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      11-16-2014, 02:48 AM   #1
1fastdoc
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Major lesson learned, don't let others drive your car

At least not in the state of TN. Insurance follows the car here. Someone else wrecked my car and it went on my record as an at fault accident. It started when we hosted a party in August and met the husband of one of my employees. Nice guy. 44 years old, seemed pretty responsible and came in a C5 vette.

Towards the evening I suggested we go for a ride in his car. He drove and at no point did he try to get on it to impress me. When we got back to my place after a short trip around the neighborhood roads I told him he'd never look at his car the same way and offered to let him drive my '11 M3.

To this day I don't know how he did it. It did rain down a bit when we were out but I have often turned off stability control on wet pavement just to enjoy how easy the car is to control. Apparently not for everybody. As we merged from one highway to another (I-65N to I-440W) doing around 60 mph he perhaps hydroplaned and the car yawed about 20 degree to the right. I guess from there he overcorrected, held it and stabbed the brakes because next thing I know we turn to the left and began sliding backwards and we tagged the guard rail along the right side of the car. The hit seemed light and I told him to drive it back to my house so I could assess the damage but the car wouldn't track straight.

Both front and rear bumpers, fender and quarter panel were damaged. The quarter actually got replaced. Entire front and rear suspension and entire steering assembly also got replaced.

Initial estimate was $7600 without the adjuster getting under the car. In the end the car was gone for 13 weeks and the final cost was $24970!! No frame, door, interior or engine damage.

So here is where it gets crappy. The car was previously a 14k mile pristine garage queen (that was actually a DD but you'd never tell). 1 small scratch from a rock on the roof and zero swirls in the paint. It got a Concours detail twice a year and was maintained in between by me.

It didn't come back that way. The quarter panel has so much orange peel to the paint that it makes the factory finish look smooth. I can see the line where the new panel meets the original. The wheels were refurbished and have some chips and swirls and the barrels are very rough - which is going to be impossible to keep clean. My SA will attest that even the wheels were flawless and he said it's one of 2 M3's that he's seen in such condition. Better than any car on their showroom floor.

So now I have a new fight in front of me and I don't know how it's going to turn out. If they do fix it, I have another few weeks without my car. I wish it had been totaled. Also, can't CPO the car now as the quarterpanel exchange is an automatic disqualifier. Suck.
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      11-16-2014, 02:56 AM   #2
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Oh, lesson 2, which should go without saying, is take pics. It was my baby and it hurt too much to even look at it, let alone photograph it. The passenger side suspension was damaged because the wheel hit the guard rail with him at full left lock. The rim was fine. However, somewhere between getting towed to the BMW shop, the BMW authorized body shop (Crest Cadillac) and them trying to get it into a bay, the right tire went flat and the rim gouged into the asphalt.

But I have no documentation that they got it with a normal rim. It didn't cost me anything extra - they still repaired the wheel but they did not replace it.

They also replaced the right tires but not the left ones. Left front was within 1/32 so I'm going to leave it. Left rear was worn down to 7/32 so I had to go on my own and buy a new left tire. Kind of pisses me off that I get my car back after 3 months and have to go spend more money to make it safe on the roads. Tried to fight that one but got nowhere.
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      11-16-2014, 03:47 AM   #3
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My friend also totaled my car recently. I feel you. Ended up getting another M3 a week later.
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      11-16-2014, 06:40 AM   #4
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Ugh, that's really too bad. I bet that guy feels awful! So he couldn't even "offer" to use his insurance in this ordeal? I'll have to look at my states laws on this. Seems crappy.
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      11-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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It appears that you made a several errors in judgement IMO that cost you.

You let someone unfamiliar with the car drive it on wet pavement with the stability control off.

That is asking for trouble. What were you thinking? This was a "perfect storm" scenario.

The car is easy enough to slide on dry pavement with the stability off. No way in hell I would ever do this on wet pavement, especially on a public roadway. In fact, when it is wet, I don't even drive in MDM.

While I feel for you, I am in no way surprised that this happened.
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      11-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #6
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Wow, sorry for your loss. I think it is pretty standard that insurance follows the car, including a "guest" driver. Sorry to pile on, but a stranger, wet and stability control off??? Really bad judgement.

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      11-16-2014, 09:12 AM   #7
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Sorry about what happened. I hope it gets sorted out. With $24k in repairs I'm a bit surprised they didn't total it.

Hope you get it sorted.
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      11-16-2014, 09:29 AM   #8
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I've got to feel for you. I've instructed hundreds of people. Those threads about instructor stories are so true. The phrase which comes to mind in relation to this guy with the C5 is fast car, slow driver. Even the most skilled driver doesn't push it without first knowing limits. You made an bad choice in letting him drive under these circumstances. Sorry for the issues. The body shop needs to get the car fixed right. You'll have a hit on your insurance but get it done right.
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      11-16-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
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Crest in Nashville (BMW auth bodyshop) did the repair? I am really surprised - they fixed my 335i last year and it was PERFECT in every way, and I've had other side projects for them that they nailed to what I would classify as 100% perfection. I would just tell them the issues (wheel refinish, and quarter panel seam) and have them address. On a 24k repair there is zero reason for refinished wheels, demand new ones from insurance. I would not accept any refurb or used parts, and the insurance tried, but the folks at Crest navigated things resulting in new parts only.

What insurance company do you have?
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      11-16-2014, 10:07 AM   #10
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Sorry for the loss. I think I would sell the car even if I take a hit and buy a new one. Even if it's fixed right it'll never be 100% the way it was before.

Hope everything works out.
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      11-16-2014, 11:51 AM   #11
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Do you have a BMW Certified collision center you could have gone to? The certified (not authorized) locations guarantee good as new repairs
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      11-16-2014, 12:03 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear that man. I have only let my wife drive my car maybe 3 times in 1.5 years, besides that nobody touches the driver seat with the key in hand Good luck getting the repairs done. You should come out n join us sometime since your local. Look up Tennessee Motorsport on FB
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      11-16-2014, 12:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
It appears that you made a several errors in judgement IMO that cost you.

You let someone unfamiliar with the car drive it on wet pavement with the stability control off.

That is asking for trouble. What were you thinking? This was a "perfect storm" scenario.

The car is easy enough to slide on dry pavement with the stability off. No way in hell I would ever do this on wet pavement, especially on a public roadway. In fact, when it is wet, I don't even drive in MDM.

While I feel for you, I am in no way surprised that this happened.
The stability control was ON. I meant I drive with it off at times to kick the ass end out sometimes. When we left the house the roads were essentially dry. There were a couple bursts of rain and apparently that area of the highway got it while near my house did not. Interestingly, when he slid to the right my eyes stayed forward on the road, which put them right over the gauge cluster and the stability control icon did NOT flash once. I mentioned that to my SA and he said if it hydroplaned and turned quickly, the wheels may be traveling the same speed and it wouldn't know it was sliding. Seems suspect but I have no way to prove it. That thing kicks in all the time when it's wet or cold out so I was shocked that it didn't jump in on him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbed View Post
Sorry about what happened. I hope it gets sorted out. With $24k in repairs I'm a bit surprised they didn't total it.

Hope you get it sorted.
The initial estimate was only $7600. When I went out at talked with the guy at Crest he said my adjuster didn't know what he was looking at. He mentioned that the quote called for some refurb parts and given this was an M, there was no market for refurb parts, it would get all new stuff. Also, when they tried to push it out of the lot and into the bay he said the steering assembly fell apart and they had to flat bed it in. That's when I saw the right wheel ground into the asphalt as I got there before they could move it. But, I had no pics to prove it was fine before that. The cost went from $7.6k to $19k to finally $25k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NashvegasR View Post
Crest in Nashville (BMW auth bodyshop) did the repair? I am really surprised - they fixed my 335i last year and it was PERFECT in every way, and I've had other side projects for them that they nailed to what I would classify as 100% perfection. I would just tell them the issues (wheel refinish, and quarter panel seam) and have them address. On a 24k repair there is zero reason for refinished wheels, demand new ones from insurance. I would not accept any refurb or used parts, and the insurance tried, but the folks at Crest navigated things resulting in new parts only.

What insurance company do you have?
I heard from my adjuster and another one I know as a friend that they do great work. To address the question by another, they are the BMW certified collision center for middle TN. Perhaps my standards are too high but they left the old gas cap and the difference from the quarter to the cap is glaringly obvious. For a 60k mile DD I could accept it, but not for a car that got a quick detail every time I would come home in the rain.

My ins co is Encompass, underwritten by Allstate. Guy at Crest said they were easy to work with. They also shelled out about nearly $25k for a new roof and extensive hail damage to 2 cars last year. They have definitely paid out more than we've paid in but not through any act of ours. On paper we should be great to have as I never own less than 3 cars and we have clean records. Moreover, when my wife put her MDX into a concrete barrier I paid $3k out of pocket to fix the quarter (which looks like OEM) instead of involving insurance.
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      11-16-2014, 12:47 PM   #14
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Ouch! Sorry to hear that.

Too many M3's are getting crashed by people turning DSC off. I would recommend anyone that does this first go do some track days so you can learn how to control your car in a safer environment with less things to crash into. Playing on the street will eventually bite you.
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      11-16-2014, 01:27 PM   #15
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sorry to hear that
you can claim about the repair you dont like
at least in here where I live, BC Canada
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      11-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilsel View Post
Ouch! Sorry to hear that.

Too many M3's are getting crashed by people turning DSC off. I would recommend anyone that does this first go do some track days so you can learn how to control your car in a safer environment with less things to crash into. Playing on the street will eventually bite you.
I've been to tracks and M school. My new rule for anyone to drive my car is they have to be able to buy it at fair market value if they wreck it and preferably have track time.

Ironically a week after mine was wrecked I was due to be part of a local poker run for charity. I called the organizer and told him I couldn't make it. He gave me the keys to his M3 to use. I took it a lot easier than I would have if it were my car and I had a check in my wallet just in case.
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      11-16-2014, 06:07 PM   #17
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Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear. This at least is constructive to share such experience to avoid others duplicating mistakes that were made either by the driver, by you and those careless trailer companies, insurances trying to go the cheap route and substandard body shops work.

My m3 is a garage queen and i rarely drive in MDM much less DCT off. I knew that when it rains a 420 hp RWD car on american substandard tarmac road can lead to that. So i never drive fast in the rain (actually i never drivein the rain ). letting someone else drive my car, no way. Unless it's a trusted relative that i know will not push it.

About the damages, it seems, there may have been major damage inflicted to your car after the accident. It seems those tow truck companies don't give a damn about a car that's been in an accident. It seems that they wrecked your car after the accident. Was it not a flat bed truck ? I would never allow any truck to tow an m3 unless it's a flatbed even accidented.
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      11-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc View Post
I've been to tracks and M school. My new rule for anyone to drive my car is they have to be able to buy it at fair market value if they wreck it and preferably have track time.

Ironically a week after mine was wrecked I was due to be part of a local poker run for charity. I called the organizer and told him I couldn't make it. He gave me the keys to his M3 to use. I took it a lot easier than I would have if it were my car and I had a check in my wallet just in case.
Don't let anyone else drive it with DSC off. I know he had a vette so it's easy to assume he should know how to handle a car. Every car is different though. The M3 electronic nannies make it virtually impossible to lose control.
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      11-16-2014, 08:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilsel View Post
Don't let anyone else drive it with DSC off. I know he had a vette so it's easy to assume he should know how to handle a car. Every car is different though. The M3 electronic nannies make it virtually impossible to lose control.
His nannies were on (I misunderstood also), and it still happened. The nannies can only overcome so much, don't ask me how I know.

John
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      11-18-2014, 03:22 AM   #20
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Nannies won't stop a slide with an abrubt lift and words if the throttle is in sport mode.
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      11-18-2014, 11:56 AM   #21
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Op, really sorry to hear this. It was your garage queen, and it makes it even more painful IMO.
As for myself, i have my own garage queen, e92 M3, and there is nobody who can drive it, even my wife. When i need to take it for some work that i cant or dont want to do myself, then i have two trusted mechanics who obviously will drive it.
Hopefully this will be a good lesson for everyone reading this thread.
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      11-19-2014, 12:58 AM   #22
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You shouldn't try to impress your employee's spouses. Now you have to fire her and buy a new car
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