Get a Warranty from the Shop, and Get It in Writing

As you probably know, if you’ve been in an accident in Torrance, CA and your car needs work, you have the right to take it to any auto body shop that you choose. The insurance company may try to tell you that the only way the work will be warrantied is if you use the shop that they suggest; however, it is the warranty offered by the actual auto body shop that is important.

Despite what the insurance companies may imply when they are trying to get you to use an auto body shop within their approved network, nearly all shops guarantee their work at some level. When you are getting estimates for your auto body work, ask for the shop’s warranty information and have it written into the estimate. Make sure to ask the extent of the warranty: Is it a lifetime warranty, or is it good only for so long as you own the car? In addition to the shop’s warranty of the work, make sure to inquire if the manufacturers of the parts also offer warranties.

While you are asking about parts and their warranties, make sure to inquire as to whether the shop uses OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. Some auto body shops will use generic or used replacement parts because they are cheaper. However, OEM parts are the ones that are designed specifically for your car. Consequently, your car will run better and be safer if OEM parts are used. Again, when you get the written estimate, make sure that it specifies which parts will be used for repairs and if those will be OEM parts.

Finally, when looking at warranties, make sure they are specific. Check to see if there are exclusions that the warranty will not cover; for example, rust because of chips to the paint. If you are having an extensive amount of work done, make sure that the warranty applies to everything: metal work, painting, parts, and mechanical repairs. Does the warranty require that any future repairs be done by that same auto body shop? Does it become null and void if they are done elsewhere?

Your car is a huge investment, and it is one of the most important things that you own. When it is damaged, getting it repaired is imperative, but getting it repaired well is essential. Don’t let unscrupulous auto body shops take you for a ride. Work only with a Torrance, CA, auto body shop that will do the work you desire, with the parts you want, offering you a written warranty that you can live with.

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