Please help or direct me to someone who can. My daughter's car was hit by uninsured driver. We thought we were luckily to have uninsured motorize insurance however; we have found out that it covers very little. (To make this whole situation more difficult, I reside in the Houston area and my daughter resides in Dallas). Geico adjuster came to her my daughter's grandmother's house in Dallas and took pictures of the vehicle and did his estimate. My daughter did not feel it was a fair estimate because it did not include any mechanical repairs. She was told by the adjuster to take it somewhere that could look into that.
She took it to Toyota of Dallas. Jr of Collision repair verified that it did need major brake work done. While the vehicle was in his possession he chooses to rip off the bumper and side panel to check for additional body damage. He was never asked to that and certainly never called me for permission.
I am the owner of both the vehicle and the Geico policy holder. My daughter is only 17 and has no legal right to sign any sort of monetary contract. I received a call from the Geico adjuster explaining that they were not going to cover $2000.00 of brake related repairs. The adjuster believed they were not accident related. I called Jr in collision repair and after he verified my out of pocket expense was going to be around $2000.00 I had no choice but to refuse the service and have the vehicle to a less expensive place for the brake repairs.
To this point I still have not seen the vehicle, other than photos Geico posted on their website. From the photos I felt the body damage was not as much of a priority as getting the brakes in workable condition. Jr told me I could not have the vehicle towed off their property until I paid their storage fee, teardown fee (I had assumed brake related) and tow fee.
I paid him $477.37 and another tow service $140.00 to have the vehicle towed to Just Brakes.. My daughter goes to pick up the car and is outraged at its condition. The vehicle has no bumper, no side panel, and no headlight. Just Brakes verified this was the condition it was in upon its arrival to their shop being delivered from your dealership. I called Jr in the collision shop to be told that they don't put damaged parts on vehicles. I told them no one ever told them to remove the parts.
I have never been somewhere that they destroy a person's vehicle like this. Granted there was a little body damage repairs that needed to be made, but now it looks like something in a junk yard. Not to mention is not legal to drive it in this condition. My daughter took it to another body shop and was told just to put the parts back on will be $1700.00; this does not include any body work. I am very outraged about this whole situation and want the dealership to put my vehicle back in the condition it was upon arrival into their shop.
Below are links to photos, after the wreck before going to Toyota of Dallas, After Toyota of Dallas front view. I have other photos available as well.
I thank you all in advance for your time and look forward to any help you can provide.
BELOW ID AN EMAIL FROM TOYOTA OF DALLAS
From: King, Chris [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 5:28 PM
Subject: RE: Please help resolve
I am Chris King, and I am the Collision Center Director for Toyota of Dallas.
First off, I am sorry this situation has been so upsetting for you. I hope that when you learn the rest of the facts you will have a better understanding of the situation.
Your daughter was correct, Geico did not write a complete estimate initially.
The car was towed here on the 28th of March, and with your knowledge and approval your daughter presented herself as being your authorized agent to coordinate and direct the repair process on your behalf. From the outset, your daughter was told that the vehicle was likely a total loss, but if we were to perform the disassembly and inspection that your insurance company requires, she would have to be able to sign an authorization on your behalf. Accordingly, on March 30th she signed an authorization on your behalf to begin work on the vehicle.
I understand that you want to use her age as an excuse, but unfortunately, we are not a business that is required to verify the age of a customer or their agent. Furthermore, it is not uncommon at all for parents to have their minor children bring their vehicle in for repair and act as agents on their behalf. So, we did exactly as your daughter and Geico instructed us to do.
The very first step of the repair process starts with removal of any obstructing parts of the car to check for hidden damage to the structure of the car, to include the body welds, sub frame and suspension. The disassembly is done in a manner to be as minimally invasive as necessary. Every component and assembly that requires attention is documented for your protection as well as ours.
The insurance company requires my estimator write a detailed report (called a supplemental damage report', or simply a supplement') of all damage he and the technicians (a collision repair technician and a Master mechanic) saw on the vehicle that was not reflected in Geico's original estimate. This report is used by your insurance company during their evaluation of your claim. Incidentally, you might like to know that you were only charged for the labor of the collision repair technician; I waived the labor of the Master mechanic to help you with the bill and paid him for his time out of my own pocket.
As per their standard operating procedure, your insurance company sent an adjustor of their own to examine the vehicle and review the supplemental damage report we prepared for them. Their estimator concluded that the damage to the worn CV axle (torn boot, dried grease and worn joint), rotors (deep ridged scoring) and calipers (ground off into the rotor) was due to neglect (not replacing the pads) and/or normal use over a long period of time and was not related to the accident. They refused to accept liability for these damages. They approved the rest of the supplemental damage report for immediate repair.
My estimator attempted to contact your daughter (still believing she was the decision-maker as she presented herself initially), but could not so he left a message.
It wasn't until this point that you stepped in and decided to act as the decision maker, even though you knew all along the steps being taken by everyone, acting in good faith, to repair your daughter's car safely and professionally per her written authorization as your agent.
You issued a work stoppage- as is your right- not because your daughter's authorization was illegitimate, but simply because of the cost of the repairs that your insurance company concluded were not related to the accident.
You also knew the car wasn't drivable, and that's why you asked my estimator to assist you in setting up towing to a local discount shop.
You were also correctly told that we do not reassemble damaged vehicles. There is no precedent or requirement for a collision center to assume the liability of repairing a vehicle knowingly using damaged parts... it is illegal, irresponsible and unethical.
Your insurance company inspected our disassembly of the vehicle, found it was done in accordance with their standards for their supplemental inspection process and they approved about $1,200 worth of additional work to be performed based upon our disassembly and inspection.
In fact, your insurance company did you a favor by disallowing the items they did, because if they had not, your vehicle would have been declared a total loss and you would have received a settlement that probably would have been unsatisfactory to you.
So in closing, with your knowledge and approval, your daughter presented herself as your authorizing agent to begin the repair process and signed an authorization stating so. This issue would be better discussed with her, not us.
Your insurance company inspected our disassembly, our labor charges and our supplemental damage report. They corroborated what we discovered, but unfortunately disallowed some of the required repairs. This issue would be better discussed with them, not us.
In light of all the facts and circumstances, here is what I will do for you:
1. In the interest of showing compassion for your position, and understanding the difficulties you have gone through, I have directed that your credit card be credited with the amount charged for storage ($160).
2. Since the pre-repair disassembly process was performed according to instructions given to us by your daughter acting with your knowledge as your agent, who signed the agreement for the purpose of disassembly, I do not think it is fair to penalize the technicians and their families by taking back the money they earned from performing the requested labor. Everyone acted in good faith to comply with the instructions issued by your daughter, your insurance company and later, yourself.
3. Since the decision was yours to tow the vehicle to a discount shop, and you made that decision knowing full well ahead of time that it was your choice and therefore your responsibility for payment, there is nothing to discuss about that.
In your fax today you pleaded for me to show integrity and do the moral right thing. I believe I have done so on my end.
MY RESPONSE TO HIS EMAIL:
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 10:08 AM
To: King, Chris
Cc: Kelley, David; Ask Toyota
Subject: RE: Please help resolve
I am not using my daughter's age as an excuse. It is what it is and no, I never gave her permission to sign any authorizations of any kind nor did you have the right to accept a contract with a minor. (It's business law 101) How were you expecting her to pay for it? Your company had full knowledge that I was the owner of the vehicle and the policy holder from the moment you agreed to have the vehicle towed in to your shop. It is in black and white on all documents received by Geico. Someone should have verified the tear down with me.
I contacted your collision shop several times and spoke to Ralph who insisted he would not be able to assist me that I would need to speak to JR. I left several messages for JR and finally was able to reach him personally on 04/05/07. This is when he told me about the additional mechanical repairs. Not once was I EVER told about bumpers and panels being removed of the vehicle. (I have phone records to verify)
I do realize and never disputed that I owe the tow charge to Just Brakes for that was necessary to have the vehicle drivable again. They had lower rates and that was my choice. This vehicle would be safe and drivable had your company not destroyed it.
My whole bottom line is that your company destroyed my vehicle to the point it is not legal to drive and did not have permission to do so. So please don't try to insult my intelligence and turn this around as though I am in the wrong. Per files at the Dallas BBB, you guys have a history of this sort of behavior. The sad thing is I had all intentions of bringing the vehicle back to you guys for the body repairs.
So once again I do plead for you to show integrity and morals. This is wrong to every degree and you know it. You sending me an email basically calling me a liar shows no class or integrity. This leaves me with no choice but to take my next steps.
HIS REPLY BACK:
From: King, Chris [mailto:CK]
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 10:30 AM
Cc: Kelley, David
Subject: RE: Please help resolve
I am sorry you feel this way. No one is calling you a liar, I was simply trying to explain the facts to you as thoroughly as possible so you would hopefully understand.
If your daughter acted improperly as your agent, that is between you and her.
If what you say is true and your daughter was acting as your agent without your permission, then why wouldn't you as the parent bear any responsibility for the actions of your minor child?
Your insurance company inspected our disassembly of the vehicle, found it was done in accordance with their standards for their supplemental inspection process and they approved about $1,200 worth of additional work to be performed based upon our disassembly and both our their inspection.
Everyone here (my shop and your insurance company) acted in good faith on you and your daughter's behalf, and everything was performed in accordance with your insurance company's policies and procedures.
You need to address your grievance through Geico.
MY FINAL REPLY:
I don't know why you insist on blaming my daughter for all of this. I have listened to the original message sent to her after the vehicle was in your possession. It clearly states that she needed to sign authorization for you guys to inspect the vehicle. When her grandmother and she went up there that is what was assumed was going to be done.
You need to take responsibility for your companies neglect to obtain proper authorization to proceed with any sort of tear down. My child did nothing wrong so there is no responsibility on my part that needs to be taken. The only thing she did was trust the representatives of Toyota of Dallas.
My agent from Geico is shocked by Toyota of Dallas negligence and states that you guys are responsible for the damage.
I would really urge your company to catch up with the State of Texas contractual laws. For example where is the written estimate that you must provide, prior to doing any repairs or tear downs? Who signed for that? My daughter in good faith with you guys assumed you would be doing an estimate for mechanical related damage. It was your responsibility to contact me for proper authorization.
There were so many better ways you could have handled this. You could have apologized and offered a reasonable price for repairs. Yet you chose to be insulting and straight rude about it all. This is all really too bad. I now feel that is my responsibility to inform as many people that the internet and press can reach about this entire situation. I would hate for anyone else to have to be treated like this.
The Woodlands, Texas
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Toyota Dealers and Products