Preventing Dangerous Repairs to Vehicles after Wrecks
A bill recently filed in the Texas Legislature by Representative Travis Clardy (R- Nacogdoches) seeks to correct the problem of insurance companies dictating what repairs they will and will not pay for after a wreck. It turns out that some of their approved repairs conflict with manufacturer standards that can leave the repaired vehicles dangerously defective.
The seminal example of the danger that can occur happened right here in Collin County. A Murphy couple, Marcia and Matthew Seebach, were both horribly burned and disfigured in a 2013 wreck. It turns out that their 2010 Honda Fit had been improperly repaired by a repair shop at the demand of an insurance company. Instead of welding the roof as per Honda’s repair guidelines, the shop used glue because that is all the insurance company would pay for. Unfortunately the glue did not hold during a wreck compromising the passenger compartment of the Honda.
In the subsequent lawsuit, the Seebach’s alleged and proved that the improper repair compromised the car’s safety structure contributed to the Seebach’s injuries. A Dallas County jury agreed with a substantial verdict.
Auto shop owners and consumer advocates like Texas Watch (link to Texas Watch) have come together to require that insurance companies not dictate inadequate and potentially dangerous repairs. House Bill 1348 (link to HB 1348—Texas Legislature Online). Join Texas Watch and Representative Clardy in urging your representative to pass this common sense legislation. Just like insurance companies should not dictate medical care, they should not dictate the adequacy of auto repairs.