Why is it taking so long for my vehicle to be repaired?!

Unsurprisingly (and not unlike any other industry on the planet today), the autobody collision repair industry is suffering unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and skyrocketing inflation. From a massive shortage of skilled labor to previously unheard-of parts and supply chain delays, autobody repair shops across the country are overwhelmed with challenges and are constantly trying to find creative ways of overcoming unpleasant delays as demand for our services continues to rise.

Here are some answers to common questions as we try to help our valued customers understand what is going on and why ordinary repairs are often taking so long to complete:

I booked my appointment months in advance. Why have you not preordered parts, so they are here when I drop off my vehicle for repairs?

We simply cannot preorder parts for every job for several reasons: 1) We are booked several months out, and we do not have enough space to store parts for all jobs in advance. 2) We do not know exactly which parts we will need until the car is in the shop and completely disassembled and assessed. Very often, brackets and other damaged parts are concealed when your initial estimate is completed, and we are unable to identify them as damaged until the car is taken apart. 3) In certain situations, some parts are deemed repairable upon closer inspection after disassembly and a replacement is not necessary. 4) Many times, insurance companies will not initially approve parts until full disassembly is completed. In other situations, customers elect to cancel their appointments or sell their vehicle before their scheduled service. In many cases, we are unable to return parts which have already been delivered and we would be stuck unable to return those parts.

Can’t you track the ETA of a part, and why is it taking so long for the part(s) to arrive at your shop?

Most often we are unable to track the status of a delayed or backordered part. While our parts manager spends a big portion of his day on the phone with our suppliers to get updates, many manufactures themselves often do not have a scheduled ETA for parts which are on indefinite backorder. Shutdowns at manufacturing plants around the world along with well-publicized shipping logistics disruptions make our ability to guarantee a date of arrival all but impossible.

Can’t you just call another supplier to get the missing part?

Yes, but that supplier will also be unable to get the part any sooner. If there were a way to get parts any more quickly, we would do it. We regularly scour all possible sources for parts all over the US and even abroad, but sometimes the items are simply unavailable.

My insurance company said the repairs should only take X number of days. Why haven’t you started yet/ordered parts yet/completed the job yet?

Many insurance companies typically only approve a certain amount of the repairs required to get started. Since Covid, a growing number of insurers have switched to doing virtual estimates. It is impossible to accurately identify the extent of damages based solely on pictures. Therefore, once the vehicle has been disassembled and inspected in our shop, we need to file a supplement with your insurance company and wait for their approval to continue ordering necessary parts not initially covered. Depending on the insurance company, supplements can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to be approved. We regularly follow up on any filed supplements and do everything within our power to expedite the process, but sometimes the insurance companies do not respond in a timely manner. Only after approval can we begin the process of ordering the additional parts and continuing repairs. It frustrates all of us.

Another issue is technician availability. While we strive to book work based on the number of available hours each technician has, the unpredictability of parts deliveries and ever-increasing demand for repairs means we need to remain flexible. If a car is in line for production, but supplementary parts needed are unavailable for immediate work, further work cannot be completed on the vehicle until parts arrive. In an ideal world, all parts would be available, and production would flow uninterrupted…but the unfortunate reality is this is far from the possible norm.

I only ever paid X much for a simple bumper repair/paint job in the past. Why are your prices so high?!

Inflation. Our material and labor costs have risen over 40% in merely 3 months. While we make every possible effort to mitigate rising costs, labor, utilities, supplies and overhead have all increased steadily and we are forced to adjust our prices accordingly just to stay in business. We are transparent about our pricing; if you have questions about your repair costs, we will be more than happy to explain our estimates in detail.

What does WOI mean?

Waiting On Insurance (WOI) means: once your car is disassembled, we must contact insurance for approval on supplemental damage. Insurance companies have at least 48 hours (not including weekends) to respond. With staffing shortages being such a big issue, insurance companies often take more time to respond and approve submitted supplements. We cannot move forward without this approval.

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