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Non-fault accident - unhappy with repair

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Would appreciate opinion on this: A car went into the back of mine on a busy rush hour road and the driver admitted their guilt. All going through insurers okay but as my car is only 8 months old, is a limited edition model, and was perfect before the accident (which caused an indent/mark where the other car hit mine, and put the rear panel out of alignment with the left-hand side panel) I expected the garage to just order a new back panel and replace it, thus putting my car back into the position it was prior to the accident and guaranteeing no loss to its value.

 

However, they did a repair only. Furthermore, just after they brought my car back, I noticed the the two panels were still not perfectly aligned so I immediately notified them and my insurers. My insurers said it was up to the garage if they replaced the panel or just repaired it. The engineer is coming to see my car early next week to assess the situation.

 

My question is, am I within my rights to demand a new panel be ordered and fitted as opposed to just having the existing panel repaired?

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Yes. You are entitled to have the car back into exactly the same condition as it was before the accident.

 

Of course, the insurer and the party at fault are entitled to inspect the car and to satisfy themselves as to its condition after the repair. Similarly, you would be entitled to provide your own experts to carry out an inspection so that they can report back to you.

 

Be prepared for cheating and cheapskating from the insurers

 

I hope that you are taking lots of photographs.


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Who have you claimed against eg did you claim against your own Insurer and pay your excess or have you claimed directly from the third party and paid no excess or used a claims management company and paid no excess?

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Thanks, both. As it is a Mazda, I decided to use Mazda First who deal with it all for me. They liaise with the third party insurers and I won't have to pay anything at all. I did notify my actual insurers too though. I'm beginning to wonder if I made the wrong decision.

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I also have motor legal cover if I needed to use that?

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We have explained to you your entitlement. All you have to do now is stick to your guns. Don't succumb to pressure and don't accept anything less than something that you are completely satisfied with.


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If it was from your own Insurers there would be a contractual and regulatory responsibility for the Insurer to rectify problems caused by their agents (The garage).

 

As you're using an Accident Management Company (Mazda) then you need to take it up with them.

 

I assume Mazda First have put you in a "Credit Hire" vehicle which is basically a like for like hire car but at a massively inflated cost, this may complicate the matter as the third party Insurer should not be responsible for the cost of this vehicle while Mazda are rectifying the faults as this is not the fault of the third party Insurer. So it may make Mazda try to bat you away initially.

 

I would try a friendly informal approach to Mazda First initially to see how they respond, if they are not receiptive you may need to go a bit more balistic which the guys and gals on here will be able to help you with

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Thanks for all your advice. I was given a hire car but only had it for a couple of days, even though I was given the impression that I would have it over the Christmas period whilst my car was repaired. We even put £25 of petrol in it because of this. I have asked for a refund of that which Mazda First say they will sort out. It was as if the garage rushed the job to get my car back to me before they broke up for Christmas.

 

I've already tried a friendly approach to Mazda First saying I expect a new panel to be fitted but they just said it would be up to the engineer.

 

It doesn't sound very promising but let's see what happens on Tuesday when he comes to assess my car. I will reiterate that I want my car back in the same condition as it was before the accident and that means a completely new panel, not just a repair. Wish me luck!

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So you understand how the system works with a AMC (Mazda First)

 

They will have contacted the third partie's Insurers to confirm with them they accept liability, once they have this they will arrange the hire car (Normally provided by a separate Credit Hire Company who pay them a commission of circa £300). They will arrange a quotation from a Mazda dealership and then the engineer confirms they agree with the work being carried out and the costs.

 

The engineer is basically there to be able to prove to the Third Partie's Insurer (TPI) that the correct processes have been followed and the costs have been checked by a separate professional.

 

Ultimately Mazda will send the repair bill along with the engineers report to the TPI for them to pay.

 

As you're not happy with the work, the engineer will be called out to inspect the quality of the work to see if it can be rectified ands / or whether they agree with you that a different approach should be taken. They will not be keen on your choice as it a) Costs more money b) Undermines their first decision.

 

That's not to say that they won't relent and agree with you but don't be surprised if they do not agree with you.

 

If you have problems come back for advice, you may find a quick thread on the motoring part of the forum with photos of the repair (Even better if you have before and after) may find their are some motortraders who can give you their informed opinion on whether you were right in your expectation.

 

Do not be afraid to request a hire vehicle / courtesy vehicle while the second lot of repairs are carried out as this is not your fault but Mazda's.

 

Have a look at the Mazda First web page and broucher as they boast about how they take over everything to make sure your claim is settled efficiently and allude that their service would be better than claiming from your own Insurers. You may find some of their boasts helpful to throw back at them

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