Wednesday, 18 December 2013 23:57

San Antonio Repairer Tells TV News He’s Blowing the Whistle on Insurance Companies Pressuring Shops to Use Substandard Parts

A San Antonio collision repair shop owner says he is blowing the whistle on car insurance companies and was interviewed by Local News Reporter Emily Baucum of News 4. The news report was broadcast on Nov. 28.

Dale Tabaka says insurance companies are pressuring body shops to use parts from junkyards to fix the most important parts of your car—the steering and suspension.

Tabaka says the way a major insurance company wants to fix an elderly woman’s car is just plain irresponsible.

Inside Dale’s Collision Repair, there’s a baby blue Chevy Cruze that was rear-ended a few months ago. “This car is owned by a little old lady who could literally be your mother or your grandmother,” Tabaka says. He says she’s insured by the number-one company. The company will pay for a new axle—but as [News 4 reported], not all axles are created equal.

“We not only want to fix it right,” Tabaka says. “We want to fix it according to industry standards.” He showed News 4 a brand-new part from the factory that meets those standards. “This part is approximately $1,100,” Tabaka says. But for half the price, the insurance company wants him to use a rusted part it got from a salvage yard, he said.

“One of these ears on the axle is bent in,” Tabaka showed News 4. He said he can’t guarantee that when the car’s on the highway, the rusted axle won’t break and put lives in danger. “I’ve had cases where other shops have called me and said, ‘Hey, I put this junkyard part on the way the insurance company wanted us to, and as we were driving, the hub bearing froze up,’ ” Tabaka said. So he told the insurance company he’ll use their junkyard axle, but only if he can replace all the moveable parts so it meets industry standards. “They turned a blind eye,” Tabaka says. “They said they don’t recognize those standards.”

“The shocking truth is,” said the news report, “most car policies allow the insurance company to use whatever part they want.”

“Pretty much all the insurance companies are doing it,” Tabaka says. “And what scares me is, the average consumer has no knowledge of it.” He’s fed up, and becoming an advocate for customers like the elderly woman who owns the Chevy.  “At the beginning of the month I actually put her in a rental car on my own dime,” Tabaka says. He’s going to bat with her insurance company and educating drivers, one car at a time.

Read More and see the interview at: http://www.news4sanantonio.com/ news/features/top-stories/stories/collision-repairman-blows-whistle-junkyard-repairs-6133.shtml. See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-BezBiei2Y&feature=youtube

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