A US couple badly injured in a car crash after their car was cheaply repaired by a body shop have been awarded $42 million in damages.
Before Matthew and Marcia Seebachan bought the 2010 Honda Fit (that’s a Jazz in the UK), the car’s roof had been repaired after sustaining damage from one hell of a hailstorm. But instead of welding the new roof back in place, as should have been done, the body shop glued it in.
Obviously, when hit head-on by a truck in late 2013, the roof joins failed, causing a chain reaction of further structural failures that ultimately caused massive, life-changing injuries. Matthew is now permanently in and out of medical care, while Marcia was the lucky one with injuries limited to broken bones, internal bleeding and bruises.
Honda stipulates that a replacement roof must be welded, not glued. John Eagle Collision Center took the cheaper option, and the company is claiming that the insurance company involved – State Farm – bullied its staff into gluing rather than welding to save money. State Farm has denied that, but the Seebachans are suing the firm for a single dollar, with the idea being not to win money, but to raise awareness, stoke negative PR and prevent this money-first approach from happening again.
The cold reality that few of us know exactly what’s happened to our cars before we bought them is one we tend to put to the backs of our minds, but this sort of bodge-job really does make you worry. If you have access to a four-post lift, now might be a good time to get underneath your car and just make absolutely sure it’s all healthy.