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By Jordan W. Charness

I received an interesting letter from a frustrated reader. Through no fault of his own he has been without his vehicle for over four months while waiting for repairs to be completed after an accident. This is his story.

I am wondering what is considered a reasonable amount of time for the repair of a vehicle following an accident.

I had an accident with my car on September 22nd. I called my insurance company and their evaluator called me the following day. The estimate was for almost $10,000. That estimator asked me where I wanted the repairs to be done and I suggested the dealership where I bought the car. He said he would look after everything.

I called the manager of the repair department at the dealership on the 25th to see if they had an idea of how long the repairs would take. He said that they had not yet received the vehicle because they didn’t have its location and they didn’t have my phone number. I do not know why he didn’t contact the insurance evaluator who is supposedly “looking after everything.”

I visited the dealer the following week to see if he had any better idea as to when my car would be ready. I found the passenger side of my car was soaked, as it had rained several times. The car had been left outside even though the window was broken. The manager suggested that the car would be ready in a few weeks and that they would shampoo it inside and at out.

My next conversation with the dealership several weeks later was not any more satisfying. The manager claimed that the evaluator had made some errors. There was more damage than he thought. He had located a 2007 vehicle for parts but the front end didn’t match my 2006 vehicle.

After several other conversations with similar results – next week he’ll call me; next week I should call him – I called someone at the insurance company. She phoned me back shortly thereafter and said that the evaluator would be doing the final inspection and I should have the vehicle shortly.

I spoke with the dealership again at the beginning of December. Once again I was told to call next week. The next week there was a problem with the alignment (frame or wheel, I’m not sure), and to try again next week. I went home for the holidays and checked my messages regularly but received no call from the dealership. I returned to Vancouver on the 29th of December, a full three months after my accident and phoned the dealer on the 30th.

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