The last thing you would expect after an expensive auto body repair is needing to go back in the shop with recurring issues. Those issues are called “go backs” in the automotive industry, and nobody ever wants to deal with them. Go backs are defined as when a customer returns their car with a problem from a repair after they pick it up. Neither the collision repair shop or the car owners want or expect these go backs, yet there is still an industry average of unsatisfied customers. A recent study shows that the higher the repair cost, the more likely customer dissatisfaction will be.

To help manage and track estimate and repairs, many body shops use the a software called CCC. Because CCC has access to the data from nearly every body shop in the country, they publish trends and reports which share  invaluable information. Oftentimes, the reports contain consumer information, trends of repair times, and other things like part costs or national body shop hurdles.

These reports can be extremely informative, but also can be concerning. Recently CCC published a study that showed customers are happy with their auto body repair as long as the cost is less than $10,000. But when repairs exceed the $10,000 marker, the customer satisfaction increases to an astounding 26.6%.

The auto industry average for go-backs regardless of price is 10.9%. So just over one in ten repairs results in a complaint at most auto body shops.

Repairs costing between 1 cent and $500, 5% of vehicles are returned to the shop according to a CCC report. Typically, this price point is only cosmetic repairs which means minor dents, scratches or paint damage. Structural repairs are much more extensive and usually require a partial disassembly, welding or part replacement which means more time and money for new parts.

With that said, the average collision repair cost in 2018 was $3,053. When a repair bill is between $3,000-$4,000 range, the percentage of the vehicle go backs also jumps to 12%. This is not as much as the incredible 26.6% we listed earlier, but definitely not a percentage to ignore at 12%! At 12%, the numbers climb to surpass the industry average. If the repair bill is between $4,000-$5,000, 14.5% percent of vehicles are returned for additional repairs or examination. At the $5,000-$10,000 brackets, 17.7% of vehicles are brought back to the repair shop. That means more than one out of every six customers will return with an issue.

So why do “go backs” happen, and what does it mean for you as the consumer?

Most customers aren’t exactly sure what they are buying when it comes to fixing their car. Usually if the car appears shiny, polished and drive-able in a timely matter after a repair the customer is happy. The car may seem fixed visually, but looks can be deceiving. There could be numerous issues hiding beneath the surface of your car that you may not be aware of.  This could be due to a body shop not repairing your vehicle the correct way, or from that shop cutting a corner by “fixing” instead of replacing a damaged part.

Some customers will drive out of an auto body shop and immediately feel that something is off. They may see a leak of some kind, or the steering feels funny. Maybe there a rattle that wasn’t there before, or in a certain light the paint doesn’t quite blend with the rest of the finish. At this point, you realize you need to call your insurance company and the shop that performed your repairs.

Cycle time and length of rental issues

Typically, the more your collision repair costs, the longer the repair will take to complete. Collision repair is becoming more expensive as well with the advancing safety technology and modern collision avoidance systems.

According to CCC director and lead analyst Susanna Gotsch, “the average repair bill sits around $4,000 for the current model year.”

Another huge factor that collision repair is becoming more expensive is because the cost of new vehicles are also increasing due to improved safety technologies and additional advanced features. The average new car loan increased over $1,000 from April-June of last year (Experian). Not to mention, the changes in vehicles have attributed to the increased costs in repairs.

Take a look at the image below. These are the most recent changes seen in vehicles that have added to the more expensive repair costs:

Cycle time is the term used to explain how long it will take to repair your car. When cycle time ends up taking longer than anticipated, insurance companies have to reconsider rental policies since the length of rental covered in most policies (typically 3-5 days) doesn’t last as long as the repair process. When a customer has to pay out of pocket for their rental car, it creates immediate dissatisfaction for both the insurance company and the body shop.

Many body shops will do what it takes to keep the insurance company happy and not go past the allotted rental period, even if it means cutting a few corners with the repair. This oftentimes means that quality suffers, and returns after a repair increase.

Your insurance company promises to be your advocate for collision repair, but they also are directed to spend the least amount of money possible for the repair. This puts the pressure on the repair shop to meet their deadlines so it can stay within the length of the rental. The numerous changes in cars have increased the costs of repairs as well as repair complexity. If a technician follows the top quality repair procedures laid out by the car manufacturer, it’s going to take longer than the “quick fix” an insurance company wants.

On-time delivery

The largest source of dissatisfaction comes when a body shop misses its promise date for vehicle delivery. On-time delivery also seems to worsen more dramatically than other statistics. Industry-wide, customers reported on-time delivery 87.5 percent of the time. For repairs between $0.01 and $500, shops hit that target 94.5 percent of the time.

At the $3,000-$4,000 range, body shops are already below the average, making deadline 86.3 percent of the time. When the repair cost crossed over the $10,000 bracket, the industry average for auto body shops hitting their mark is only 70.9 percent of the time. This means 1 out of every 4 vehicles is delivered later than promised.

Bottom Line

The bottom line for customers who have repairs in the $10,000 or above range may face longer repair times, out of pocket rental car expenses, and a lack of communication from the body shop. But it does not have to be this way. If you choose a good quality local auto body shop and not one of the nation’s largest chain body shops, you will get an owner-operator who is communicating with their customers, performing quality repairs, and managing their deadlines.

Who in Palmdale knows how to repair my car the right way? 

Here at Telesis Collision Center, we get drivers who visit us frequently who have been victims of poor collision repair. They don’t understand how a body shop, who was supposed to fix their car and offer a solution, could end up resulting in even more problems. Choosing the cheaper option may result in more out of pocket expenses than if you originally went with a more expensive repair. We’re here to provide Palmdale drivers with the auto body repair service that you deserve.

Our technicians are all OEM trained, and research every single repair every single day. This means that our technicians have received the highest level of training and know what it means to repair your car the right way. We are always checking OEM repair procedures and understand what it takes to give you the best possible repair out there!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (661)-952-4732. We can provide you with a free estimate or a free online quote! Just click any of the buttons below! We look forward to hearing from you!

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