I have been having trouble getting a body shop to match the color on
the right rear plastic cladding of my 2008 Element EX. As I posted
earlier, a guy backed into the right rear corner of my Element
puckering the cladding and bending the metal behind it. The body shop
was supposed to replace the cladding and paint to match it. It is
stated on the work order that the cladding was replaced but on closer
inspection, it looks like they may have just used the original damaged
cladding and just tried repainting it. First of all, is there anyway
to tell if they did this by removing the cladding and inspecting
behind it? Is the any identifying marks that are different from stock
parts to replacement parts? How hard is it to remove the right rear
The things that make me think they did this is; there is an obvious
masking line along the top edge of the cladding. The color on either
side of the masking line look slightly different. There is a slight
distortion at the same spot where the cladding was puckered during the
accident. After the accident, the top rear corner of the cladding was
pulled away from the car so that you can push it in against the car.
It is still like that after the repair. The accident caused one of the
plugs along the fender to pop out. The body shop never replaced it. A
set of new plugs should have come with the new cladding. The body shop
owner told me they had to wait to order the new cladding which no
longer comes in color so he would have to paint it to match. The work
order states a new cladding was ordered for $260.
you might be able to see cracking on the reverse side if you remove it,
but the problem is that removal may damage it. based on the lack of
clip you describe, it sounds like they did simply re-use.
explain your suspicion to the insurance company and state yet again that
you're not satisfied, either that new parts were used or with the color
match, and keep on at them. eventually, they reach a point where their
cost for your persistence causes them to cave and send you to the honda
dealer for factory-quality repair. seriously - persistence causes them
financial head-ache*, and at the end of the day, that is all that
matters to them. that is after all /why/ they tried to cut costs in the
first place sending you to the shop you've been to so far.
* seriously, someone i know a guy who had a lexus suv that had
electrical problems. he'd drove that thing 2 years, 30k miles, before
the problems started to arise. after a bunch of repairs and
dissatisfaction, he bullied toyota so hard and for so long, for another
full year, that not only did they take the vehicle back, they gave him
his money back too. and not just a fair value amount, every single cent
that he'd paid, no depreciation. now, that guy is a GIANT pita-kinda
guy, but the moral of the story is - if you want satisfaction, keep at
it. once time starts costing money, things get escalated and resolved.
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