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Friday, 11 October 2019 15:16

TN Body Shops Handle Headaches Over Parts Shortage as GM Strike Persists

Written by Grace McKenna, WRCB-TV

About 49,000 General Motors (GM) workers were still on strike on Tuesday, Oct. 8, and negotiations were reportedly at a standstill.


The pause in production is causing headaches for local auto body shops.


"You know of course procurement is getting a little more difficult as we go along, having to lean a bit more on out of town dealers which are just larger dealers,” said Nathan Gayler of Padgett’s Red Bank Auto Repair, located in Chattanooga, TN.


One problem is that some GM cars come in needing more parts than originally thought.


"You can't see most damage when you're writing these estimates so you've got to get the panels off to know what's going on,” Gayler said.


That leads to delays when repairmen take a closer look.


"If you have a bumper that's messed up and you need a bracket that's back there, some of those things can be hard to get a hold of because we don't have the time,” he said.


But the main issue has been scheduling. Shops like Padgett’s are avoiding taking in cars with small damages. Insurance companies are even recommending their customers only bring their cars in for major repairs.


"If it is drive-able they're urging most people from their end, I believe, to stay in their cars if they can for now,” Gayler commented.


Gayler says as this strike continues, parts that are already scarce will become even harder to find.


We thank WRCB-TV for reprint permission.


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