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thrashx
12-22-2006, 10:48 PM
Our vehicle (05 Subaru Outback Wagon) was rear ended in Aug requiring 10.5K in repairs. The rear quarter panels caved in and the rear hatch broke into pieces. The spare tire well area crumpled.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I took delivery of vehicle. On delivery of vehicle I noticed a strong odor of paint or adhesive type chemical. On closer inspection by another body repair shop we noticed significant issues. The spare tire well had been replaced but attached improperly. Apparently they attached it with bolts. The bolts I'm told should have been trimmed off prior to applying the welds. The bolts were left on in some spots and in other spots screws poked through the well area. We also noticed water spot marks on the painted area of the well. Some spots of the paint were smooth like factory finish and other areas were a rough matte finish. We also noticed what look like gauze type patches painted over. These had heavy dried up substance which the guy says is "seam seal".

When I took it back to complain I was told the odor comes from the "seam sealant". It's very strong and causes eye & throat irritation along with headaches. They took the vehicle back on Monday and I picked it up today. The smell is still there! But now it appears as if they covered up their botched job with some type of foam type substance. It looks worse! The smell is toxic! Any ideas? suggestions? I have pictures.

Len
12-23-2006, 12:05 AM
Was the shop recommended by your insurance company or did you go it alone? If your insurance company recommended them you should call the adjuster or company and complain because the insurance company will have more pull than you.

Take the car back and ask that they rent you a car until they get it fixed properly. This will shake things up a bit.

The car should be repaired into "pre-accident condition" or real close to it. If you're not satisfied you should move quickly to get things straightened out.

thrashx
12-23-2006, 01:48 AM
Was the shop recommended by your insurance company or did you go it alone? If your insurance company recommended them you should call the adjuster or company and complain because the insurance company will have more pull than you.

Take the car back and ask that they rent you a car until they get it fixed properly. This will shake things up a bit.

The car should be repaired into "pre-accident condition" or real close to it. If you're not satisfied you should move quickly to get things straightened out.

This shop is approved by insurance (Allstate) as preffered body shop. Like I said the smell is very toxic. What rights do I have beyond the inconvenience of a 3rd attempt to repair. Common sense tells me the only way to fix this right is to rip out the well and rebuild that area using a seam seal without such a toxic smell. That could be a costly process. The insurance company has already paid about 11K for repairs on a car with a value of about 20-21K. This is the very car I'm suppose to drive on my move to Seattle from Dallas on Jan 2nd.

TeachMeHow
12-23-2006, 02:32 AM
Like Len said let your insurance co handle the situation for you since they carry more more weigh than you. This should not cost them anymore money than what they already paid the body shop. Good luck.

Phil V
12-23-2006, 03:41 AM
logically there is no way that odor could be coming from the seam sealer. Seam sealer is always painted over so whatever odors it emitted would be blocked by a layer or two of paint on top of the sealer. Besides that I've never used a seam sealer that had any odors like you describe. Whatever they used in materials on the car the smell/odor should have subsided within a couple days. In cases like this I wish I was there to check things out then confront the body shop that did the work. Their bullsh*t might work on some people who have had no access to the auto body work/paint work trade but it wouldn't work with me.

thrashx
12-23-2006, 10:16 AM
logically there is no way that odor could be coming from the seam sealer. Seam sealer is always painted over so whatever odors it emitted would be blocked by a layer or two of paint on top of the sealer. Besides that I've never used a seam sealer that had any odors like you describe. Whatever they used in materials on the car the smell/odor should have subsided within a couple days. In cases like this I wish I was there to check things out then confront the body shop that did the work. Their bullsh*t might work on some people who have had no access to the auto body work/paint work trade but it wouldn't work with me.

pictures of before and after (http://www.agencyland.net/subaru/)

Images numbered 3728 to 3731 are before the redo.
Images 3741 and above are what it looks like now. When you open the rear hatch the potent and toxic smell hits you in the face. Smells like cheap spray paint or adhesive. The supervisor said to the tech uses two types of seam seal and that he prefers one that specifically has a strong smell. It is very toxic!

Phil V
12-23-2006, 08:49 PM
All I can tell you is the bodyman who did the work in the pictures should
seriously consider a different line of work. Apparently bodywork isnt his " forte' ".

MARTINSR
12-24-2006, 12:15 PM
You need to take the car to another shop to have them check it out. The rear interior panels REALLY need to be removed so all the "repairs" can be seen. The piling on of "seam sealers", underseal and the like are a common cover up of poor repairs and that is exactly what this looks like.

I have to tell you, there are legal reasons why shop owners and employees can't "Meet and discuss" prices and practices of insurance companies by name. But I will tell you some insurance companies "force" you to use used parts, and will underpay you to do this work. One particular company we used to be a direct repair shop (DRP, Direct Repair Program) with used to do this and we found that to get a million dollars in business it was costing us almost 1.1! We kicked that million dollars of business to the curb. That is how bad some companies are. The shop who would agree to the demands of this company I am talking about are SURE to do shoddy work or they wouldn't make any money.

You need to go to your insurance claims office and "reopen" the claim. This car is NOT repaired and it is NOT getting repaired at the shop who started it, so you have to go elsewhere.

Call your Subaru dealer and see where they go. Call around, find someone who sounds more professional and have them take the rear interior pieces out. It should only be an hour and a half or so labor, it may be worth it to agree to pay for this. Get the panels out THEN show your insurance company what you are dealing with.

By the way, that smell could be from anything. Like Phil said, the sealer would be the last place I would think. It "cures" and will be odor free pretty quick. The problem is, if it is PILED ON a foot thick to cover up poor work, it may not cure so fast and it is "flashing off" solvents. But it is more likely do to underseal or something that has higher solvents that was sprayed in the areas you aren't even seeing behind the trim panels.

I can not be clear enough, if your seeing this type of work, imagine what they knew you couldn't see!

And I have to say just so you know the verbage you need to. "Preaccident" condition is truely unattainable. There is just no way a body shop can "rebuild" your car leaving it the exact same as it was from the factory, it just can't be done. Knowing this, and running into all kinds of problems because of that idea the insurance industry now goes with a more liberal term. I am going to butcher this but it is something like "The car is to be returned to a condition to react to the same impact the same as it did". So "cosmetic" repairs aren't address nearly as much as they were in the eyes of the people who want to get out of responsablity. You see, how "good it look is awful subjective. One persons "good" (your repair shop) is not your "good". Well, in the eyes of the person trying to get out of the resposibility YOU are being unreasonable.

So, knowing that, your angle is "If it LOOKS like that, the repairs must not be done to react to the like impact again". This is the magic word, SAFETY. You need to throw that out over and over, "I don't feel safe in this car".

Don't act like you are a picky guy complaining about some seal sealer that isn't perfect under the carpet. YOU DON'T FEEL SAFE. PLUS, YOU ARE GOING TO BE SICK FROM THE ODOR WHILE DRIVING THE CAR AND GET IN AN ACCIDENT.

That is the "angle" you need to be using.

Brian