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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - Southwest > FYI: This is what a "High End" Body shop's work looks like. (Picture Heavy)



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      01-05-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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FYI: This is what a "High End" Body shop's work looks like. (Picture Heavy)

I have been thinking long and hard about whether I wanted to post this, but after some recent events I thought some of you may want to see this. For now I am just posting this in the regional section, though I am considering cross-posting it to the main board. Not sure.

I won't/can't get into the full story, but here is a very brief overview for those who aren't aware:

Car had hail damage back in June. Total paid out by Allstate was over $15,000 for this car. My other car had around $16,000 in damage as well. The body shop had my car from July 17 - September 14 (that's a total of 8 weeks, 3 days). Original time estimate was 4 weeks. Nothing but excuse after excuse when I called for status updates. After a while the excuses turned into outright lies, and for a while there they stopped even returning my calls until the owner had to get involved. Owner is a nice enough guy. I'm a business owner myself, so I always try to be reasonable with people and give them the benefit of the doubt to an extent. The shop got in over their head and made too many promises that they had no intentions of keeping. In doing so they ended up cutting corners and giving me a car that was not even safe to drive off the lot.

The shop's "lifetime warranty" on workmanship looks great on paper, but when you bring major flaws to their attention their answer is to offer you a free detail and "a great deal" on any "additional" work you want to PAY them to do. So, here we are now. Didn't want to have to do this.

This is what Trade Secret did to my car.



No, the hood is not open -- this is how it was installed.


The hood latches are held on with electrical tape. The shop told me to "look around in my garage" to see if I could find a bolt that would hold them on. This is a huge safety concern, especially seeing as how they also did not install any hood shocks. The only thing holding the hood on the car is the safety catch.


I thought this was dried wax, but it is actually missing paint. There are other areas like this in several spots on the car.


They sanded all of the gel coating off of the carbon fiber hood and tried to paint the carbon fiber directly. After three (3) paint attempts, this is the best they could get it looking. Note that you can clearly see the carbon fiber weave pattern through the paint. This gets more visible if the car is in direct sunlight.


Thin paint and missing clear coat on the back of the shark fin.


When I got the car back I noticed that 2 of the doors were harder to close than I'd remembered. Turns out they were not installed straight. Notice the gap/offset on the rear driver side door. This is a brand new, OEM BMW door shell.


This is the inside of my driver door. Those aren't scuffs that will buff out. It looks like the door panel was laid on its back and skidded across the shop floor. These are deep scratches in the plastic that go all the way around the liner.


The sunroof is crooked. Notice the ~1/4" difference in height between the passenger side and driver side.


Driver side of the deck lid, vs:

Passenger side of the deck lid. I can fit my index finger in the gap on this side.


And this was one of a few plastic bags of random "extra parts" that they left in my backseat. Not very comforting to know that they had extra bolts left over.



* Yes, I realize my car is very dirty in these photos *
* Both the hood and the deck lid were test-fitted by me before bringing the car in, and they fit perfectly. All issues with fitment occurred while the car was in the shop's care.
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      01-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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Wow, sorry to see that. As someone who yesterday was dealing with complete incompetent fools, nowhere near as serious as yours issues though, I totally feel your pain.

What has been their response to your complaints?
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      01-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Tell them if they don't fix it you'll file in small claims for damages. I'm an attorney I'll give you the basics (although I won't represent you in it, I'll lay the landscape for you).

Tell them in no uncertain terms that this is unacceptable first though, and that they need to fix it. Lawsuit is final step.
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      01-05-2013, 08:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by M0.92
Wow, sorry to see that. As someone who yesterday was dealing with complete incompetent fools, nowhere near as serious as yours issues though, I totally feel your pain.

What has been their response to your complaints?
When I pointed out the flaws in the paint, they offered me a free detail (sorry, a "detail" is not going to fix missing paint). And they point blank told me there was nothing else they were willing or able to do about the paint on the hood. They also left out a few interior clips which they were supposed to order for me. 3.5 months later, after checking in on these 4 or 5 times, I have given up and will just get these myself from BMW (They are verified in stock. Not sure why Trade Secret wasn't able to get them to me).

I honestly do not want to give them another opportunity to fix any of the other issues unless I have no choice. The quality control here doesn't Foster much confidence in the idea that they wouldn't screw up further. I'm prepared to pay another shop out of pocket to fix it if it comes down to it.
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      01-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #5
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1. your car is not dirty, looks showroom compared to mine after the sleet we had.

2. OMG, they obviously dont have quality control. I would have been one pissed off customer. Makes me angry to see shops do half ass work, and just shrugg it off when the car leaves the shop.

you paying out of pocket for another shop to fix the sloppy seconds is crazy, I would do something, sorry to beat a dead horse
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      01-05-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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WOW! This is unacceptable!
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      01-05-2013, 10:33 PM   #7
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Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention: the clear coat they used must have either been extremely soft or they didn't paint it correctly, because I recently watched a brand new ultra-soft microfiber cloth scratch the clear coat. Jet Black is already hard enough to keep clean, but even with extremely careful detailing and washing the car is now covered in swirls (on a paint job that is less than 4 months old). I am afraid to put a buffer or polishing pad on it for fear that it will do more harm than good, especially on the hood.
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      01-05-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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Damn that's messed up! This is why I always do my research and since the insurance company is gonna pay, I will take it to a body shop with an excellent reputation. It never fails to ask for input especially here on the forum or the local community. I feel for you, I would not have the patients to wait that long in the first place.
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      01-05-2013, 11:00 PM   #9
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Damn that's messed up! This is why I always do my research and since the insurance company is gonna pay, I will take it to a body shop with an excellent reputation. It never fails to ask for input especially here on the forum or the local community. I feel for you, I would not have the patients to wait that long in the first place.
When I was looking for body shops this place had one of the best reputations in DFW. They have a parking lot full of R8s, Maseratis and Ferraris, along with contracts with most of those dealerships. We're not talking about Service King, here; if we were, I wouldn't have been shocked to see this outcome or level of quality.
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      01-05-2013, 11:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
When I was looking for body shops this place had one of the best reputations in DFW. They have a parking lot full of R8s, Maseratis and Ferraris, along with contracts with most of those dealerships. We're not talking about Service King, here; if we were, I wouldn't have been shocked to see this outcome or level of quality.
So basically they did not care about your car because with those types of cars in their shops, I would think nothing but the best work around from them as you did. I really feel for you on this situation, so what are your plans?
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      01-05-2013, 11:14 PM   #11
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So basically they did not care about your car because with those types of cars in their shops, I would think nothing but the best work around from them as you did. I really feel for you on this situation, so what are your plans?
Yeah, exactly. I've seen plenty of their other work, and they dropped the ball on this majorly. If I were them I would be embarrassed. As for my plans, my car will be fixed to my complete satisfaction whether they do it or another shop cleans up their mess. As much as I don't want to, I technically need to give them a final opportunity to make it right. Their attitude up to this point has been "out of sight, out of mind," which is partially what prompted this post to put them on blast. I've asked them politely to correct some of the issues and they have ignored me. Time for Plan B.
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      01-05-2013, 11:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
Yeah, exactly. I've seen plenty of their other work, and they dropped the ball on this majorly. If I were them I would be embarrassed. As for my plans, my car will be fixed to my complete satisfaction whether they do it or another shop cleans up their mess. As much as I don't want to, I technically need to give them a final opportunity to agree to make it right. From there I will pursue it as far as I need to. Their attitude up to this point has been "out of sight, out of mind," which is partially what prompted this post to put them on blast. I've asked them politely to correct some of the issues and they have ignored me. Time for Plan B.
Well I hope that everything works out for you, and if they don't agree to fix it, they are fools. Will the insurance company be able to interfere in this situations and make things right, like a mediator maybe? I mean, I know that with my insurance company (USAA), they have shops they dealt with, which have been excellent with my recent incidents.
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      01-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Bimmer View Post
Well I hope that everything works out for you, and if they don't agree to fix it, they are fools. Will the insurance company be able to interfere in this situations and make things right, like a mediator maybe? I mean, I know that with my insurance company (USAA), they have shops they dealt with, which have been excellent with my recent incidents.
This isn't one of Allstate's "preferred" shops (too expensive for that, probably), so they can't officially step in at this point. I had a conversation with them last week and they said they would back me up with whatever course of action I need to take, though. They've actually been very helpful.
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      01-06-2013, 12:17 AM   #14
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wOw, I am so sorry your having to go through this crap into 2013

How far are you from Arlington / Mansfield area?

there is a fellow BMW / Porsche owner who owns his own bodyshop and there top notch

let me know is it's near enough for you to give them a call.

I would definitely document everything that you've went and will go through with these guys and prepare yourself for court.

sounds like they need a good kick in the "Go-Nads" for treating you this way!

try the advise of "DallasBoosted" it seems like the only play to get them to do right before someone looses there job.

good luck cymk
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      01-06-2013, 02:40 AM   #15
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That's pretty awful. I'm about to sue the transport company (for the second time) that delivered my car (in June!) for the deductible they owe me from when they damaged my car during delivery, fixed it at some fly by night place, and tried to pass off the repair as the car's original condition. The first almost lawsuit was to even get them to file w/ their insurance.

I'll say the work they did on my car doesn't look much worse than your car unfortunately =/ I did find some sweet half-painted chunks of bondo in the interior though, so bonus for me.

My plan as of now is once I get paid to take the car to New Concepts and have them make things right. I was eying Trade Secret, but heard similar stories to yours and decided to pass when getting estimates. Hopefully they'll do it right the 2nd time around, I've been fighting my fight for over 6 months, so I know that sometimes stuff doesn't get resolved nearly as fast as it should.

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      01-06-2013, 02:42 AM   #16
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Also, your hood kinda looks like a panel off an early F40, so that's kinda cool.

(just trying to make some lemonade)
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      01-06-2013, 10:16 AM   #17
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Thanks. If it comes down to taking it to another shop I'll be going with New Concepts in Plano. The owner over there is also a fellow BMW enthusiast New Concepts has already seen my car, actually, and I'll be getting a full estimate from him soon "just in case."

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonelhpfm3 View Post
wOw, I am so sorry your having to go through this crap into 2013

How far are you from Arlington / Mansfield area?

there is a fellow BMW / Porsche owner who owns his own bodyshop and there top notch

let me know is it's near enough for you to give them a call.

I would definitely document everything that you've went and will go through with these guys and prepare yourself for court.

sounds like they need a good kick in the "Go-Nads" for treating you this way!

try the advise of "DallasBoosted" it seems like the only play to get them to do right before someone looses there job.

good luck cymk
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      01-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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Also, your hood kinda looks like a panel off an early F40, so that's kinda cool.

(just trying to make some lemonade)
Haha, you're right!

And wow, best of luck with your (second!) lawsuit. Amazing how many companies think that this sort of crap is acceptable behavior.

I can understand how many people just don't give a crap about their cars, so they don't notice smaller (or harder to see) issues and/or just don't care about them. But everyone who knows me knows that I love my car. Why Trade Secret thought they could pull one over on ME of all people is truly puzzling
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      01-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #19
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Damn as I'm reading this it reminds me off my old jeep same thing happen to me but the money came out off my pocket. I have to take my e90 also
To the shop I fell off a tree and hit my rear quarter panel thank god for insurance.
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      01-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #20
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CYMK - your story is astonishing at the very least - hard to believe a "reputable" shop would tell you that the best they could do is tape your hood latches on and to go find your own bolts. Sounds like the Plano shop will be your best bet, and it's good that your insurance company will back you. I would not give the original shop any more rope - it would seem they're just not capable of doing the work right.

A few years ago, someone sideswiped my wife's '05 325i in the parking garage, taking out the left rear door panel and the rear quarter panel. We ended up using Berli's in Pflugerville (we were living in Round Rock at the time), which is THE high-end body shop in that area. I checked with the dealership about their recommended body shops, and this was first on their list because they were certified to repair to "BMW Standards", meaning there would be no loss in value with the proper repair. Not only did the dark-blue metallic paint match perfectly, but the dealer techs/appraisers could not find any evidence of repair activity. This is what your car deserves too, so I would do some checking with local dealerships as to their recommended shops that meet BMW standards. The shop in Plano you mention could very well have this qualification.
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      01-06-2013, 01:28 PM   #21
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I was hoping to see a good end result from that YouTube video you posted. Do a Yelp review and Add this link.Sorry to hear about your situation. Honestly it needs another 15k in it to be normal again. I think they saw a girl with her cute BMW and didn't think you'd care. It's payback time. Contact the owner and maybe a local news station.

Last edited by ///M3NACE; 01-06-2013 at 01:33 PM.
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      01-06-2013, 05:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I was hoping to see a good end result from that YouTube video you posted. Do a Yelp review and Add this link.Sorry to hear about your situation. Honestly it needs another 15k in it to be normal again. I think they saw a girl with her cute BMW and didn't think you'd care. It's payback time. Contact the owner and maybe a local news station.
Yeah, I completely agree, actually. The part that pisses me off the most is that my husband's car went in to the same shop (with the same adviser) shortly before mine was "finished," and his car came out impeccably perfect in half the time. The adviser sent him daily updates, texts with high quality photos of it in the paint booth, and both he and the owner kept commenting on how "COOL" his car was/making jokes about wanting to drive it, etc. I mean, seriously? (By the way, his car is a Challenger RT. Not exactly a Lambo ). This all happened after they knew I was dissatisfied with the service and the quality of work on my car, so this was like rubbing salt into the wound. I am pretty thick-skinned but I actually found this very offensive.
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