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M3 accident while in transport to the dealership, by a dealership driver

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by rockdoc69, Jul 19, 2011.

    rockdoc69 guest

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    I have a 2011 M3 Coupe that was due for its 1200 mile check. The dealership sent a driver over to pick up the car. I was later called and told the car was hit by a "teenager texting". The entire left back side of the car is damaged, including the driver side door. The left rear wheel is bent at the axle, and pushed up into the quarter panel. The car has only 1280 miles on it. I am very concerned since I feel with the specification of this car, that even if they try to fix it that it will never handle/drive, etc., like it is meant to drive. I am waiting to hear what the teenager's insurance company is going to do, but the dealership is saying "it is an accident, and there is nothing we can do." I would like to get other club members input on this. I feel like since the car is basically new, that I would pay for the depreciation on the car, and have the dealership get me a new M3 and then they can try to sell the repaired car themselves. Please give me your input on what you think about this.
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    MGarrison

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    I don't find it surprising

    I don't find it surprising the dealer would take the position of "Hey, sorry, WE didn't have anything to do with it." There is some logic to that; if you had driven to the dealership yourself exactly the same way their driver had, it would have been you in the car when it got hit.

    As for legal liability, one aspect is the police report of the accident. If the police report clearly indicates the driver of the vehicle that hit yours as being the only one at-fault, then that would pretty clearly exonerate (seemingly) the dealership's employee. Hopefully (and presumably) whomever the dealership has driving customer's cars around is someone who is well aware of the dollar value of the vehicles he or she is driving, and would realize it might be their butt if it was their fault that Mr. or Mrs. so-n-so's car got damaged while in their hands. And, presumably, would be motivated to drive customer's cars with caution, despite how tempting it might be to YEEEE-HAW in somebody else's hi-perf. ultimate driving machine joy.

    Anyway... if what the dealership is telling you is correct, that the other driver is solely at fault, then you'd have a complicated (and, probably, ugly) challenge to attempt to implicate the dealer or it's employee for liability or damages. Sounds to me like it would be an uphill battle to prove negligence. If you don't have any other facts except what the dealership is telling you, it might be advisable to verify the story. Such a major accident should have a police report detailing the accident scene and whom the police determine are at fault. Whoever's at fault would likely have been issued at least one ticket, assuming they weren't injured so badly that they were hauled off by ambulance (which is one scenario I could see where tickets might not get issued). The dealer or their driver would presumably have no motivation to hide or be unwilling to share that information (or enough details to get an accident report, such as exactly where the collision occurred and/or which police department was involved), as it would prove the story they're telling you.

    Now, if there's anything that's not making sense, such as no details about where the accident occurred, etc., then you might have some cause for suspicion about what you're being told by the dealer. Presumably, the damage itself would also be indicative - you'd think there'd be some paint from the other car scraped off on yours somewhere, with that much damage. I'm speculating here, it may well already be proven to you that this accident was caused by the driver that hit your car - if that's the case, then I wouldn't guess you'd likely have much grounds for a claim against the dealer.

    I empathize.. yes, it sucks that your brand new car that you were planning on enjoying for either many years or the lease term or whatever suffered this accident. It's probably not much consolation that you weren't in the car. I can see where you or anyone would like for the dealer to help you out in this situation. From the perspective of the dealer, as a business entity, it probably doesn't make much sense for them to do anything here (assuming they have no culpability) - they're not in the business of profiting from scrapping out or repairing wrecked cars. So, I wouldn't be surprised that the dealer doesn't offer to do anything other than assist in getting the car repaired.

    Unfortunately, since the car is so new, even with substantial damage, it's valuation is high enough that I'd suspect it's likely the insurance company will opt for repair instead of totalling it. You have a variety of choices though - you can opt to accept having the car repaired. If your fear that humpty-dumpty won't be put back together again well enough to walk right is substantial enough, I suppose you could try to part it out and take whatever the insurance company offers (potentially, negotiable), and use that to offset the cost of a new M3 - time could be an issue though, it takes time to find buyers for parts. Never mind the hassle of the whole selling-parts process.

    I understand the concern about the fixed car being as-good-as-new and the question, is it really - time would tell though. Probably not enough folks back on these new forums to offer insight, but if you can find anyone else who's had their E92 M3 repaired after collision damage, you'll be able to gain some sense if whether your fears may be well founded or not.

    A repaired car is worth more than a damaged one; if you're worried enough, get it fixed (hopefully without a salvage title), sell it, and buy another.

    Getting it fixed is another issue - check your state's insurance laws, as you may find the at-fault driver's insurance company tries to insist it be repaired by someplace you don't want, or low-balls you, or whatever, and your state's laws should be pretty clear in what you can do, or don't have to do. Not sure what might be the best way to research how good whatever repair shop you choose might be, but if you opt for repair, might be reassuring to verify that in whatever way you can.

    You'll know more once you hear from the insurance company or their estimator, obviously their job is to determine the feasibility of repairs. I would tend to think, these days, the best repair shops are pretty good, and ought to be able to get the car straightened out pretty well, or close enough to perfect to not make a difference, at least for handling and driving - one would hope. Doesn't sound like any kind of inexpensive repair though, sounds like you might need a whole new rear suspension, at least, plus the cosmetic repairs.

    Best of luck, however it all goes!

    (btw - I ain't no lawyer, this here's all just o-pinion!)

    rockdoc69 guest

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    Thanks for the input

    Thanks for your input. I will let you know what happens. I am just unbelievablly frustrated with the entire thing.
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    MGarrison

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    "I am just unbelievablly

    "I am just unbelievablly frustrated with the entire thing."

    I can understand that. It never feels good to be in a situation that's not your fault and that you can't do much, if anything, about. The anger and frustration will subside, in time; knowing that, perhaps, may help you in taking a deep breath and exhaling some of the stress of the moment. If there's one thing you do have a choice about, it's how to emotionally deal with the situation; acknowledge to yourself how you're feeling and why, and realize that you don't have to let those emotions rule your days. That will help you to be able to focus on what you can do, when the time comes. Most of us are stronger, more flexible, and robust than we might think - it's just never ideal to be forced to adapt or accept.

    (note that I ain't no psychologist neither! ;-) Everybody's different, so if any of that sounds crazy to you, don't sweat it - what may be helpful to some, isn't to others.

    Hope it all works out as well as it can!

    197952 guest

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    Depreciation

    I don't know how it is in your state but here (Alabama), the courts have ruled that you are entitled to addtional compensation by the insurance company if you are in an accident and it is not your fault since your car will take a hit on depreciation (based on the model of the car). While that may not bring back that "new car feeling", it might make it a bit easier to take.

    Good luck.

    rockdoc69 guest

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    Thank You

    Thanks, That is what the lawyer is looking into. After the car is fixed we have get it appraised to estimate the amount of depreciation and then go from there.
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    JaredBoynton

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    They should have given you a new car. Period. I couldn't believe that you needed a lawyer. It is very sad these day at the total lack of accountability. I don't feel so bad now about my problem, but if it were me I would not have let the matter rest until you had a new car. No matter who was driving or at fault, the dealership had possession of the vehicle and therefore responsibility of it. I would not want a high-end model like yours after it was hit like it was.

    I have a 2006 325 i that had the right side damaged after it was side-swiped. The dealer's body shop did a great job of repairing it. However I do have an issue with the suspension in the back of the car on the side and I know it will never be addressed by them. Also the Xenon headlamp on that very side of the car that was hit no longer works.

    I was quoted $525 by the dealer to replace the headlight. Not only is that ridiculous, but I only asked after I spend two hours trying to do it myself and found out I have to remove the wheel and part of the fender liner to do it. To me that is totally unacceptable since replacing the headlight should be simple as it can potentially be a safety item.

    My concerns fell on deaf ears with BMW and the dealer. They don't really care. It's an old car to them and no warranty. The dealer that fixed the collision damage never returned my email, which is not surprising since my last service visit was a total joke. I asked them to fix some items that would have been covered by the extended warranty which is now expired.

    Just as in your case, there is total lack of accountability by BMW. Big things or small things they just don't give a crap. I hope your situation had a good resolve.
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    JaredBoynton

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    I have to disagree with you on this one. True, if he was driving to the dealership, it would have been his dealings to have the car repaired or replaced. But since the dealer was in possession of the car then they are responsible and I would say responsible for replacing not repairing the car. End of discussion. Sadly there is a total lack of accountability these days. The dealer could have absorbed the cost of a replacement vehicle, sold the original one, taken the loss off of their taxes and moved on. The mere fact that there was even a discussion about liability, repairs, depreciation or even retaining the services of a lawyer is ridiculous. Once again BMW has dropped the ball, since they say their dealers are independent businesses and have no control over them.
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    gesoffen

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    I completely disagree with those saying that the dealer should replace the car - especially those lamenting the "lack of accountability". The facts presented so far stack up to the other driver being at fault, not the dealership employee. How in the world should the dealership take any liability!?!?

    Put the shoe on the other foot - if you are driving a dealership loaner, a teenager smashes into you and he/she is considered at fault, do you owe the dealer a new car?

    While it may appear the dealers have BMWs growing on trees, they in fact, have significant insurance policies to cover themselves in the event of liable damage. In this case, I'm sure there will be some back and forth between the owner's insurance, the dealership's insurance and the at fault's insurance. Assuming the facts presented here prove to be true, the OP will likely end up dealing with the at-fault's insured to get the vehicle satisfactorily repaired and compensation to cover extra costs (rental, etc.) as well as diminished value. That's the way it should be.

    If the dealer offers to help in any way (provide free loaner during repair for example), they are going above and beyond and should be commended.

    While it does completely suck that the OPs nearly brand new M3 is significantly damaged, that is the risk we all take and the risk that we all (well, most law abiding people) cover with insurance.
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    TomF BMW EnthuZiast

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    JaredBoynton and gesoffen, did you happen to notice that you responded to a thread where the last reply was more than 1.5 years ago? The OP has only posted 3 times in this entire forum and all three were in this thread, the last one one on Aug 20, 2011. I'm pretty sure that the issue has been resolved, although rockdoc69 didn't report back as he promised. Unless he magically appears again, any speculation on "what the dealer should do" is completely pointless, because whatever the resolution was, it's already happened.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    ... some of us get to these forums less often than others, Tom...
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    TomF BMW EnthuZiast

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    I've marked my calendar to reply to you on October 11, 2014.
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    Don't encourage him!

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