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Poor accident repair - any recommendations for Swansea area?

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Hi all,

Sorry if this has been posted in the wrong section.

My Ford Fiesta was unfortunately crashed into on Christmas Day 2015. I won't go into too much detail, nor mention the insurer or repairer (unless you think it's a good idea). The car was crashed into whilst it was parked outside my house; an elderly lady was about to move off in her car when her foot slipped off the clutch, and then her car shot forward into mine. I had a phone call from her insurer the next day to inform me that the driver admitted 100% liability and subsequently they will cover the repairs.

My car was later recovered into a well-known accident repair centre in Swansea. The damage was assessed and the car was deemed to be economically repairable. Parts were then ordered and the repair was completed within just a few days.

When I collected the car, I noticed that the front passenger side wing, where it bolts to the inside of the engine bay, was sprayed the same colour as the outer wing. Whereas the front driver side wing, where it bolts to the inside of the engine bay, remained the same colour as it came out of the factory. I think the inside of the Fiesta engine bay isn't sprayed for cost reasons. But either way, the repairer sprayed the new wing entirely, rather than just the part of it visible on the outside of the car. I thought this was a minor cosmetic issue, and notified the insurer to see what their thoughts were.

I was cleaning the car a few weeks ago and noticed the front passenger indicator side light wasn't sitting right. I inspected it and found it to be lose and noticed some remaining traces of masking tape. Turns out the retaining clip on the back of the light unit had been snapped and the repairer had tried to secure it on with masking tape. I wasn't impressed. I notified the insurer and also the garage. The car was booked in for another inspection, where the repairer implemented a 'temporary fix' until a replacement part arrived. I inspected the light unit before leaving with the car and it was stuck solid; no movement whatsoever. I asked the bodyshop manager if the light had been glued back on but he didn't give me a direct answer.

Anyway, a replacement part arrived and was fitted. I left with a nagging suspicion in the back of my mind about how the old light unit was temporarily secured in place, but tried to forget about it. Curiosity got the better of me this weekend just gone, so I removed the wheel arch liner and removed the front driver indicator side light by squeezing the retaining clip, and removed the light. My suspicions were confirmed - the old light unit had been glued in placed, as the paint had been damaged/removed from the car when the old unit was pulled off along with the glue.

I left the repairer a message shortly after and requested a manager to contact me first thing in the morning on Monday 15/02. I decided to contact the insurer in the first instance this morning to notify them. They mentioned a comment left by the repairer, when the indicator light was replaced, which said the light was replaced as a 'goodwill gesture'. This insinuates the repairer says they were not at fault. The retaining clip had been snapped by the repairer and the light was held in place by masking tape applied to the back of the light. The light was not in this state before the repair, as the light cannot be held in place without the retaining clip. I made the insurer aware that I wash the car on a regular basis and would have noticed if the light was not held in place properly before the car was recovered in for repair.

I've made a formal complaint with the insurer who will pass on the comments to the engineer who will inspect the car, as I've started to notice other faults with the repair (i.e. poor alignment between the wing and bonnet and A pillar). The insurer was very sympathetic and gave me two options:

1. Arrange for the repairer to rectify the faults; or
2. Obtain quotes from repairers that I trust

I'm very hesitant about asking the repairer to put the faults right, as they tried to deny any blame about securing the indicator light unit on with masking tape and subsequently damaging the paintwork by gluing the old light unit in place.

I'd appreciate any advice and perhaps recommendations of accident repair centres in Swansea where I could perhaps take my car to.

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The company who sent out the engineer to inspect my car before the repairs contacted me this morning to arrange an inspection of the car tomorrow. The lady who contacted me advised that the company normally invites the garage who completed the repairs to inspect the car also. Looks like the car is going to be inspected tomorrow.

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The engineer arrived early afternoon today to inspect the car.  I firstly told him about the side indicator light, but then we inspected the entire repair together and both found further faults that need to be put right.

He's happy that all of the faults identified are valid and need to be put right, which gave me some reassurance.  He advised that the repairer should be given the opportunity to put this right, which is fair enough, and he would be present with me to re-inspect the car once it's ready.  And if it still isn't right, then he'll take it further, although he said it's uncommon for this particular repairer to turn out shoddy work.  Just before he left he told me he would speak to the repairer this afternoon who would then in turn contact me.

The repairer contacted me late afternoon to book the car in for Monday.  The gentleman was quite pleasant on the phone and he said he'd look over the car with me and we'd make a list together and compare it with the engineer's list.

Hats off to the engineer.  I mentioned that I felt a bit silly about pointing these faults out and he said he was there to help and would make sure it's put right.  Fingers crossed this can be sorted :smile:

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