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      04-20-2015, 10:53 AM   #1
johnnyBMW
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Parking garage bumped my bumper - how to proceed?

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My garage has bumped the front of my car, and it looks like its not easily repairable.

What is my best course of action to deal with this and protect myself?

The garage is pushing me to have their 3rd party guy order the parts, repaint, and fix it at no cost. My concern is that I cannot control the quality of their work at that point.

What are the options for this scenario? I understand they're trying to minimize their cost to repair my car, which concerns me. Should I deal with this directly with BMW? Find a reputable repair myself and try to invoice?

Anyone have experience with this?

For reference, this is a 2011 BMW X5M

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      04-20-2015, 11:20 AM   #2
1ChrisRuck
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It's unfortunate that this happened. When deciding on how to handle this please consider the quality of work and future warranty claims if any. Will their 3rd party repair center warranty and back up the work they perform. How often has the 3rd party repair center worked on BMW's? What happens if your not happy with their work? Them putting a dent in your car is headache enough, not to mention the time lost from your schedule having to deal with this and getting a rental car. This incident has inconvenienced you enough. Personally I wouldn't be concerned with how much it's going to cost them. I'd be more concerned with having my car repaired properly regardless of the cost. I would need it repaired properly from a facility that backs up their repair work with warranty.
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      04-21-2015, 12:26 AM   #3
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No way would I accept what they are offering. Call or visit your BMW dealer and ask for a list of BMW-approved body shops in your area. Get a repair estimate from one of them, and present it to the garage. If they balk, then get the name of their insurance company and file a claim directly with the insurance company. Sometimes people puff up their chest and try to intimidate you, and it can reduce a lot of hassle if you can simply get it out of the hands of the wrongdoer and into the hands of the insurance company.

If the garage (or their insurance company) starts jerking you around, then go to two or three of the aforementioned BMW-approved body shops, get repair estimates, and take the garage to small-claims court (assuming the cost of repairs is below the small-claims dollar limit in your state - its $10k here in CA). In California, you are entitled to take the car to any reputable body shop that is competent to do the particular work on the car in question and whose bid is not outrageously different from the others. I would not be surprised if the law is the same in NY.

BTW, if you really want to be thorough, you are usually entitled to the loss-of-use value while the car is being fixed at the body shop (i.e., the cost to rent a car while your car is being fixed), and insurance companies usually pay that out without too much difficulty. Technically, you also are entitled to the decrease in value of your car as a result of the car now being a "previously-damaged car." Proving the latter can be a headache, though.

Good luck! And remember - you are the victim here, not the garage.

Last edited by JimM6GC; 04-21-2015 at 12:42 AM.
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      04-21-2015, 10:38 AM   #4
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In my personal experience, the best route that I saw was to settle cash with the garage owners.

I know that option to go through their insurance, I am sure that that insurance company will take you to their preferred auto body and the BMW-approved shop you are wishing for would be the last on the list or even not an option because of price difference.

To give you an idea, an approved BMW auto body quoted $5,000 to replace the headlight, repaint bumper, and fenders. On the other independent reputable shop cost $350.00 to buff out headlight, repaint and repair part of the bumper, repair and repaint fenders.

Also a big benefit of paying out-of-pocket is that it would not show on CarFax or other records, affecting your resale value...
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      04-25-2015, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyBMW
My garage has bumped the front of my car, and it looks like its not easily repairable.

What is my best course of action to deal with this and protect myself?

The garage is pushing me to have their 3rd party guy order the parts, repaint, and fix it at no cost. My concern is that I cannot control the quality of their work at that point.

What are the options for this scenario? I understand they're trying to minimize their cost to repair my car, which concerns me. Should I deal with this directly with BMW? Find a reputable repair myself and try to invoice?

Anyone have experience with this?

For reference, this is a 2011 BMW X5M

Go through your insurance. That is what it is for. Your contract says you must report all damage claims. Failure to report could undermine your ability to get relief if it turns out you have hidden damage.
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      04-26-2015, 03:41 AM   #6
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NYC garages always park by feel. This happens so frequently they contract a touch up guy to come every week. Don't accept this, the paint will be cheap / thin. File a police report (maybe overkill especially for NYC) but call your insurance and get the garage's insurance info. Let your insurance company deal with it. Realistically you'll repair first out of pocket and your insurance will fight for the full reimbursement.

The garage may cover by letting you deal with their insurance but usually the insurance company will drag it out for months. Whichever body shop you choose will be too expensive for them so it'll be endless back and forth. Getting your insurance company involved expedites this. The only downside to this is your car officially has damage reported. And fwiw, not sure about NY but NJ law dictates you are allowed to choose the repair shop. If the estimate comes out too high, the body shop owner and adjuster will work it out; it's not your problem.

Best case scenario you get a quote from your body shop and the garage agrees to cover with cash, no insurance involved. You get a check FIRST before getting it fixed. Good luck, I hate NYC garages. I'd rather street park in a safe area / spot, cover my front and rear bumpers, and sub it from there.
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Last edited by 3002 tii; 04-26-2015 at 03:46 AM.
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      04-26-2015, 03:48 AM   #7
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By the way that damage looks a bit much for a simple parking incident. I wonder if these dbags did some joy riding or pushed the car hard within the small confines of the garage. Probably wasn't used to the throttle response on your M.
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      04-26-2015, 03:55 AM   #8
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Lodge the claim with your insurance company and advise them BMW will be repairing your car after receiving approval to carry out repairs. Let your insurance company deal with the other party then you will have no need to deal with the garage owners. Their should be no costs for you at all.
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      04-26-2015, 05:12 AM   #9
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Why I hate NY and live in TX. Sell car and use subway, sorry I can't be of more help.
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