For the majority of drivers, going to an auto body shop in Summit is a mysterious experience, a scary encounter with the unknown.
Once you hand over your key, you instantly feel uneasy; will your car be returned as good as new, or will the repair specialists do a shoddy job?
How will you know? How will you be able to figure out if you hard-earned money is just being tossed down the drain?
The best way to know if you are receiving excellent service and professional care is to find a reputable Summit Auto Body shop and then build a relationship with that shop.
However, most people who take their vehicles in to the Auto Body Shop are doing so for the first time. So, how do you know whether or not you can trust an auto body shop?
First of all, it is important to know that most auto body shops are reputable businesses. The majority of Summit Auto Body owners are just struggling to make a living like most small business owners – they want to do a great job on your car so you will return or refer others to their shop.
However, there are a few bad apples that spoil the whole bunch, and you need to be diligent when selecting a shop.
The first thing to do is get a referral or locate a shop online using reviews and testimonials.
What exactly is an auto body shop? That is actually a good question. An auto body shop is a business that specializes in repairing autos that have been damaged in an accident.
This type of shop is different from a car repair shop. The latter shop just repairs mechanical problems. When the damage to your auto has been caused by an accident, a natural disaster, or some other catastrophic event, you will need to visit a shop that will be able to do these repairs without question.
Although the major reason for seeking out the services of an auto body shop is due to a car accident, a car or truck may also need these type of services if it has been neglected for a long time. For example, if a car has sat for a long time without running, there may be damage to the body of the car. In some cases, wildlife may have damaged wires or even parts of the auto body.
It is also possible that parts of the car will have begun to rust and show wear and tear. These issues must be fixed in order for the car to be safe to drive. In other cases, your car may have been dinged, dented, or scratched in a parking lot. If the damage is significant, you may need to take your car to body shop.The services offered by each shop will vary depending upon a variety of factors.
Some shops specialize in repairing a specific make of vehicle, while others will repair any vehicle that has been brought to them. Some shops only work with certain types of insurance companies while others may only take certain warranty programs. Because of this, it is best to call around before you take your vehicle to a particular shop.
In addition, the cost of the work may vary significantly. If you have been in an accident and need to have your car repaired, you may not want to shop around and compare prices. However, you may be able to save thousands of dollars by taking the time to do just that.
A good auto body shop will be able to replace any broken or cracked glass, mend the dents and broken pieces of the car body, and also fix any mechanical damage. Finally, the shop should be able to repaint the car or paint the part that has been mended to match the rest of the vehicle.
An reputable shop should also have staff which are able to submit insurance claims in order to cover the damage. The staff should also understand insurance deductibles and have a working relationship with local insurance agents. If you do not have insurance, or if your insurance does not cover collisions, a good shop should be able to help you with this situation as well.
The important thing to do is to get an itemized quote which details the cost of the repair. Carefully read over this quote before agreeing to any repairs. Remember, you can always go to another shop to get your car fixed.In some cases, a body shop may even have a loaner car. This means that you will still be able to get to work and run errands while your vehicle is being repaired.
Create a list and call each shop to see how well you are treated on the phone.
Select three or four shops that sound good and are in close proximity to your location, and you are ready to take your vehicle in for an estimate.
You should get at least three estimates from three different shops.
The estimate may vary because Auto Body Shops may use different estimating software, but they should all be in the same ballpark. If an estimate differs by a great deal, you should ask why.
The body shop expert should be able to explain all prices on the estimate, including all price quotes and labor charges.
When you get the estimate, you should also be evaluating the Auto Body customer service:
How quickly were you acknowledged?
How efficiently were you helped?
Were all members of the staff polite and friendly?
Did the staff seem knowledgeable?
Be observant during the estimate and you will have a good idea of how you will be treated during the entire repair process.
If the customer service seems lacking, move on to the next place even if the estimate seems reasonable.
If you decide to leave your car, and the shop contacts you later to tell you about additional charges, this may be a sign that it is not a reputable and honest repair facility.
Though additional charges can happen occasionally, it is not a common practice for a reputable shop.
If you do your homework, have some patience, and get a few estimate, the odds are good that you will find a reputable auto body shop.
Once you have found one, it helps to direct all your business to them, and refer them to others.
If you do this, you will have established a good relationship, and you will no longer need to worry about finding an honest auto body shop.
The Results Are In – Who Do You Think is the Best Summit Auto Body in the Area?
Some of the biggest questions people run into deal with the repairing their vehicles. Many times people are confused and don't know how to go about picking the right auto body shop. What process should I run through in picking the right vehicle repair shop? What questions should I consider?
What value am I getting for my Auto Body Repair?
The most important question in determining what auto body repair shops is: What value am I getting in repairing my vehicle here? Many body shops out there are looking for unsuspecting customers and ways to pad their bottom dollar. A lot of times body shops will offer the lowest price because they know this will attract customers. Unfortunately, from a customer standpoint choosing the lowest price is not always the way to go.
Daniel T., Vice President of National Auto Parts, in Dallas, Texas, concurs that doing this will only create more car issues in the future. "Repairing your vehicle is always about what you get in return. These days, body shops continue to push the limits of their customers to see how much more they can get away with. At this point the body shop knows exactly what they're doing. Is the customer to know the better?"
What can I do to protect myself?
A solution that's been picking up a lot of traction recently is hiring a third party to assist you in this area. There are a few good car crash consultants out there that will help you figure out what's being put on your vehicle and how the vehicle's being repaired. When looking for a good car crash consultant selecting one that gives you a lot of insight on the repair and product being used is imperative. Using these specialists provides visibility in an area with many questions.
Another way is looking for a detailed report of the work being put into the vehicle and reviewing the warranty the shops offers. When you get into an accident, every insurance gives you an assessment of the damages, take a look at the sheets and read over to see what product they've listed for use. Auto Body Shops sporadically will attempt to use cheaper parts to make more money. Requesting the use of what's listed on your insurance assessment is not unusual and will help protect against this. In regards to warranties, most legitimate body shops will have an extensive warranty and stand by their work.
Where should I look for the body shop?
Driving to the nice plush auto body repair shops off the highway might be convenient, but doing this often drives up the price of the job. "All businesses have costs and are in it to make money. With this assumption, you have to believe any cost a business incurs will be passed onto their consumer," Daniel says. Hanging off the highway, and looking more in-city gives any prospective client a better chance to keep labor costs low. Prices per hour for labor can vary wildly from $30-$100 for the same type of work. Don't misunderstand the shop may not look the best, but you can be guaranteed going this route will provide good value.
Auto Glass and Body Shops
>>> WELL, IF YOUR CAR IS EVER DAMAGED IN AN ACCIDENT OR REPAIRED THROUGH MAJOR INSURANCE COMPANY IN THIS COUNTRY, THERE ARE STATE AND FEDERAL LAWSUITS IN THIS COUNTRY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT.
AUTO BODY SHOPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, MORE THAN 500 OF THEM CLAIM SOME BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES LONG DELIBERATELY SKIMPED WHEN IT COMES TO REPAIR DAMAGED VEHICLES.
ALSO, THE INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN HAVE THEIR PROFITS.
THE LAWSUITS ALLEGE IT'S A SCHEME THAT CANNOT ONLY LEAD TO RUSHED AND MINIMAL REPAIRS BUT RECYCLED, REMANUFACTURED AND ONE LAWYER PUTS IT JUNKED PARTS TO FIX YOUR CAR.
ATTORNEY GENERAL BELIEVES THE ALLEGED SCHEME YOU COULD BE DRIVING A DANGEROUS CAR.
CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT DREW GRIFFIN REPORTS.
>> Reporter: TO SEE WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON, YOU'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING YOU PROBABLY CAN'T DO AT HOME.
LIFT WHAT YOU THINK IS YOUR REPAIR CAR, GET OUT SOMETHING CALLED A BORROW SCOPE AND CHECK THE FRAME TO SEE IF THE AUTO BODY SHOP FIXED IT, WHAT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY LIKELY RECOMMENDED.
>> THERE'S THE RIFF IN THE RAIL.
>> Reporter: BILL BURN, A NATIONAL AUTO REPAIR EXPERT TESTIFIES ABOUT BAD REPAIRS AND THIS, HE SAID, IS ONE OF THEM.
THE RESULT OF A SYSTEM DESIGNED TO SAVE MONEY FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES.
>> WHAT THEY DID WAS REPLACED THE NEW END CAP ON THERE AND THE END CAP COVERS THAT, SO THE CONSUMER WOULD NEVER SEE THIS.
IT IS UNSAFE.
>> AND YET THEY PUT IT BACK.
>> Reporter: BURN IS NOW PART OF THE MAJOR LAWSUIT INVOLVING MORE THAN 500 AUTO BODY SHOPS IN 36 STATES.
ALL SUING DOZENS OF INSURANCE COMPANIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
THE SHOPS BELIEVE THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IS INVOLVED IN A DELIBERATE SYSTEM TO SEND YOU AND YOUR CAR TO SHOPS THAT ARE PRESELECTED BY INSURERS TO DO THE ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM TO FIX IT.
EVEN TELLING BODY SHOPS TO USE USED OR RECYCLED PARTS BECAUSE THEY'RE CHEAPER.
MATT PARKER IS AN AUTO SHOP OWNER IN MONROE, LOUISIANA, WHO SAID HE SEES THE SAME PROBLEM.
HE SAID STATE FARM TOLD HIM TO USE A REMANUFACTURED HEADLIGHT IN A TOYOTA TACOMA.
THIS IS WHAT HE GOT.
>> IT'S GOT A HOLE IN IT HERE AND THEN YOU CAN SEE WHERE THEY SCREWED THIS BRACKET BACK ON THE VEHICLE.
NOW, YOU CAN SEE HERE WHERE ALL THESE PARTS WERE KNOCKED OFF AND GLUED BACK TOGETHER.
YOU CAN ALSO SEE HERE WHERE THE TOP CORNER AND THE LENS IS BUSTED AND THIS PART OF THE HEADLIGHT IS BROKEN.
THIS CAME OUT OF A BOX WRAPPED LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE -- ABSOLUTELY, LIKE A NEW PART.
THE INSURANCE COMPANY WANTS US TO PUT THIS STUFF ON THE CAR.
IF WE REFUSE TO PUT IT ON THE CAR, THEN THEY LABEL US AS A SHOP NOT WILLING TO GO ALONG WITH THEIR PROGRAM AND THEN TRY TO STEER OUR BUSINESS AWAY FROM US.
>> Reporter: THIS IS WHY HE AND THE OTHER SHOPS RETAINED JOHN ARTHUR EVES TO SUE.
>> EVERY STATE IN THE UNION IS EXPERIENCING THE SAME SORT OF STRUGGLE HERE BETWEEN THE BODY SHOPS TRYING TO DO AND INSURANCE COMPANY TRYING TO USE UNSAFE PARTS AND METHODS ON THEIR CARS.
>> Reporter: BUDDY CALDWELL OF LOUISIANA BELIEVE IT TOO.
PREPARING A LAWSUIT.
LOUISIANA FILED CLAIMING STATE FARM'S PRACTICE IS PUTTING DRIVERS IN DANGER.
AND WHAT IS THE PRACTICE? WHAT'S BEING PUT IN THEIR CARS? >> AFTERMARKET PARTS, JUNK YARD PARTS AND ALL OF THIS WITHOUT ANY COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER AND THAT'S THE MAIN ISSUE, THE SAFETY ISSUES AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR PRODUCT IS BEING DEVALUED BY THE PRACTICES OF THE INSURANCE COMPANY.
I MEAN, BUDDY HAS FOUND NUMEROUS CASES HERE IN LOUISIANA.
WE FOUND IN MISSISSIPPI, THE BODY SHOPS, PUT JUNK PARTS AND WELD THE PATCH.
>> Reporter: WHEN AUTO SHOPS DON'T GO ALONG, MISSISSIPPI'S ATTORNEY GENERAL SAID THOSE AUTO SHOPS BUSINESS GETS CUT.
IT'S CALLED STEERING.
INSURANCE COMPANIES STEERING BUSINESS ELSEWHERE.
>> THEY'RE GOING TO SAY, WE'LL BLACKBALL YOU.
WE WON'T PUT YOU ON OUR SELECT SERVICE LIST AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE YOU SEND ESTIMATESTOUS TO FIVE TIMES.
>> Reporter: U.
SENATOR RICHARD BLOOMEN THAT WILL WHO USED TO BE CONNECTICUT'S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOT ONLY THE POTENTIAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS TO BE HURT BUT BELIEVE CARS REPAIRED THROUGH THE PREFERRED SERVICE CENTERS PROPOSE A SAFETY RISK AND ASKED THE U.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO INVESTIGATE.
>> SALVAGE PARTS INFERIOR OR EVEN COUNTERFEIT PARTS RAISE SAFETY CONCERNS AND OFTEN, THOSE KIND OF PARTS INVOLVED IN THE PRACTICE OF STEERING AND THAT'S WHY I HAVE BEEN CONCERNED FOR YEARS ABOUT IT.
AND WHY I THINK THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATING.
>> Reporter: LOUISIANA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL CHOSE STATE FARM BECAUSE THEY'RE THE BIGGEST INSURER IN HIS STATE AND LEGAL FILINGS, THE COMPANY DENIES ALL THE ALLEGATIONS INCLUDING THE ALLEGATION THAT STATE FARM MANDATES USING AFTERMARKET PARTS.
STATE FARM WOULD NOT GRANT INTERVIEW BUT SENT A STATEMENT INSTEAD.
IT SAID OUR CUSTOMERS CHOOSE WHERE THEIR VEHICLES ARE GOING TO BE REPAIRED.
WE PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR SELECT SERVICE PROGRAM WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAKING IT CLEAR THEY CAN SELECT WHICH SHOP WILL DO THE WORK.
STATE FARM TOLD US TO BRING OUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO NEIL OLRIDGE WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANIES.
>> IT'S NOT JUST IN THE ECONOMIC INTEREST OF THE INSURER TO HAVE A CAR GO IN AND OUT OF AN AUTO BODY SHOP FOUR OR FIVE TIMES TO GET IT RIGHT.
>> Reporter: WHY WOULD THEY RECOMMEND USED PARTS, FIXED PARTS OFF MARKET? >> SURE.
MOST COMPANIES DON'T REQUIRE THIS.
MOST COMPANIES OFFER A CHOICE TO CONSUMERS.
MOST OF THE ANY SORT OF AFTERMARKET PART YOU MIGHT HEAR ABOUT ARE USUALLY COSMETIC PARTS.
NOTHING RELATED TO THE SAFETY, THE MECHANICAL PARTS OF THE OPERATION OF THE VEHICLE.
THERE ARE LAWS IN ALMOST EVERY STATE THAT REQUIRE CONSUMERS TO BE TOLD THAT IF AFTERMARKET PARKTS ARE USED AND WHAT THEY ARE.
>> Reporter: WE FOUND THIS NOTICE ON PAGE FOUR OF THE ESTIMATE ON PAGE SIX OF THIS ONE.
>> IN MANY CASES, THESE PARTS ARE NO DIFFERENT.
THEY'RE MADE ON THE SAME FACTORIES.
ONE JUST COMES OUT WITH AN AUTO MANUFAC MANUFACTURER'S NAME ON IT AND OTHERS DON'T.
>> THAT'S NOT TRUE.
>> IT IS TRUE.
>> Reporter: IT CERTAINLY ISN'T TRUE IN THE CASE OF THIS REPLACEMENT HOOD FOR A HONDA MADE IN TAIWAN AND ALREADY COMING APART.
THIS AFTERMARKET BUMPER STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX NOT ONLY DOESN'T FIT BUT THE FASTENERS HAVE BEEN GLUED BACK TOGETHER AND THEN THERE'S THE QUESTION ABOUT THAT BROKEN AND REPAIRED TOYOTA TACOMA HEAD LAMP.
>> IT'S OBVIOUSLY A REPURPOSED PART FROM A JUNK YARD AND IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY, YOU'LL SEE HOW IT WAS GLUED TOGETHER, SNAPPED TOGETHER AND IN SOME CASES, EVEN WELDED AND SCREWED TOGETHER AND THIS IS WHAT THE INSURER TOLD THE PREFERRED BODY SHOP TO PUT ON THE CAR.
LOOK AT THIS.
YOU WOULDN'T WANT THAT IN YOUR CAR, I WOULDN'T WANT THAT IN MY CAR.
>> I DON'T KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PICTURE, SO I REALLY CAN'T COMMENT ON IT.
>> Reporter: SO ARE THE ATTORNEY GENERALS WRONG IN SAYING THAT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE, STATE FARM IN PARTICULAR, IS STEERING THEIR CUSTOMERS TO PREFERRED BODY SHOPS, PREFERRED BECAUSE THEY SAVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY MONEY, NOT THE CONSUMER? >> THE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY PROVIDE A LIST OF AUTO BODY SHOPS.
AND THE CUSTOMER CAN SAY NO, I WANT TO GO TO JOE'S BODY SHOP AROUND THE CORNER AND THAT'S THE CHOICE.
>> Reporter: THAT'S WHAT PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE TOLD US HAPPENED FOR THIS CAR.
REMEMBER, IT'S THE CAR WE TOLD YOU ABOUT EARLIER WITH THE RIP TAIL FRAME THAT YOU COULD ONLY SPOT WITH THE BOROSCOPE.
ONLY HIT FROM BEHIND.
A PREFERRED BODY SHOP AND SENT BACK ON THE ROAD WITH A RIPPED AND HIDDEN TAIL FRAME.
TURNS OUT IT WASN'T OLD, NOT REPAIRED.
THREE OF FOUR TIRE RIMS ARE DAMAGED AND THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE CAR IS PUSHED IN ACCORDING TO AUTO EXPERT BILL BURN AND OUTSIDE, THE PAINT JOB IS FILLED WITH POCKMARKS.
PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE SAY THEY DIDN'T CHOOSE THE BODY SHOP, THE OWNER DID.
WELL, THIS IS THE OWNER.
EUG EUGENEA RANDALL WHO NEEDS THE CAR TO CARRY HER 2-YEAR-OLD SON ROMAN AND REMEMBERS THE CONVERSATION WITH PROGRESSIVE MUCH DIFFERENTLY.
>> THEY DIDN'T GIVE ME A CHOICE AS TO WHERE I WANTED TO TAKE IT.
THEY JUST TOLD ME TO TAKE IT TO THEIR PREFERRED SHOP.
>> Reporter: RANDLE SAID BECAUSE IT WAS A PREFERRED SHOP, IT WOULD BE REPAIRED TO A HIGHER STANDARD BUT WHEN SHE PICKED IT UP, SHE IMMEDIATELY KNEW SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT.
>> COSMETICALLY TO ME IT LOOKED FINE BUT ONCE I GOT IN AND GOT DOWN THE STREET, IT JUST STARTED DRIVING REALLY CRAZY AND I IMMEDIATELY TOOK IT BACK.
>> Reporter: SO HOW CRAZY WAS RANDLE'S CAR DRIVING? I DECIDED TO FIND OUT FOR MYSELF BY GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL.
>> ANYTHING OVER 50 MILES PER HOUR, THIS THING JUST SHAKES.
THIS THING IS REALLY SHAKING NOW.
>> Reporter: NOT ONLY THE TAIL SECTION RIPPED AN UNREPAIRED, THREE OF FOUR TIRE RIMS DAMAGED AND AS I DROVE, THE STEERING WHEEL SHAKING SO VIOLENTLY, I HAD TO GRIP DOWN FROM VEERING TO THE RIGHT.
THE FRONT LEFT TIRE WAS JUST WOBBLING.
I CAREFULLY DROVE THIS SHAKING CAR RIGHT BACK TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY'S PREFERRED AUTO BODY SHOP.
WHERE THE GENERAL MANAGER PROMPTLY TOLD US TO LEAVE.
>> DON'T TURN THAT ON WITHOUT THE SERVICE PERMISSION IF YOU DON'T MIND.
>> Reporter: AS FOR THE SHAKING CAR, THE INSURANCE COMPANY EVENTUALLY DECLARED IT A TOTAL LOSS GIVING HER FULL REPLACEMENT VALUE.
BUT ONLY AFTER SHE HIRED AN ATTORNEY AND CNN BEGAN INVESTIGATING THIS STORY.
>> THE VEHICLE SPUN OUT.
DREW GRIFFIN JOINING US NOW.
I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THIS WHOLE PLAN THEY HAVE.
DID THE REPAIR COMPANY THAT SUPPOSEDLY FIXED THE SHAKING CAR EVER GIVE AN EXPLANATION? >> Reporter: THE COMPANY SERVICE KING SAID THEY DID WHAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY APPROVED AND SAID ALL THEIR REPAIRS COME WITH A WRITTEN LIFETIME WARRANTY.
SERVICE KING'S CORPORATE OFFICE SAID IT WAS UNAWARE THERE WERE PROBLEMS OR COMPLAINTS AND.