How Safe Is Your Rental Car After Dropping Your Car For Auto Body Repairs?

Fatal crash in a rental car with an open recall leads to new car rental repair law

So you have been in a car accident, one that rendered your car fixable, but undrivable for a while. You drop you car off at your local Tucson area auto body shop, pick up your rental car and you get back to putting your life back in order post-accident.

But what if that rental car was not as safe as your car that you just dropped off back at the body shop? Or worse yet, what if it had an un-repaired recall notice that was threat to your safety? How would you even know before motoring off? That’s just it; we take this stuff for granted. But not any more, thanks to a new law that was just passed and here is the story of how it came to be.

Sisters Racheal and Jacqueline Houck had a five-hour drive from their mother’s house in northern California. They wanted to see some friends along the way, and Raechel had to work that evening, so the sisters hugged their family and drove off in their rental car, a PT Cruiser.

Midway into the drive north, the PT Cruiser swerved off Highway 101 near Bradley north of Paso Robles and crossed the grass median. It hit a southbound 18-wheeler and burst into flames. The Houck sisters were killed.

The odyssey that began in 2004 with a mother’s grief ended this month as the names Raechel and Jacqueline Houck became part of federal law.

Lawyers for Enterprise, the company that rented the vehicle, blamed Raechel’s driving and at one point implied that she had committed suicide.

The Houck parents found a recall order had been issued a month before the crash for a faulty power steering hose that could cause a fire and lead to loss of steering.

No laws on the books

Enterprise had rented out the very same PT cruiser that the Houck sisters died in three other times that month. There was nothing legally prohibiting Enterprise or any other rental company from renting out a car with open recall notices, or requiring the companies to tell consumers about the car’s recall status.

“I lost my girls because of corporate malfeasance,” Houck, an attorney, said in an interview. “This wasn’t an accident, it was a crash, but it could have been reasonably avoided had a law been in effect that required a rental car company to fix a car before renting it out.”

The family took Enterprise to court, wrangling with the rental company over delays and extensions before the case was scheduled for trial. Testimony prepared for the trial revealed it was Enterprise’s policy to routinely rent recalled vehicles to the public without repairs.

“(A)t the corporate level, their philosophy was that, ‘If all you have are recalled vehicles on the lot, you rent them out,’ ” Mark Matias, a former area manager for Enterprise of San Francisco, said in court documents. “It was a given. The whole company did it.”

Prior to this new law’s passing, rental cars weren’t covered by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s federal regulations.

When Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., filed the first version of the Houck Act in 2011, with California’s Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein on board, rental companies balked.

The bill never had a hearing. Members filed it again in 2012, and the next year, and on and on, inching closer, gaining allies and converting opponents.

In May 2013, the legislation finally got a hearing. Houck testified. “Nobody should have to endure the loss of a loved one because a rental car company didn’t bother to get an unsafe, recalled car repaired,” she said. “This is simple to fix. This is doable now.”

At the hearing, officials with the National Automobile Dealers Association and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said they had concerns the bill was too broad and would harm small auto dealers who only loan out a handful of vehicles.

No agreement was reached that year.

But in 2014, after facing legal trouble over massive recalls due to a faulty ignition switch, GM joined the effort. Honda followed suit this summer amid a recall over Takata airbags.

Facing Backlash

The National Automobile Dealers Association argued dealers would suffer because recalls can take months to occur and can sometimes be ordered for not immediately pressing safety issues. The group said in a statement at the time that the ban would affect how much consumers received for trade-ins because dealers would have to weigh the costs of a vehicle possibly sitting in the lot for months.

When the highway bill reached the House floor, Republican Rep. Roger Williams, who owns a car dealership in his home state of Texas, added an amendment to exempt car dealers’ rental or loaner car fleets.

“Vehicles would be grounded for weeks or months for such minor compliance matters as an airbag warning sticker that might peel off the sun visor or an incorrect phone number printed in the owner’s manual,” he said when introducing the amendment.

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association agreed, and said in a statement that the measure without the amendment “could cripple them or put them out of business entirely.”

House and Senate leaders reached a compromise to exempt only dealers that rent or loan out fewer than 35 cars. Capps and Boxer each said removing the exemption in future law is a priority. Houck said she will keep fighting.

House and Senate leaders reached a compromise to exempt only dealers that rent or loan out fewer than 35 cars.

There were a lot of tears when Houck visited Boxer and the other members on Capitol Hill, and the senator gave Houck a signed copy of the legislation bearing her daughters’ names.

So the next time you rent a car, whether it be for pleasure, travel or as a replacement vehicle that is in the body shop, you can be confident knowing that thanks to the Houck law, your car will be safe and defect free.

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Can Your Body Shop Re-Evaluate Your Vehicle So It Is Not Declared Total Loss?

How To Re-Evaluate Perceived “Low” Valued Vehicles
After a car accident, and depending on the severity, most car owners have just one question on their mind: Will my car get totaled. We have written numerous articles on this subject and we have discussed the fact that many people are not ready to replace their cars when they are declared a total loss. Sometimes that comes about if the car is worth significantly less than the owner has on the loan. Resulting in a negative equity situation. Determining the value of a vehicle after a collision can often be a complicated and controversial process, especially when the car owner and insurance company disagree over the perceived value.
Auto Body shops can assist customers in providing specialized automotive valuation services including total loss evaluation reports; body shop estimates and evaluations, diminished value assessment and fair market value reports.
The deciding factor in the decision whether a vehicle gets repaired or junked is its value relative to the estimate to fix it. When the insurance companies provide their insureds and body shops with inaccurate market vehicle value reports with below market values, everyone loses. When the wrong vehicle value is used as a bench mark as the deciding factor as to the collision repair, more times than not the vehicle is deemed a total loss and the body shop loses the job and the customer, and the customer looses a car that could have been safely repaired.
Over the last 40 years, O’Rielly Collision Centers has often negotiated with insurance companies to receive higher amounts for vehicles that were originally deemed totaled for our customers First, O’Rielly Collision Centers reviews the market valuation report given to our customer by the insurance company in reference to the value of the damaged car. Next we use CARFAX, N.A.D.A., Kelley Blue Book and Manheim values to help determine the value of the car. Then we conduct a thorough market valuation analysis to determine if the insurance company has issued a fair market value on the car.
Often the insurance companies first evaluation comes in about 15-20% lower than true market value. Once you look at the proper value of the car then the insurance company sees that it doesn’t meet the threshold to total the car out. Either the body shops end up repairing the car at that point or the customer gets a more favorable settlement.
Take for example the recent customer who was an owner of a 2012 Honda Accord that was involved in a multiple car crash due to the fault of another driver. The insurance valuation report suggested that the replacement value for the vehicle was $17,500. After a detailed analysis, it was found that no compensation was given for DMV fees, sales tax and other applicable fees. In addition, he said each comparable had a deduction for what was called “comparable vehicle adjustment.” These additions brought his recommended value of the vehicle from $17,500 to $21,900. Eventually, the insurer awarded the vehicle owner $20,785.25.
In some states, insurance policies include an appraisal clause that allows a third-party appraiser to be hired if the consumer and insurance company cannot agree on the amount of the settlement after a collision. Appraisal mistakes often come about when a car’s condition, special features, or value on the local market are overlooked when insurance companies calculate their settlement offer.
The second opinion process usually takes two weeks.
Sometimes Insurance companies go ahead and fix the car once it is proven that the fair market value they used was wrong.
out that should never have totaled.”
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esc control systems

Your car’s crash avoidance technologies need maintenance too!


Your car’s crash avoidance technologies need maintenance too!


Chances are that your car has some type of computer controlled crash avoidance technology onboard. Even if you car is older, (the national average is now 10.4 years) , these ststemsare designed to operate with a freshly built vehicle and get less effective the more the vehicle and its parts age and wear out.


Current Estimates show that 60% of all vehicles in service bays are four to 12 years old, and within that age range there are literally millions of ESC-equipped vehicles.


What are crash avoidance sytems in your car?

ESC- Electronic Stability control. One of the most significant automotive advances in the last decade and a half has been Electonic stability control. Often referred to as the seatbelt of the 21st century, ESC is an onboard electronic system that helps prevent spinouts and rollovers. You know that little button that usually says ESC on your dash and when you push it it sows a car in a skid? That is your ESC controller and for most people it is always in the “on” mode.


It is a proven statistic that most car accidents involving the loss of control of the vehicle, occur when the vehicle is driven beyond its traction limits, such as during oversteer or understeer conditions or driving too fast for conditions. The ESC system uses sensors in the drive train and in the steering wheel to calculate how fast you are turning into or out of a turn. When the vehicle is rolling or leaning too far or when the tires begin to lose traction the ESC will instantly reduce engine speed and apply one of the individual wheel brakes in just the right amount to maintain vehicle control. The ESC system utilizes several ride control components to keep the vehicle under control. And its operation is seamless. Electronic stability control isn’t new; it has been standard equipment on millions of vehicles dating back to the mid-1990s.


What most car owners do not realize however is that the overall performance of ESC is dependent on the condition of the car’s suspension components. Replacing worn shocks and struts can improve steering, stopping, and stability on all vehicles – whether ESC-equipped or not. And each of those three characteristics can have a significant effect on the safety of the driver and his or her passengers. In order for the crash avoidance sensors to do their job properly, they have to depend on the firmness and integrity of the suspension components. A loose suspension could send the wrong signals to the electric controller and in extreme cases, could even harm activate the system when it is not needed.


Car owners need to be made aware of the fact that the effectiveness of ESC is limited by the ability of the tires and the vehicle’s suspension. If the tires can’t grip the road, then it’s just like driving on ice, and therefore it’s important to have good tires and ride control components that aren’t worn.


ESC has been very instrumental in lowering traffic fatalities. There was a 5% reduction in fatalities during a five-year period up to 2011, which is directly attributable to the Crash avoidance system technologies. But in 2012, the number of deaths or injuries increased by about 3.3%.


There have been a number of research projects identifying the impact of degraded ride control on handling and stopping. While most consumers consider the function of ride control is to keep their vehicle smooth-riding, its real function is to keep the tires in contact with the road. When ride control begins to fail, tires begin to lose traction under turning and braking, possibly compromising safety.


Statistics show that vehicles 4 to 8-years-old are the most likely to be involved in an accident and vehicle accident fatalities are on the rise. At Orielly Collision Centers in Tucson Arizona, we can perform the repairs to the exterior of your vehicle after a crash, and we can mae the proper repairs to your computer systems such as ESC, to help keep you out of more accidents. However it is up to you to service your vehicle properly, and do not skip on the repairs that just could end up saving your life.


Have a car that needs suspension work? Click the button below for a free estimate.


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The serious and potentially life threatening business of auto body repair

The serious business of auto body repair

Last week, the auto repair business was handed a wake-up call of seismic proportions and has highlighted an issue that all consumers fear: A poor repair leading to a fatality.
When we drop our cars and trucks off to be repaired, we put our complete faith in the company and the technician who is performing the work. For most of us, there is no way to double check and see if the job was done right, so we simply motor off and never give our safety a second thought. However there are instances where repairs are done wrong and tragedy can happen.
This all stems from an auto mechanic in Vermont who was charged with manslaughter last week after a car that he gave a passing state inspection grade, was involved in a fatality leading to the death of one of its occupants.
As can be expected, this particular case has a lot of twists and turns, and the case has not yet gone to trial. The vehicle in question was a 1992 Chevrolet Corsica with bad brakes and significant rusting of the rocker panels and the sub frames.
Out here in Tucson Arizona where O’Rielly Collision Centers is located, rust is not much of a safety issue as most vehicles in the area do not suffer from rust like they do in Vermont. In this case, the rust was a major contributing factor to the crash and the lack of integrity of the vehicle. The 23 years of vehicle age has a lot to do with it too. But the other contributing factor, and the reason this particular mechanic is facing 17 years in prison, is the part that could happen to any repair shop anywhere in the world. This technician passed the vehicle without actually inspecting it. In other words, he blindly looked the other way and this negligence led in some fashion to the death of another human being.
“This should be a wakeup call to the collision industry,” Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-New Jersey Executive Director Charles Bryant said about the Vermont case in a statement Monday. “It’s one thing if you allowed a bad job to get out of your shop and were sued – there’s insurance to cover things like that – but to go to jail for doing a careless job is a whole different story’.
As cars get more and more technically advanced in their construction, it is increasingly more important for the technician fixing your car to be properly trained and for that technician to study the repair plan written by the manufacturer specifically for your year make and model of vehicle.
Honda recently demonstrated this at the industry only tradeshow called NACE in 2015. First, Honda released a video of a totaled car that found its way back onto the street with a pretty appearance but with serious internal damage. Then at NACE Honda displayed two versions of a 2014 Acura MDX both of which had been run through a simulated Insurance Institute of Highway Safety small-overlap crash test.

The 2014model year Honda MDX was given “good” ratings in all IIHS safety tests and an “advanced” front crash protection rating with optional features for an overall Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS.
The front of the MDX is a mess, but the driver ‘s side door still opens fine, and Honda staff indicated it delivered the safe crash intended by the OEM.
The other 2014 MDX in the Honda booth involved an MDX, which had had received improper repairs to the passenger-side door ring. Honda mimicked the same bad repairs on the driver’s half of the car so the test could be conducted on an apples-to-apples basis.
This particular panel is made of Ultra High Strength Steel and must be installed as a complete part. No sectioning allowed. Ultra High Strength Steel requires special welding equipment, procedures, and settings.
On the improperly repaired MDX, The driver’s door doesn’t open, meaning you are likely to be trapped inside the vehicle after the crash, or worse. There was also significantly more damage to the body itself.
These two events, although unrelated to each other, drive home the fact that choosing the right shop to perform something as simple as a visual inspection, or as complex as a door ring sectioning require careful consideration and selection. Should you choose incorrectly, your life could be at risk.
At O’Rielly Collision Centers in Tucson Arizona, we employ only the best, factory certified technicians in the area. It does not matter what kind of car that you drive, our technicians are certified to fix it. We do not cut corners. As a dealership auto body repair shop, we are held to a higher standard.
Have some body work you need to have looked at? Click the button below for a free estimate.

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Free Tucson AZ HAil Damage Estimate

Six Common Hail Claim Questions And Answers For Tucson Arizona Drivers

Six most common Hail Claim Questions and answers for Tucson Arizona Drivers
This week, yet another hail storm made its way to Tucson sending drivers and car owners out to the body shops and insurance companies for repairs.
With a weather event such as this, customer questions arise about the Hail damage repair process and the impact to your insurance. These are understandable questions. We at O’Rielly Collision Centers have assembled a guide that covers the most common Hail Damage Questions.
Live with the hail damage it or should you have it fixed?
Some car owners will decide to live with dings. Others file comprehensive insurance claims only to find out the cost of repair doesn’t reach the amount of their deductibles. For other drivers, the cost to repair the hail damage could actually exceed the value of the car, forcing the insurance company to total out the vehicle. Know this, many owners are afraid to report the damage because they might not be ready or in the financial position to purchase a replacement car even with the insurance settlement check.
Should you fix your car? Should you keep a hail-damaged car that’s been totaled? Will your rates rise?
Here are the most common questions we see about hail damage car insurance claims.
1. My car was damaged by hail. Am I covered?
You’re covered for hail damage only if you’ve purchased comprehensive insurance coverage, sometimes known as “other than collision,” which also covers such hazards as vandalism and theft.
If your insurance carries a deductible, you will have to pay your deductible amount.
For very Minor hail damage, we will often recommend to our customers that isn’t worth palcing a claim for the hail damage in instances where the repair costs do not exceed the deductible.
On the other hand, we have seen where Major hail damage can total a car if the car is older, has prior un-repaired damage or is a low value replacement cost.
2. If I can just live with some dings; do I have to fix my car?
If you own your car outright, the choice to repair the hail-damaged car is yours. Many people keep and spend the insurance company check. But keep in mind, that if you are involved in an accident and that same area is damaged, the pre-existing un repaired hail damage would be deducted from any settlement.
If you still owe money on the car, yes, you probably will have to fix your car. This is because any settlement check will arrive made out to both you and your lien holder, which will want the value of the asset it still owns protected. Your Lien holder or bank will often require that you have the car fixed or it will not release the funds. Most times, they will only release the funds directly to our shop if we are repairing the damage.
3. Will a hail claim increase my insurance premiums?
This is a big question and also a tricky one to answer. A lot of this will depend upon Arizona state Insurance laws, combined with your insurance carrier’s ratings system. Generally speaking though, comprehensive claims of this nature don’t affect your rates.
Claims for damages caused by natural events typically are not held against you, since they are unforeseeable and out of your control. But you should check with your insurer to be certain.
Here is the rub though; keep in mind that even if your rates can’t be raised due to a hail claim, the number of claims placed against your policy can affect your rates. If you have recently placed other claims, the total amount of claims made could cause you to be seen as a higher risk, and thus you’ll pay more.
4. Will hail damage affect the title of the car?
We get this question from people who are concerned about having a “salvage” title. This happens a lot for people who own RV’s Campers and trailers that can be purchased back from the insurance company and repaired or even left alone, however they will forever carry a “salvage” title. These types of title make it nearly impossible to ever sell the vehicle and transfer ownership as the buyer will not be able to register the vehicle for use on a public street. Hail damage will be noted on your car’s title only if the following are both true:
• The insurance company has declared it a total loss.
• Your state allows hail damage as the sole reason for a salvage title.
Many states have a “hail” designation to distinguish hail-totaled cars from wrecked or flooded ones. Arizona however, simply mark the title as “salvage.”
If the car is not declared salvage, the title is still clean. The damage may show up on electronic notification systems such as Carfax, though.
5. What happens if I decided to keep the hail-totaled car?
If your car is declared totaled because of a hail claim and you intend to keep driving it, ask your insurance company to buy the car for its salvage value. If your car was worth $12,000 before the hailstorm and your insurance company places its salvage value at $7,000, it will send you a check for the difference — minus your deductible, of course.
In the State of Arizona, you can buy a slavage titled vehicle, repair it and apply for a salvage repaired title. If you plan on selling the car in the future, you must disclose the prior hail damage Yes. Per Arizona Revised Statutes 28-2091-I the seller must tell the buyer that they are purchasing a salvage vehicle. Make sure that when you do buy a salvage vehicle that you get to keep the proof of ownership of replacement component parts used in the repair or restoration. You will also need an inspection before the car is allowed back on the road.
A car with a branded title is difficult to insure for comprehensive and collision coverages because its value is difficult to determine.
6. Does gap insurance cover the loss in my car’s value?
When people ask this question, they are asking if the GAP insurance they purchased will cover the loss in value of their car versus an identical one with no hail damage. The general theory is that when comparing two identical vehicles, the one with hail repair damage or accident damage will be worth less than the other vehicle with no such history. The answer to the question is no, Gap insurance will not cover the diminished resale value of your car. Gap insurance pays only in cases where a car is totaled and it pays only the difference between what is owed on the car and what it was worth before it was damaged, minus any deductible.

PDR can solve a lot of these problems!
When people consider that an accident or hail damage repaired vehicle is worth less than an un-repaired vehicle, they are factoring in body work and repainting. It is a myth that a repainted car will not hold up as well or look as good as one with factory paint. For those who still believe this myth, most hail damage can be repaired with a technique called paintless dent repair. O’Rielly Collision Centers has our own PDR team and we can even offer free loaner cars while your car is in the shop.

Have some hail damage and need a free loaner? Click the button below for our special Hail Damage offer.

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Length of Rental times

How can Length Of Rental trends affect your auto body repair experience?

In the auto body repair industry, there is a key metric that is tracked by insurance companies. It is called Length of Rental or LOR. LOR is considered from the day a rental ticket opens through the day it closes. It’s important to note that when we talk about LOR, were talking strictly about the bill days.
In addition to focusing on auto body shops who can repair cars correctly, they also focus on auto body shops that can repair cars quickly. Auto body repair shops with short length of rental times are an indication of a well run and highly efficient body shop. Selecting a body shop with consistently low LOR’s is a win for the car owner who is not without their car for long periods of time, and it is a win for the insurance company that is often paying for the car rental bill.
When does an auto body repair start?
There is a gray area when it comes to tracking a repair time. It is up to interpretation when a repair actually “starts”. Is it the day the customer gives them the key? Or is it considered the day vehicle enters production? With the LOR metric, it is a way of comparing apples to apples:
What are the current trends in LOR?
For the first time, an increase in average LOR times was reported in Q1 2015. Despite the fact that we have seen a reduction in the number of repairable cars that are then spread among the same roughly 34,000 auto body repair shops throughout the USA, one would expect the additional capacity to manifest itself in quicker repair times and, therefore, shorter Length of Rental rates. But that trend has not happened. Perhaps the lack of LOR reductions could be contributed to weather-related events or even the advanced, but harder to repair technology needed to fix modern day cars, or even some of the newer exotic metals and materials used in production, LOR hasn’t really changed that much in over two years.
All modern body shops today are operating with an eye for auto body repair efficiencies. Auto Body shops want to return your car back to you just as fast as want it. Even though the auto body repair industry is aware of the need for repair efficiencies, the LOR has not decreased as much as it should have by now.

How can LOR determine how fast you can get your car repaired?
The capacity of the auto body repair shop that is the number of cars they can repair in a single day is a major factor of LOR. Backlogs can and do occur, often caused by parts delays or construction differences in the car’s construction materials. Insurance companies also have an impact on LOR and repair times. If the insurance adjusters are not coming out to the body shop fast enough, the shop could be waiting on approvals to go to the next phase.
You brand of car can affect LOR times. High-end imported automobiles take longer to repair due in part to the time it takes to get parts, and even the level of technician training and certifications.
Speaking of Certifications, I-CAR recently released a study that showed that I-CAR Gold Class shops performed auto body repairs 1.3 days faster than the rest of the shops in any given market.
What do car owners need to understand about LOR?
The average auto body repair consumer can use this performance indicator as a measuring tool when selecting auto body shops. When calling around to get estimates, Inquire about LOR times and compare apples to apples. Be sure to check certifications of the technicians, and ask about the parts turn around times for your car. All of these factors will alter the time frame that you can get your car back, and repaired correctly.

Have some auto body repair work you need on your car in Tucson or Green Valley AZ? Click here for a free estimate.

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IIHS 2015 F150 test

Will it cost more to repair my aluminum auto body at O’Rielly Collision Centers?

Will it cost more to repair my aluminum auto body at O’Rielly Collision Centers?

More debate about aluminum auto body repair surfaced this week. Ford has revolutionized the auto industry by introducing the first mass produced all aluminum vehicle- the new 2015 Ford F-150. Prior to this vehicle, the use of aluminum in mass production has been relegated to high dollar super cars or singular body panels such as the Ford Mustang hood from two models ago.

2015 Aluminum F-150

The news piece from this week has to do with new claims from the IIHS, an independent testing facility funded solely by the Insurance industry. In fact, IIHS stands for the Insurance Institute for Highway safety. The IIHS is one of two groups who do crash testing on new cars and trucks. The NHTSA is the second body and is a government agency. What makes the IIHS different is the fact that they are independent, funded by and for the Insurance industry, and they perform more rigorous testing of new cars and trucks than the NHTSA does.

Yesterday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that the aluminum crew cab 2015 Ford-F150 had earned a Top Safety Pick Rating. Even more noteworthy is that the new F-150 was found to be safer than the 2014 steel version. The significance here is proof that not only is Aluminum a viable option for the manufacture of future cars and trucks but it is also potentially a safer option. While the F-150 is the first test bed on this material in mass production, you can be sure that cars in the next 2-5 years will begin to switch over to Aluminum as it is lighter, stronger and allows manufacturers to meet easily the increasingly stricter federal miles per gallon regulations.
If the car you are driving now is not made of aluminum, the chances are very high, that you next car will be.

Where this impacts you, the consumer, is in the repair costs of aluminum cars. This is also where the fear of switching to this material comes from, and the finger pointing is based. It is assumed that the cost to repair aluminum will be significantly more than repairing steel. In fact, there have been two noteworthy tests of this theory, and this new IIHS report is the second of those tests.

In crash testing the new 2015 Ford F-150, the IIHS has come to the conclusion that the new truck had both “more extensive damage” and higher repair prices in both 10 mph front and rear collisions when compared to the same test in n all steel 2014 F-150.

To perform this test, the IIHS crashed the driver’s side front corner of the 2015 F-150 into the rear passenger’s side corner of the 2014 F-150 at a 15 percent overlap, and then flipped the equation and performed the same test by crashing the 2014 Ford F-150 into the 2015’s rear passenger-side test.

According to the IIHS, in their findings, in both scenarios, the aluminum F-150 had more extensive damage than the steel model. Additionally in their findings the costs were proportionally higher to repair than steel as well.

To back up these claims, the two trucks were both repaired at a shop certified to fix aluminum F-150s. The bill came out to $4,147 for the front damage on the aluminum vehicle, compared to $3,759 for the steel. The rear of the aluminum truck ended up costing $4,738 to fix versus the steel model’s $3,275 repair bill.

“From a simple bolt-on parts replacement to a more-involved removal and installation of entire body panels, fixing the aluminum F-150 is more expensive than repairing a steel-body F-150,” IIHS chief research officer David Zuby said in a statement.

Despite this claim from the IIHS, Ford disagrees and said they disagree with the reparability costs and findings by IIHS. Ford points to real-world repair costs for the 2015 F-150 so far to date that are comparable to or less than other full-size pickups (not just Ford trucks) and on average are $869 more affordable to repair than last year’s F-150 – not the higher numbers released after crash stunts orchestrated by IIHS and others. Assured Performance, an independent body shop certification company that works with leading automakers is also tracking these repair costs.

Insurance companies agree with Ford’s claims that the new F-150’s repair costs saying that insurance costs for the new F-150 will remain comparable with 2014 models. This is backed by data from Allstate and State Farm, two of America’s largest insurers of cars and trucks. Consumer Reports analysis also shows that the aluminum parts on the F-150 cost about the same as steel parts on last year’s truck and because the new F-150 is designed to make replacing components easier, in many cases labor charges may be lower.

So will the new F-150 (or any future aluminum bodied automobiles) cost more to fix than their steel versions at O’Rielly Collision center? The answer is our repairs costs will fall in line with the findings of State Farm, Allstate, and Ford. As a GM certified auto body repair shop, we are held to a higher standard, and exotic material repair, will cost the same as traditional steel repairs, and the same goes for the parts pricing.

Do you have some auto body repair you need fixed? Click the button below to get your free repair quote.

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Hail damaged car tucson

How much to fix hail damage on my car in Tucson AZ

How much to fix hail damage on my car in Tucson AZ
Its every car owner’s worst nightmare to get their car totaled. Unless you are driving a junker, chances are that you were not preparing to buy a new or used car. That is, until Tucson got hit with an abnormally intense weather system, one that sent baseball-sized hail hurtling to the ground.
As can be expected, we got a ton of calls about repairing hail damaged cars in Tucson since then.
Our response was to add Paintless dent repair team to the roster at O’Rielly Collision Centers in Tucson Arizona to handle all of the claims.
How do Tucson Auto body shops fix hail damage?
In most cases the replaceable body parts will be swapped out for new or used ones and painted to match. This is for parts like hoods, fenders and doors and is only true for the severely damaged parts. Roofs and minor dents will likely be removed via a method called Paintless Dent Removal or PDR. If the windshields are cracked damaged or broken they will be replaced.
If the roof was damaged severely the metal might be too stretched to properly repair through paintless dent removal. In most cases, depending on the age and value of the car, if it cannot be repaired through PRD, then it is going to get totaled.
Did hail damage any of your lights or glass?
If your headlights, taillights, windshield, or other windows were damaged, these elements will need to be replaced or repaired, which will add slightly extra to your cost. Estimate upwards of $500.
How deep is your hail damage?
At our body shop, our master auto body technicians are trained in a technique called Paintless Dent Repair (also known as Paintless Dent Removal), which allows us to repair shallow dents without having to replace an entire panel. This technique can save you a significant amount of money, because it eliminates the need for extra parts, labor, and paint. When you first bring your car to us, we can take a thorough look at all your car’s areas of hail damage and determine which dents, if not all, can be repaired using this professional method. Unfortunately, if your dents are too deep, we will likely need to employ other methods of repairing your damage. PDR can cost anywhere from $99 to $250 per dent, but is a safe alternative to having to fix and repaint the whole car.
Is there paint damage?
Hail damage can typically be fixed with Paintless dent repair because the paint is not usually damaged, unlike most collision repair work where paint is part of the repair. However there are freak storms out there which can actually lead to paint loss, especially if the car was already suffering from other paint issues such as peeling clear coat. If we do not have to paint your car, then that is a bonus to you. But if we do need to add some paintwork, you can figure on a few extra repair days and about $800- $1,500 worth of paint work.
How many areas are damaged?
Hailstorms can be very peculiar. The damage they leave behind is always quite extensive but we find with some cars and trucks that only certain areas are affected. Perhaps your car was parked under an awning or under a tree. You might only have dents in your hood. Or sometimes when people are driving through hailstorms on the windshield sustains any damage. Some cars are made with thicker steel and are strong enough to withstand a hailstone. The price you will have to pay will come down to three factors- Square footage of the damage which will then begin to add up the time and materials to fix it exponentially.
Does your car have existing damage?
One important thing to note is that your claim will only cover damage caused by the hailstorm. If you had prior damage, that will need to be fixed as well because no quality auto body shop will fix a car or repaint one over existing damage without fixing it first. This affects not only the body shop’s reputation, but also our ability to warranty the work that we do.
Want a quote to fix your car’s hail damage? Click below for a free estimate:

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wahsing new auto body paint Tucson AZ

How Soon Can I Wash or Wax My New Paint After Auto Body Work in Arizona?

Caring For Your New Paint- A time line

At O’Rielly Collision Centers in Tucson Arizona, we paint cars all day everyday. Every single day a customer picks up their car with brand new paint work on it, and the car looks as good as if not better than new. We also detail each car inside and out after repair. Because the car is so clean and shiny, most owners get a renewed sense of enthusiasm for keeping their cars in showroom condition.

Especially with the harsh sun damage that Cars in Tucson are subjected to, most f our customers want to wax their new paint work right away to keep it looking good. While wax does definitely protect your paint, applying it to early can actually do more harm than good.

FIRST TWO WEEKS after repainting

Your car will be returned to you completely clean, but we wash the non-repaired areas and try to keep water and soap off the areas that were painted. We recommend that you do the same for the first two weeks although this is merely a guideline and not a hard rule. If your vehicle is dirty enough to annoy you during the first couple of weeks then wash it following the guidelines below.

FIRST TWO MONTHS after repainting

When your car is new, the finish is baked on at the factory. When you buy a brand new car, even if you live near the assembly plant, it is ok to wash and wax your new car right away. With auto body repair shops like ours, we can bake the new finish onto your car, but most booths are not equipped to bake the finish on your car the same way it is at the factory. The reason is, when your car is painted and baked at the factory, it is merely a bare body shell. When we are repairing your car, it is a fully assembled car. Baking the repaired paint to the same degree and duration as the factory, could harm engine components, rubber seals, the interior panels and even shatter the glass.

Wo when you pick your car up from O’Rielly Collision centers, we highly recommend to our customers that they do not wax their new new paint for about 60 days to give the finish time to cure fully. Unlike the wash rule above, the don’t wax rule is a hard rule for keeping your finish in new condition for a long time. Give the new paint plenty of time to vent fully the solvents and fully cure the resins.

WASHING your new auto body paint

When you do wash your car, try to wash the vehicle in the shade only – Never in the sun. When finished washing, do not dry wipe the vehicle. Always use cool clean water with automotive soap. Dry wiping can cause scratching. Use plenty of water first, and then wipe with a clean, wet, cotton cloth or sponge to wash off dirt. Be sure to keep the surface wet to prevent scratching.

WAXING your new auto body paint

When it comes time to wax finally your new paint, always use a quality wax approved for automotive paint. Avoid the use of silicone-containing or super polymer containing waxes or polishes. Silicon-based wax penetrates all layers of paint. Today’s finishes do not need such extreme protection. Removal of such waxes is very time-consuming and makes touchups difficult.

It’s important to keep your paint waxed, as this helps to protect the finish from minor scratches. Most waxes incorporate UV inhibitors also, which helps to protect your paint from the harsh Tucson Arizona sun.
brand new auto body paint Tucson AZ

SCRATCHES in your new auto body paint

Unless you keep your car protected in a garage and never drive it, your car will get some more damages, some of which can happen to the newly painted areas. While it may make you cringe if you see them, the good news is, minor scratches can be buffed out of your clear coat. Feel free to take your car back to O’Riely Collision Centers to have this done before attempting to do it yourself.

When done properly, a scratch will completely disappear, and cannot be seen or felt after buffing. A good rule of thumb is if you can catch the scratch with your fingernail it probably can’t be buffed. In other cases, it may be possible to wet sand the paint and then buff.

BIRD DROPPINGS on your new auto body paint

Bird droppings can be very toxic to your cars paint, especially brand new paint. You need to remove them immediately. If the dropping is still wet and fresh, you can simply wipe it off carefully with a little water and a very soft towel. However, if you found it dry and caked on, soak a paper towel with warm water and hold over the mess until it loosens and gets soft. Then taking a damp cloth, wipe it clean.


I’ve never understood why people think they can use household detergents and dish soap to was their car. They are very hazardous to your paint. Never, under any circumstances should you use a soap designed for cleaning dishes or clothes, or other areas of your house. These soaps can and will damage your paint over time. Always use a soap designed to wash a car’s surface.

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pay out of pocket for repairs

When does it make sense to pay for auto body repair out of pocket?

At O’Rielly Collision Centers here in Tucson Arizona, we get accident damaged cars into out body shop every day. The damages range from minor scrapes and hail damage, to obviously totaled cars.

Most of the time our customers simply file an insurance claim and get the repairs done. While that is certainly an option, there is another option for paying for auto body repairs, a term we call “self-pay” or “Out of Pocket” payments. Simply stated, the customer opts to pay for the repair instead of filling an insurance claim.

So when does it make sense to do a self-pay instead of an insurance claim? We explore the thought process below.

1. Consider your deductible.
In most cases, collision repair comes with a deductible payment. Each policy is different, but, generally speaking, most deductibles are in the $500- $1,000 range. The more you pay in deductible, the less your monthly insurance rate is, but you pay the price in the event of an accident.

First, check with the insurance company to verify what your deductible is. Compare this to the price of the repair. Let’s say for example that you did $970 worth of damage to your car. If you have a $1,000 deductible, then the answer is obvious- pay for the auto body repair out of pocket.

But what if you have a $500 deductible? Certainly you could get your car fixed for just $500, with the insurance company paying the remaining $470. However, a collision repair reported on your insurance is almost certain to raise your rates.

2. Factor in your potential Car Insurance rate increase
If your rates go up because you filed a claim, you could be paying that difference in the repair over a long period of time. If you live in am at-fault state, or even pick up a point on your driver’s license as a result of the accident (assuming you were cited for doing something illegal which caused the accident), you could be paying $300-$500 a year extra for three or more years. Most insurance companies count accidents against you in your rate for three to five years.  Allstate Insurance says just one point on your driving record could equate to a $400 increase in premiums.

3. Shop for discounts
Not all auto body repair shops have discounts and specials, but some do, and there is sometimes room for negotiation in a self-pay situation. When a repair is being performed and paid for by the insurance company, the repair, the shop rates, and the parts used are all influenced and sometimes dictated by the insurance company. But when you are dealing directly with your repair shop, and paying the whole repair bill, the shop might have more options available to them, and can get more creative in helping to fit your repair budget.
4. Consider the condition of the rest of the car
If your car is old, has other damages, or failing, rusty, or faded auto bodywork, the collision repair might not be worth the money. If the damage does not affect the safe operation of the car and is merely cosmetic, like say a large crease, or a big dent in the bumper corner, you might be able to live with the car as is, even though it is unsightly. There are no laws about the condition of your car, only the safety of its construction.

5. You are not at fault
Obviously, if your car was damaged and you are not at fault, the other insurance company should pay to repair your car to pre-accident condition. In this case, you should not be out any money and not even your deductible however certain situations can vary. If you are in an accident in a no-fault state, you might have to pay a deductible because the laws do not assign guilt or fault to an accident. Here again, consider striking a deal with your repair shop as a self-pay before you process a claim.

Have some auto body damage? Click the button below to get a free online estimate and let us discuss your payment options!

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