Dealer damaged my car, offering two options to fix
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This is a discussion on Dealer damaged my car, offering two options to fix within the Exterior & Appearance forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I took my car in for an oil change. In the process, the dealer managed to back my car into/against ...

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    Unhappy Dealer damaged my car, offering two options to fix

    I took my car in for an oil change. In the process, the dealer managed to back my car into/against something and broke one of the clips holing the front bumper on. It was hanging loose afterwards. They replaced the clip, but then I noticed that they also caused a large scratch on the front bumper. I've attached pictures below. They were of course very apologetic and have owned the mistake and have assured me that they will fix it. They have offered to either fix the original bumper at a body shop, or to replace the bumper. I initially asked them to replace the bumper under the assurance that it was a new part as well as a genuine subaru part, which they agreed to.

    They later called me and told me that the manager thinks that the repair would actually be better if I had the original bumper fixed instead. He said he was confident that it could be fixed so that I wouldn't be able to tell that it had happened. He also said that if I have the new bumper installed, it may not match because the bumpers are fitted at the factory and the tolerances might be different, resulting in a different and potentially worse fit. They've offered to still replace the bumper afterwards if I am not happy with the result.

    The car is only a year old and I would like to see the best possible repair. I told them I would think about it and get back to them on Monday with my decision. What is the best option, and why? Are there any questions I should be asking at this point? Thanks in advance for any help on this, it's a very stressful situation and I just want to get my car back like it was.

    Note that this is the front bumper, driver side.

    Pictures:

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  3. #2
    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Ouch. The only way I see that being fixed, due to it being a Urethane bumper, is if it was to be filled, sanded, and repainted. If that was going to happen, then may as well get a whole new bumper painted and installed anyway.

    I don't buy the whole "may not be as good" option for replacing it...body shops take mangled cars and make them as good as "factory" all the time. There's no reason why a good qualified body shop couldn't take a genuine Subaru replacement bumper, and make it fit and match your car the same as it came from the factory.

    I'd ask for the bumper to be replaced, hands down.
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    Registered User mcdbrendan's Avatar
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    I would stick with the original bumper and have them fix it to avoid any unnecessary paint work which won't match up perfectly.

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdbrendan View Post
    I would stick with the original bumper and have them fix it to avoid any unnecessary paint work which won't match up perfectly.
    It's a "lower cost" pitch to you. Paying a body shop to fix the scrape will be cheaper than replacing the part. Since they gave you the option to get a replacement if you're not happy with the job, I would say go with it. They're giving you a solid offer, I think you'd be wrong to turn it down. Let them go the body shop route first, and if it looks good to you, let them save some money; they'll remember you were easy to work with, in the future.
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    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Rambo's Avatar
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    It's a bummer situation, but glad to hear the shop is taking responsibility. So many stories on here go the other way, it's refreshing to hear some good things about dealers for once.

    I agree with Matthew, they've given you a solid offer that could save them money and you some time, but you've got a backup plan if it doesn't work out. Kudos to the dealer for that. Might as well see how the repair turns out. It is a lower cost option for the dealer, but there probably is some truth to the paint blending argument too.

    It probably is much easier to repair and blend the damaged area, rather than trying to blend a whole new bumper. When my bumper was replaced after an accident, it took them a solid week of labor to get the paint blended properly across the whole front end.
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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    It's a "lower cost" pitch to you. Paying a body shop to fix the scrape will be cheaper than replacing the part. Since they gave you the option to get a replacement if you're not happy with the job, I would say go with it. They're giving you a solid offer, I think you'd be wrong to turn it down. Let them go the body shop route first, and if it looks good to you, let them save some money; they'll remember you were easy to work with, in the future.
    DING!

    Its less than $500 to fix it (probably $200 their cost if they own a body shop), closer to $750 for a new one.

    Your call either way.
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    Registered User bullyhatch's Avatar
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    Sounds like they just want to back down on giving you a new bumper.the repair process for them is the less expensive so they will persuade you too it, there going sand the damaged area, shape it with plastic filler, prime, sand, and paint damaged area blending paint to old paint, then finally clearing the whole bumper. all in all it will look new.
    the difference with a new bumper they will seal, paint, and clear the whole bumper as is. it cost them more since they have to buy a new bumper and paint the whole thing.
    its up to you

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    Registered User marx's Avatar
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    I would ask if the bumper is going to come painted by the factory or will they have to have it painted? If it comes painted I would go that route if not I would think that they will have to blend it with the rest of then car. Its different when painting the plastic bumper cover than it is the metal. As far as a new bumper fitting it should be the same as when it came out of the factory there are tolerences that they follow and have to maintain It sucks your having to go through this.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    The bumpers don't come painted
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    I'd let them try to fix the bumper. If for any reason you don't like it then have them replace it with a new. You have a backup if you don't like it. It's not really that tough of a decision IMO. If you tell them you want to go with the new bumper and for some reason you don't like it, then you will have no second option.

  12. #11
    Registered User chutoyy's Avatar
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    I'd request a new bumper and keep the old one just in case. If not, then I'd still take a new bumper and have them color match it/blend to the rest of the car cause it looks like the bumper may have cracked (top of first pic, unless that's just streaks of dirt)...

    Edit: Oh, also make sure they don't go through THEIR insurance or else it'll show up on a 'carfax' causing diminished value of your car.
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    Thank you everyone for the helpful feedback! All of the suggestions make a lot of sense. I think I am going to go ahead and let them try to fix it. They seem confident that they will be able to, and if it can be fixed more cheaply, so much the better!

  14. #13
    Registered User Ryno17wrx's Avatar
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    i worked at a body shop for years bro. any deep scratching beyond the paint is not even worth fixing. you will have to repaint the whole bumper and then run the risk of the color not blending out so good. i would say...since its the dealers money, have them put a new one on and get it painted to match with subaru paint if u can get your hands on some, and if it doesnt line up, which it should, because every car is fitted at the factory, thats why its called a factory! then make them repair your original. as long as its a genuine subie part it should be fine since they are all made off of the same identical mold.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Seems like there's plenty of opinions already on this thread but they are trying to go the cheaper on their part with you so they don't lose any money. Not to mention if you're not completely happy with the cheaper fix then they are still offering to hve the whole bumper replaced anyway. When he's saying it "may not be a perfect fit" he's just trying to sell you the cheaper option.
    So you really can't lose whichever ay you decide to go. But I would still want a brand new bumper anyway

  16. #15
    Registered User Mike193's Avatar
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    Interning at an automotive mechanic, I understand it can be tight moving all the cars around all the lifts and the equipment. Yes, they do it everyday and its their job, but hey, people make mistakes. I'd say let them fix it the easiest way possible for them, then if all goes well, then you can push aside their mistake, maybe they will push aside a 'mistake' you may make in the future, or hell maybe even do your next few oil changes as quick as possible so you're in and out of there. But, personally, easiest way to avoid this, would be grabbing a set of ramps, and a few oil filters and whenever u need to do an oil change just grab some oil and lay under the car for a little bit and you can be rest-assured your car isnt near-by objects that can damage it.

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