what I do. I think that I would have a fairly decent chance, given the body shop's inability to restore the car to its original condition, of receiving whatever financial discrepancy there is between the blue book and my now misaligned (haha) M3.

Tort law requires the transgressor to return the Plaintiff to whatever position he/she would have been in but for the tort. If the body shop can't do it, then they have to show me the $$$.

I'm really guessing here, but I'd think that a off-kilter bumper + light drops the value of the car at least $5,000. At the very least, I could turn that around and put it into track mods. It might not be pretty, but at least it'll go fast
Clearly you're right that being an attorney is an advantage in this case. Not even in court, but in dealing with the parking garage threatening court. The garage will have to hire an attorney to deal with you and they will try to resolve this quickly out of court (if they're smart). While not an attorney, I am very familiar with the process. Always nice to have an aggressive attorney representing you. Good luck.
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      07-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #11
Talk2meg00se
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIS View Post
Clearly you're right that being an attorney is an advantage in this case. Not even in court, but in dealing with the parking garage threatening court. The garage will have to hire an attorney to deal with you and they will try to resolve this quickly out of court (if they're smart). While not an attorney, I am very familiar with the process. Always nice to have an aggressive attorney representing you. Good luck.
Yeah, it's true. I hate doing it, but every time I drop the lawyer card and start talking about court, they really start scrambling. I think that part of it is that this damage was done under extremely suspicious circumstances and I've already made it clear that I, if forced into court, will subpoena the relevant security camera footage. For whatever reason, they REALLY don't want me looking at that (hmm joy riding anyone?)

Anyway, I spoke with the body shop today. They're good guys. They were very accommodating - acknowledged that the owners of high-end Ms usually demand a high level of service and seemed perfectly happy to help me "get this one right." It's just basic alignment - get the bumper flush and tweak teh light a little bit, and I will leave everyone alone.
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