The Human Cost of Shoddy Repair

As readers of this blog know full well, Gold Coast Auto Body is committed to repairing vehicles the right way. We use OEM parts and never cut corners on repairs, often times to the chagrin of many insurance companies.

While it would be incorrect to state that all insurance carriers value the dollar more than human life, there is a battle going on within our industry to make safety the predominant deciding factor when it comes to repair.

Case in point: In 2013 Marcia and Matthew Seebachan were in an automobile crash. They were driving a low mileage Honda Fit with one previous owner.

During the after-crash investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle had been improperly repaired during the previous owner’s tenure. The roof had not had the needed number of spot welds in order to keep the cage intact in the instance of a crash.

Both Matthew and Marcia suffered severe injuries and their lives will quite literally never be the same. Matthew endured such severe burns that there was no skin on his legs, allowing the muscles and tendons to be visible to the naked eye. It took over two years for the burns to heal. In Marcia’s case, the tendons connecting her skull to her spine were severely torn. Both Matthew and Marcia had to undergo multiple surgeries in the ensuing years.

The point? All of this could have been avoided. The investigation showed that had the spot welding been done properly, the cage would not have collapsed, and the car would not have caught fire. The worst outcome would have been Matthew might have suffered a broken leg.

The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) is a forum made up of participants from all industry segments for the expressed purpose of discussing and exploring common concerns.

In this December 2019 video from the CIC, Chairman Jeff Peevy and his wife Marie interview Matthew and Marcia to put a human face on the topic of what can happen when a repair shop doesn’t adhere to quality standards established by automakers and repairers.

The entire video is just over 34 minutes long. To jump right into the most meaningful part of the interview, start watching at 14:30. Either way, it’s well worth your time.

Says Peevy: “If I was to have a vision for this industry it would be that we put the value of human life ahead of everything else.”

Which is exactly the philosophy we adhere to here at GCAB. Our customers are customers for life because we put their lives first. Can your insurance carrier say the same?