BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - Feb 16, 2013) - A post-repair inspection, performed by Mark's Body Shop in Baltimore, Maryland, revealed that the insurance company's "preferred" shop had used substandard parts throughout the repair. After only a month, rust was developing, indicating that corrosion protection had not been used. In repairs to the airbag, unibody, and bumper, the shop had failed to follow the manufacturer's strict guidelines for a proper repair.
After the owner of a Mazda 6 had his vehicle repaired at his insurance company's "preferred" body shop, he immediately noticed a major water leak. He brought the vehicle back to that shop three times for re-repair, but still couldn't get the issue resolved. Finally, he went to Auto Damage Experts, a third party diminished value assessment provider, for a post-repair inspection, in the hopes of finding a solution.
Mark's Body Shop hired Absolute Perfection Media to create an in-depth video (click here to see it) documenting the problems they found, in an effort to educate their customers about this disturbing trend in the collision repair industry. Insurance companies, in the interests of increasing their profit margins, pressure body shops participating in their DRP (Direct Repair Programs) to use non-OEM, reconditioned and salvaged parts. They also expect preferred shops to discount parts and labor, and limit budgets for paint and other necessary materials.
"Preferred" body shops perform substandard repairs in exchange for a steady stream of referrals. "No mechanic wants to use substandard parts in a repair. It's actually easier to use high quality, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts," explained Mark Schaech, "and that leads me to believe that the 'preferred' shop must have been pressured into using these parts by the insurance company."
Not only is this a clear conflict of interest, as it forces body shops to make the insurance company a priority over their customers, this industry trend has also created an epidemic of unsafe, low quality repairs. Consumers have no choice but to protect themselves by requesting post-repair inspections and diminished value assessments.
"The Mazda we inspected ended up being a total loss as a result of the way it was repaired," said Mark Schaech. "Consumers who've had their vehicle repaired at their insurance company's preferred shop should always get a post-repair inspection, because they may be entitled to a diminished value settlement. And even more importantly, they may be driving in a vehicle that has been rendered unsafe to drive."
About Mark's Body Shop
Mark's Body Shop, a second-generation, family-owned collision repair facility founded in 1975, has no "direct repair" relationships with insurance companies, and performs post-repair inspections. Contact them for assistance with your diminished value assessment, and ensure that your vehicle will be safe in a subsequent collision. Remember, you have the legal right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice.