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Old 12-08-2015, 10:50 PM   #1
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Body shop run around

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, so please bear with me. I have a long, sad, sordid story, but I'll boil it down as much as I can.

In October of 2014, we were in a collision with a boulder that had fallen on the roadway on a mountain pass. Thankfully, no one was hurt, since we had our kids and grandkids with us. However, our 40 foot Class A Alpine motor coach wasn't so lucky. It received extensive front end damage, and had to be towed.

The tow truck driver also owned an Alpine, and he suggested a body shop to take our coach to for repairs, because they had worked on his coach. When I spoke to the owner of the body shop, he had extensive knowledge about Alpine coaches in general, and the history of the company. I decided to take the coach there for repairs because of that knowledge.

Well, this is December of 2015, and you guessed it, the coach has yet to be completed. They have done some minor repairs, however the major damage is still as it was 14 months ago. The owner has excuse after excuse, and I have caught him in several different lies. Last winter, he blamed the weather as being the detriment. Then, it was because he couldn't find the parts. Now, as of yesterday, it is the weather again.

He originally told me that he thought the coach would be totaled. I asked him how he would be paid if the insurance company totaled it, and he said he would charge them storage for every day it was on his lot. Well, the insurance company didn't total it, and I'm thinking that he is dragging his feet to get more money out of them for the storage fee.

I have called the insurance company several times, and they tell me that if they had picked the repair shop, they would have had it moved to a different shop by now. But, since I chose the shop, if we moved it now I would be responsible for all the storage fees. We are schedule to leave for Arizona in two months, and it doesn't appear that we will have the coach again this year.

So, my question is, does anyone have any suggestions to help remedy this issue? Is there anything I can do from a legal standpoint?

Any assistance anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:09 PM   #2
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It would help if we knew what state your RV is in and if it has a state bureau of automotive repair that may be able to assist.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:19 PM   #3
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Sometimes it is better to let the insurance company handle the whole deal. I think the ins company is correct.

Notifying the attorney general, the BBB, or the bureau of automotive repairs won't do any good either.

All he has to do is file a mechanics lien on the coach for the storage fees and he will get it.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:29 PM   #4
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Ouch, that's a tough one. I would find out from the owner of the body shop what is due and payable right now if you took the RV. The insurance company would probably pay for the partial repairs leaving you with the "storage fees". From there, you could then ask your insurance company to make a recommendation for another shop. Towing to another shop might be on your dime too.

For the body shop, the right thing to do is admit it has dragged on too long, charge for the work already performed and release the RV back to you. It probably won't happen that way though.

As already mentioned, the state and county the shop is located in will make a difference in the outcome.

Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:32 PM   #5
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I would spend some money on an attorney and have them send him a letter, explaining the length of time he has had the unit, the lack of work that he has been completed, and if you still want to take the MH elsewhere & he still wants to charge for the time your MH has been sitting on his lot (which was his problem for not doing the work), you should charge him for vacations & trips you have taken that you could not use your motorhome. Best of luck in getting back on the road!
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:42 PM   #6
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Thanks for the ideas so far. The body shop is located in Yakima County, in Washington state. The whole thing has been so odd to me. It would seem to me that he would want to get the work completed so it frees up space in his shop/on his lot, and he would get paid from the insurance company.

He told my wife and I several months ago that the entry door was due to arrive in three weeks. He said it had taken that long to get one made because the company had to fabricate one from scratch. I think he forgets what he has told us, because he told me a few weeks ago that he couldn't find anyplace to get the door from.

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Old 12-08-2015, 11:52 PM   #7
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Several things you need to do.

1. Check and see if your state has a mandatory repair estimate. If they have and he has not given you one that is going to be one of the issue in the lawsuit.

2. Send him a cetified letter asking what parts he has ordered and replaced. What body work he has performed. Ask him to respond in writing. Ask him to respond in writing why the repairs have taken over a year to make. Ask him to list each individual delay. ASk him to list the date any parts were ordered and the date they were recieved.

3. Take pictures and a list of repairs to another body shop ask them to give you a written estimate along with a time line to do the repairs.

4. File a small claim action there is a limit on monetary amounts you can recoup but small claims is also the cheapest way to go and you do not need a lawyer. Take all of the above information with you for the judge. If the current repair shop will not answer your questions then when you get in front of the judge show the judge a copy of the certified letter and if he signs for it a copy of the delivery receipt. If he refuses to sign show the judge a copy of where he refused to accept delivery.

ASk the judge for a judgement ordering the shop to forfeit storage charges and any repairs.


This should be enough to give you a win in small claims court.


Find out if he is licenses and find out the name of the licensing agency. Go to them with an official complaint in writing.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:08 AM   #8
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What was the original quote for the repairs? I assume they gave you the quote and you confirmed the repair with your insurance co? Now you file suit for damages. If you didn't get a quote or approval then you have other problems.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bionikop View Post
Thanks for the ideas so far. The body shop is located in Yakima County, in Washington state. The whole thing has been so odd to me. It would seem to me that he would want to get the work completed so it frees up space in his shop/on his lot, and he would get paid from the insurance company.

He told my wife and I several months ago that the entry door was due to arrive in three weeks. He said it had taken that long to get one made because the company had to fabricate one from scratch. I think he forgets what he has told us, because he told me a few weeks ago that he couldn't find anyplace to get the door from.

As the owner of an independent repair shop I hate to hear of things like this happening. This sort of action gives us all a bad name.
If you were in my state (NY) I would be in deep trouble with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. They watch out for this sort of thing and would come down on a shop hard.
Excuses are not reasons for your trouble with this shop. I know if a job sits around too long it is easy to walk past it if you have other work you can complete and get paid for the job. Personally I don't do this. I do the work as it comes in. If I can't do it right away I make arrangements with the customer or turn the job away. I don't want a yard full of jobs not completed.
Something here is terribly wrong. You say the tow truck driver liked the Anthem. You also said the shop owner liked the Anthem. I could be wrong but is there a chance the shop owner is trying to discourage you enough you might offer the MH to him at a really cheap price, sell it to him and then walk away? He then could repair it and either use it or flip it for a good profit. I'm not saying this is what is happening but I am a little suspicious.
I would get all the paperwork you have in order and contact the state's Attorney General's office for advice on what to do. Explain in detail what has taken place but more importantly what has not taken place. Over a year for any repair is far too long.
You might contact The MH maker yourself and ask about the availability of repair and or replacement parts. Do they have any record(s) of the shop ordering any parts?
I'd start moving on this before the MH rots to the ground and you have nothing but a payment book to show for it.
good Luck,
Lynn
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:57 AM   #10
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Going on 14 months....and not anywhere near completed. I think the shop is holding your rig hostage. I would never have left this go on past last spring.

You need to grow some balls and either put your foot down to get the job completed, say within 30 days or see a lawyer. This is very poor business practice.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:57 AM   #11
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AHHH

Judge Judy...

What a drag I would be one pxxxx off camper. Have you figured out if the tow guy has any relation to the repair shop?
I for one would like too know the name of the shop so I could avoid it like the plague. I go bonkers if it takes more than a day.
Couple weeks ago I got new rubber on the rears and I stood there and watched them.
Best off luck and will follow your post.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:06 AM   #12
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You need to approach this very carefully with the shop. Considering they have your coach and have done some work they are due payment for efforts so far which you'll need to work out with your insurance. When speaking to the shop don't mention anything concerning legal action, lawyers and such. That could stop all work on the coach and force you to work everything thru lawyers with hourly rates higher than what the shop is charging for repairs. Be nice but firm and don't forget they have your coach.

If the shop demands storage fees you might be in the position to counter with that you were not storing the coach and that the shop had agreed to effect repairs. As long as you never ordered a stop work I'm not sure how you could be held for such a cost. Review the estimate or work order to understand what your options are regarding termination of work.

Depending on where the coach is check with either the local, county or state legal affairs office regarding contract law with respect to vehicle repairs. Find what your options are. Keep records or all correspondence with the shop. Take notes regarding conversations, copies of letters, emails and such. Hopefully you can terminate your relationship with the shop without much out of pocket costs.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:22 AM   #13
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Why would you be paying storage fees if they are the holdup?
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmandV View Post
It would help if we knew what state your RV is in and if it has a state bureau of automotive repair that may be able to assist.
I will second that.. In most states the department of motor vehicles licenses Repair facilities.. In at least one state, They don't bother, No certification of any kind is needed to work on cars.... (Scary isn't it)

Also, it may be that much of the delay was waiting for the insurance company to make up it's mind.

I would ask they not pay the shop storage past the date they approved it (Or 7 days later if they mailed the notice) and I would suggest you also refuse to pay storage for the additional "Down Time" .
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