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My 2001 MDX (base model, beige) with 6200 miles was rear-ended on 11/01. I loved that car but I think I'm going to bail and get a new 2002. There was slight frame damage ($300 frame pull charge by the body shop). Just not the same feeling after the accident.

Several dealers have told me I will lose about $3-5K trade-in value based solely on the fact that the car was involved in an accident with frame damage. I have one official appraisal that shows $3K difference in price (no accident vs. accident price).

Does anyone have any suggestions/experience for trying to get this difference back from the insurance company? After all, I am facing an acutal dollar loss in value and my brand new MDX can no longer be Acura-certified as a used car. Thanks for any ideas.
 

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Why?

If you had the work done by a properly trained repair facility (which you probably did) the vehicle should still be capable of being an "Acura Certified Used Car".

Unless I am mistaken the certification process should not be affected by properly performed repairs.

I assume the "don't feel the same" aspect is YOUR feeling, not any measurable difference.

Would REALLY need to tell the dealer (or any other potential buyer) about the repair? I am not suggesting "dishonesty", after all if the dealer does a super thorough inspection of the undercarriage they MIGHT discover the repair on their own, but if safety & perfromance are unaffected ( as they should be after proper repair) why would this affect resale???

Would I ( or any other potential buyer) pay just as much for an "undamaged" used MDX as for yours? Of course. I suspect the dealer(s) arte simply being "overly pessimestic" so that they could increase their profit, as they KNOW a low milage used MDX would fetch a princely sum...
 

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Im in your same situation right now. I just received the MDX back, and its been like almost $20k in repairs, including the VTM4 and electric system. There was no frame damage.

There is no way to get more money (deprec value)from the insurance Co. in the majority of states, definitely not in my state. I have a lawyer fighting the case as we speak. I think there's legal precedent in Georgia but Im not sure about the other states.

My car is running great and I think Im gonna give it a chance to perform. Ill definitely sell it as soon as the warranty expires. It some major repair happens again, Ill sell it before and take the depreciation hit. I think the depreciation loss will be less pronounced as years pass, especially if youre gonna sell it privately and not trade it. The hit may not be as great if you sell it privately, especially that there is still demand. Good luck.
 

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My wife was involved in an accident a few years ago in her 93 Integra. Since it was not her fault, the insurance company actually came to us asking if we would release them from further responsibility for an amount of money. It was not much money, but the repairs were excellent, so I was not concerned. However, when we went to sell the car, one of the first questions asked was "Has it been involved in a wreck?". Even though the damage was pretty superficial ($2000), I felt like it kept us from selling at a higher price. If I had it to do over again, I would have asked for more money.
 

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There are two interesting areas I just discovered:

One involved "diminished value" or DV. This is what you are referring to in your query. Your car, althought 'fixed' is worth less due to the fact that it is repaired.

The ABRN website had an article from 9/98 I couldn't find, but I saw this:
http://www.abrn.com/abrn/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=7145

My understanding is that you can only recover a DV claim if it is from ANOTHER insurance company, not your own. That is to say if you wreck your car at your fault, your ins. will not pay DV. If, however, if someone else causes the damage, then you can claim DV. You need to be VERY persistent.

(The difference is that your company has a contract to just fix your car, while the other guy has a legal exposure to 'make you whole'...)

Another fact is that ANY loss must include tax: Let's say your car is totalled, and the value is $40,000 (After MUCH haggling) (A friend's 14 year old just wrapped his 99 Jag XK8 limited edition around a tree...) The insurance company says, OK we'll send a check. YOU SY, please add 8.25% to that for tax.

They squawk, but must.

The loss of the car caused you to further require a purchase, leading to an additional loss of XXX%

http://www.execautobody.com/totalloss.htm

My 2cents-

Sorry you need this...

Ard
 

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MDX on Frame Puller???

Unfortunately the Frame Puller may have caused more damage than it fixed. These are designed for fixing vehicles which are actually built on a frame. The MDX is a unitized design and does not have a frame. As a result, the vehicle's body intregrety is highly dependant upon a complex combination of exact forces on the body parts. If one of them is out of spec, the body structure will suffer. i.e. "Does not feel right" Since many of these parts cannot be seen, placing the MDX on a frame puller probably was not a good idea. If you start noticing excessive wear on your tires, (even with good alignment) then your vehicle was not repared to manufacturing specs.

While a Unitized design reduces manufacturing costs, by making it easier to produce a tight, well performing vehicle such as the MDX, it comes at a cost, Durability. Unitized designs usually don't fare well in accidents. (has nothing to do with occupant safety) Repairs for something more than a small fender bender on a unitized body requires the replacement of many body parts in a facility with well trained mechanics. Placing the car on a frame puller may actually damage more parts while making the car "look right". Less expensive (something insurance cos. like) but leaves the owner with a substandard vehicle.
 

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There have been several discussions about this in the past.

As far as a non-disclosure of an accident is concerned: A dealer (I would assume it also applies to a private party) does NOT have to disclose damage if the price of repairs was less than (HERE'S THE PROBLEM - I DO NOT REMEMBER THE EXACT NUMBER, so, for example,) 20% of the price of the car.

Any private party buyer spending $30K+ would be COMPLETELY out of his mind not to check the car thoroughly. Also, for $15, Carfax will certainly indicate there was an accident.

As far as trade-in to a dealer, any professional will be able to spot so much as a SCRATCH that was fixed by a body shop.
 

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rlm-

Which insurance is not paying the DV claim? Is it yours, or was there another party at fault?


Tech555-
Even if the car is visually perfect and performs flawlessly (no noises, tires wear perfectly, etc) there can be flaws with certain repairs.

With modern construction/engineering, structures are designed to control energy during a crash. Welding/cutting/tweaking can impair the ability of the designed structure to perform in a dynamic event (crash). You'll never know. This is why automakers crash 50 to 100 prototypes, then once perfected they don't make changes.

Even straightening a bent piece of metal can cause 'work hardening' leading to a more rigid or brittle component. You'll never know.

I agree with your statement that the straightening might do more harm, but the sad truth is that it is almost impossible to know.

Ard
 

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Yes, I agree. It is almost impossible to get a good repair on a unitized body design. Most body shops don't have the technical expertise to do it. If you are in an accident, either it should be something insignificant, or so bad they total the vehicle. Anything in between, alot of times, results in an unhappy owner.
 

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Lots of things to nitpick...

Tech555 said:
Unfortunately the Frame Puller may have caused more damage than it fixed. These are designed for fixing vehicles which are actually built on a frame. The MDX is a unitized design and does not have a frame. As a result, the vehicle's body intregrety is highly dependant upon a complex combination of exact forces on the body parts. If one of them is out of spec, the body structure will suffer. i.e. "Does not feel right" Since many of these parts cannot be seen, placing the MDX on a frame puller probably was not a good idea. If you start noticing excessive wear on your tires, (even with good alignment) then your vehicle was not repared to manufacturing specs.

While a Unitized design reduces manufacturing costs, by making it easier to produce a tight, well performing vehicle such as the MDX, it comes at a cost, Durability. Unitized designs usually don't fare well in accidents. (has nothing to do with occupant safety) Repairs for something more than a small fender bender on a unitized body requires the replacement of many body parts in a facility with well trained mechanics. Placing the car on a frame puller may actually damage more parts while making the car "look right". Less expensive (something insurance cos. like) but leaves the owner with a substandard vehicle.
I don't mean to start a flame war, but a proper repair of a unitized body vehicle almost always involves the use of what is commonly called a "frame puller". The more correct for the device is a "unitized vehicle structural repair platform". The proper use of such a device requires manufacturer specific attachment and measurement with highly accurate gauges and/or electronic devices including lasers and magnetometers. The actually forces that are exerted on the vehicle may be controlled by the operator or through digitally controlled feedback. Much time must be devoted to understanding the technology involved, but tens of thousands of body repair technicians are capably trained every year.

A properly trained technician can restore a repairable vehicle to exact factory specs. A fender bender is extremely unlikely to not be repairable. In fact, many vehicles that are repairable, by technical measures, are simply un-economical. Any good technician will understand that the cosmetics of the repair are secondary to the performance and safety of the repair. The areas in a unitized vehicle that are repairable are made of steel alloys that are particularly well suited to repair, so-called HSS or UHSS (high strength or ultra-high strength steel).

It is essentially impossible to "replace" the structural elements of a unitized vehicle as a method of vehicle repair. The nature of unitized vehicles requires that they be "straightened" (actually put back into their factory original relationship) to restore structural integrity.

In well-designed unitized vehicles, there is NO LOSS in durability. A proper analysis of stresses results in a vehicle that is highly repairable. Insurance companies do not like to spend more than they take in, and premiums are what determine what they take in. Generally, premiums for unitized vehicles are not significantly higher than perimeter frame vehicles.
 

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Is the other driver's ins. co. (BTW, it was the other driver's fault). Were still fighting it, though.
 

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Good- I'll bet you will prevail. keep us posted- it is valuable info


Reno-

You use the term "proper" and "repairable"... Who determines what is proper, what training is proper, and if the damage is repairable???

If the body shop has 40 hours into the job, and finds that the repair is just a little bit more excessive than they thought, will they fudge or will they total it??? Worse yet, how do you know the operator is qualified? What if he took the training just to get an expense paid trip to wherever and spent every night partying??

Otherwse, I agree with your statement entirely, caveats and all...

:cool:

Ard
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to all for replying and helping. There were some great insights in your replies. Everyone was helpful.

rlm32 -- My sympathies on the $20K repair, ugh. Thanks for looking up the website address.

ardvarkus -- Amazing reply, extremely helpful, thanks so much. I will make good use of the information.

Tech555 -- I agree, the result of a collison/repair that is not minimal or a total wreck is an unhappy driver. That's how I feel. I understand the debate raging here as to proper repair, etc., but as a consumer, I can't help it but to feel that my car is damaged goods, albeit "properly" restored to the best of the body shop's ability.

-------------
Some other MDX crash info:

My car was rear-ended (my car close to stopping, the other car going about 35-40 mph). It is interesting to note that my base model with power driver seat but manual passenger seat had different outcomes for the different type of seats. The driver's (power) seat was undamaged, but the passenger (manual) seat, its hinge got broken from the rear impact. There was a 200 lb man sitting on the passenger seat and the impact occurred slightly to the right of the center, i.e. closer to the passenger side, but still, it was startling to experience a broken seat hinge. This means the passenger was flung backward (with no hinge) upon impact. Not good. This is another reason why I'm trading in for a 2002 Touring model with dual power seats.
 

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I too was rear ended around Christmas time in my MDX which had 1500 miles on it. The frame was bent as a result and I had a lot of reservations about repairing it. I went to the body shop and saw what a frame straightener looked like and was not impressed. It did not look like a precision piece of machinery. I next looked into diminished value. The hitch is that the car must be repaired first and then an independent assessor comes out to render an opinion on the value based on what the car looks like at that time. Also, only a handful of states (I believe 6) have laws which may support a diminished value claim, but it often results in a sticky court battle which can be prolonged. I live in Massachusetts which has DV laws and decided not to pursue it.

What I ultimately did was to get the payout from the insurance company for the estimated repairs and sell my MDX to the dealership in its damaged state. This got me pretty close to the price of a new MDX which is what I ordered.

My advice: go over the MDX with a fine tooth comb, it may be worth more damaged than repaired. A seat can be very expensive to repair (replacement is $5000) so try to get everything you can out of the estimate

Lastly, here in Massachusetts the dealer cannot legally sell a frame damaged car (which made me think, why should I be asked to drive it?). It will likely be be sent out of state, repaired and someone else will purchase it
 

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unitized vehicle structural repair platform????

Is this a term you made up? There is no such device. A frame puller is simply that, a device to pull a frame back to into alignment. It works by attaching a set of chains to the frame and simply pulling it back into square. There are special marks on the frame that will match up with a laser finder on the frame puller which signal the mechanic to stop the hydraulic force once the desiired shape acheived.

It is not a good process on frame based vehicles and certainly not on a unitized body such as the MDX since there is no visual method for "squaring" the vehicle. The hydraulic forces involved can quickly damage a lightly built vehicle like the MDX. The only proper way to fix a unitized based vehicle is to replace all of the damaged parts. No body shop has the facilities to repair the complex parts found in modern vehicles back to factory specs. Unfortunately alot of times, this does not happen because it is very expensive and time consuming, so the body shop will opt. for the more cosmetic fix. The end result is the vehicle will never drive quite right again, and there may be more excessive wear on certain parts. (tires, brakes, even the drivetrain)

It is too bad that some manufacturers have convinced consumers that unitized is better because it is less expensive to produce, but hide the fact that said vehicle can no longer be properly repaired (in many cases) after a common accident.



renov8r said:


I don't mean to start a flame war, but a proper repair of a unitized body vehicle almost always involves the use of what is commonly called a "frame puller". The more correct for the device is a "unitized vehicle structural repair platform". The proper use of such a device requires manufacturer specific attachment and measurement with highly accurate gauges and/or electronic devices including lasers and magnetometers. The actually forces that are exerted on the vehicle may be controlled by the operator or through digitally controlled feedback. Much time must be devoted to understanding the technology involved, but tens of thousands of body repair technicians are capably trained every year.

A properly trained technician can restore a repairable vehicle to exact factory specs. A fender bender is extremely unlikely to not be repairable. In fact, many vehicles that are repairable, by technical measures, are simply un-economical. Any good technician will understand that the cosmetics of the repair are secondary to the performance and safety of the repair. The areas in a unitized vehicle that are repairable are made of steel alloys that are particularly well suited to repair, so-called HSS or UHSS (high strength or ultra-high strength steel).

It is essentially impossible to "replace" the structural elements of a unitized vehicle as a method of vehicle repair. The nature of unitized vehicles requires that they be "straightened" (actually put back into their factory original relationship) to restore structural integrity.

In well-designed unitized vehicles, there is NO LOSS in durability. A proper analysis of stresses results in a vehicle that is highly repairable. Insurance companies do not like to spend more than they take in, and premiums are what determine what they take in. Generally, premiums for unitized vehicles are not significantly higher than perimeter frame vehicles.
 

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Broken seats. (A big problem)

Shelby, I don't want to start a flame war either, but the power seats will do nothing to prevent the broken seat hinges. Unfortunately this is a common problem with many vehicles and is the primary reason behind injurys in rear enders. i.e. the seats break when rear ended and the poor occupant will be thrown from the seats. In severe cases (you are struck by a careless party going 40+ mph) you can be actually ejected thru the rear window.


Shelbytennis said:
Thanks to all for replying and helping. There were some great insights in your replies. Everyone was helpful.

rlm32 -- My sympathies on the $20K repair, ugh. Thanks for looking up the website address.

ardvarkus -- Amazing reply, extremely helpful, thanks so much. I will make good use of the information.

Tech555 -- I agree, the result of a collison/repair that is not minimal or a total wreck is an unhappy driver. That's how I feel. I understand the debate raging here as to proper repair, etc., but as a consumer, I can't help it but to feel that my car is damaged goods, albeit "properly" restored to the best of the body shop's ability.

-------------
Some other MDX crash info:

My car was rear-ended (my car close to stopping, the other car going about 35-40 mph). It is interesting to note that my base model with power driver seat but manual passenger seat had different outcomes for the different type of seats. The driver's (power) seat was undamaged, but the passenger (manual) seat, its hinge got broken from the rear impact. There was a 200 lb man sitting on the passenger seat and the impact occurred slightly to the right of the center, i.e. closer to the passenger side, but still, it was startling to experience a broken seat hinge. This means the passenger was flung backward (with no hinge) upon impact. Not good. This is another reason why I'm trading in for a 2002 Touring model with dual power seats.
 

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"This is another reason why I'm trading in for a 2002 Touring model with dual power seats. "

Hey, whatever you need to justify the upgrade to the significant other is fine with us!

:cool:

Ard
 

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Re: Ideas on how to get insurance co. to pay for loss of value after an accident on MDX?

Shelbytennis said:
...Does anyone have any suggestions/experience for trying to get this difference back from the insurance company? After all, I am facing an acutal dollar loss in value and my brand new MDX can no longer be Acura-certified as a used car....
Having on both sides of car accidents, the common sense appears to focus on "make the repair job done right." My wife's BMW rear end a beautiful Infiniti. A small bumper to bumper costs about $3K on both sides. Both parties all simply understood that it was unfortunate for the accident to occur. The insurance just paid for it.. we paid the deductible. A typical scenario.

It is always a aggrevate thing to have an accident. My feeling is your "actual dollar loss" claim is hard to prove, however. Besides, is the insurance company's obligation to 'up keep the car's market value"? Or is it to repair the car to normal functioning condition? So, this is a repair issue. Just my two cents.. not a legal opinion.

Good luck to your resolution.
 
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