Tuesday, February 17, 2015
CALLING ALL CAR OWNERS: CNN Investigates Auto Insurance
Over the past few years however, insurance companies have made it near impossible for body shops to exist. In a bid to increase profits, they have forced shops to use inferior aftermarket and damaged parts in car repairs. For this reason, Jay's Freeway Collision does not participate in any insurance company "preferred" body shop list. As a result, we find ourselves, on a daily basis, fighting insurance companies on behalf of our clientele. It is a difficult struggle that costs us precious man hours and unnecessary aggravation. But because our standards are so high we continue to fight so that every single repair that is done in our shop is of the highest quality possible.
You have the right to take your car to any body shop you prefer, that is the law!
(CNN) Car repair shops say auto insurance companies are coercing them to use cheap parts and sometimes dangerous practices to fix vehicles involved in accidents.
Headlights held together by glue, dented rims and a new hood that's already coming apart are among the kinds of parts allegedly being pushed to go into cars as part of the repairs, according to some repair shops and attorneys general.
A body shop says it was being pushed to use this rusty part in a repair, according to the Louisiana Attorney General's office.
Owners say the insurance companies steer their policy holders toward body shops that follow their rules, providing a vital source of business. And they add, if a body shop refuses to make the suggested repairs because of quality issues, the insurers steer their clients elsewhere.
Major insurers deny the claims of impropriety.
More than 500 garages from 36 states are joining in a lawsuit against the top insurance companies, and states like Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma are also getting involved.
Buddy Caldwell, attorney general of Louisiana, has filed suit against State Farm insurance, saying its low-cost repair program could be dangerous for customers who get back on the road in vehicles that are not roadworthy.
He said he fears thousands of Americans could be driving round in vehicles repaired with what he calls junkyard parts after seeking repairs from body shops recommended by their auto insurance companies who took their premiums and picked up the bill.
The issue is a nationwide one, said John Eaves, the lead attorney for the body shops involved in the lawsuit.
"It involves people from Maine to Mississippi to California. Every state in the Union has experienced the same sort of struggle here between the body shops trying to do the work the right way, and the insurance companies trying to cut corners and force them to use unsafe parts and unsafe methods on their cars," he said.
Watch video here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/us/auto-repair-investigation/
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at 6:27 PM