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What happened to my Z4!

Discussion in 'General Banter' started by GazHyde, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
    Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator British Zeds

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    Hey all,

    Time has passed on a sorry incident and I finally feel comfortable discussing what happened.. What follows is pretty much the final deciding factor in me selling the Z4 to my mate. He new every detail about what happened before buying, and actually oversaw some of the repair work. He has now traded the car on after 6 exceptionally fun months of ownership.

    Back in late July 2012 I pulled over on to the hard shoulder of a slip road on the M6 Northbound near Manchester as the car was making an odd noise. Shortly after stopping and applying the hand brake & hazard lights, and just as I was about to open the door a Nissan Micra drove in to the rear end. It wasn't the hardest of shunts, and should have been a pretty straight forward repair job. However what follows is the stuff of Consumer TV program legend.

    Below shows the damage caused. Externally it was mainly the bumper, and the drivers rear wing was completely untouched. It did however drive rather peculiarly afterwards, and needed to be sent straight to the repairers.
    2012-07-30 16.12.27.jpg

    2012-07-30 15.52.48.jpg

    What should have been the Micra driver getting out of the car, apologising and passing over his insurance details started rather farcically. I was accused of causing the accident, because I had cut him up and hit his car 500 meters before I stopped on the slip road, causing him to drive in to the back of me. This clearly had not happened, but then he started saying he meant to stop on the hard shoulder because one of his kids were going to be sick. All rather odd, but eventually details exchanged and after I checked his car over for him we parted ways. The description of this mysterious 'incident' was hilariously documented on his later insurance claim.

    From this point the story takes two completely different directions, and took a ridiculous length of time to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

    Direction 1. The personal injury claims!
    The rules of insurance is obvious, if you drive in to the back of someone it's pretty much your fault!

    You can imagine my surprise when I received 2 separate whiplash claims from the driver of the Micra that drove in to the back of me. Now this would seem pretty comical on it's own, but the claims arrived within 2 days of the accident.

    Both the driver and his teenage son were in "considerable pain" from stomach and neck injuries, but had yet to seek medical advice. They had enough time to phone a solicitor though. All the paperwork was immediately forwarded to my very confused insurance claims handler.

    After a few days I chased this up with the claims handler, which only added further to the confusion. I was referring to a different solicitor to the one which contacted them directly. The driver had in fact approached 2 separate solicitors and attempted to initiate whiplash claims with both of them.

    I called the solicitors I had received the paperwork from, and had a rather interesting discussion. It would appear that he had approached them and given them all the details of what happened. This triggered the paperwork to be sent immediately to me. The solicitors then his claim form detailing what he said had happened, at which point they realised there was something wrong. They closed the files and told him to go on his way.

    Clearly on a mission for cash he then approached a second solicitor and started proceedings with them. This solicitor had directly contacted my insurers, hence the confusion over different names. The description of the accident given to them, was so wildly different to the description I had filed with the insurers.

    His claim form had implied that I had hit his car on the M6 main carriageway, and not that incident had happened on the slip lane. It was his assertion that I changed lanes and hit the drivers side of his car causing the injuries. However the lack of any damage at all to his drivers side, or the passenger side of my car was fairly conclusive this had not happened. Photographic evidence (see above) was supplied along with a dozen other photos showing the crash site complete with his broken indicators and number plate in the exact place where he drove in to the back of me. Nowhere near where he claimed.

    Suffice it to say the second insurance company immediately withdrew the claims. This was later followed by complete liability being accepted by his insurance company. It didn't take them very long after seeing his claim form that something was wrong.

    Meanwhile the repairs were well under way... Or so I thought!

    Direction 2. The repair job!
    First of all I've beaten myself up for over a year now that I didn't insist on a BMW repair shop. I was an idiot for not doing so, and this combined with the attempted whiplash claims proved to be one of the worst motoring experiences since I got behind the wheel of a car 23 years ago. INSIST ON A BMW REPAIR SHOP EVERY TIME!

    The car was taken to the insurers approved garage. Visually they made a good job of it. As it was 170 miles from home I never got the chance to visit, but as my mate lived nearby he went by several times while the work was carried out. After what seemed like a rather long time the car was announced ready to collect which my mate did for me. He agreed that the bodywork was done to a high quality and the paint job perfect. Seriously, you would not have known it had the rear bumper resprayed.

    Granted it had taken them over 6 weeks to get the work done, so it bloody well should be :( (There was some flooding a few days after my car arrived with them, so they bumped mine down the repair list so they could concentrate on the flood damaged cars. Seriously, that is what they had the balls to tell me over the phone!)

    A day or so later I arrive at my mates house to pick up the car, and I noticed there was no sound from the stereo or integrated sat nav. Odd, but I had a vague recollection that this could have been caused by the battery being disconnected or the car going in to 'shipping mode'.

    Having got the car home I finally got chance to go and sort the sound issue out. A bit of Googling had me looking at the Carver Amplifier which sits in the battery box in the boot. The main culprit would be a blown blade fuse, easy enough to replace.

    Never that simple is it... What I found was a crushed amplifier, clearly damaged from the accident. The amplifier had to be removed to replace the battery box as part of the repair. There was no way that they could not have seen it.

    2012-09-16 14.39.12.jpg

    A new amplifier had to be ordered from BMW but would take a week to arrive from Germany at a cost of £950 for the unit. No problem as it's all covered by the insurance, and it would take me 5 minutes to fit so I said I would do so if they order the unit.

    Days drag on, and I get a call asking me to confirm the part number before they order it. Open the boot and find that it's like a small swimming pool inside. The carpets are stripped out the boot, and the cause of the water ingress determined. They hadn't bothered to put a gasket around both rear light clusters, so the water flowed in as fast as it came out of the sky.

    At this point nearly 8 weeks have passed since the accident... Enough is enough, so I contact the insurance company and asked for it to be thoroughly inspected because it had clearly been bodged badly so far. I had used the repair shop they suggested previously and had a good experience with them, so agreed. It wouldn't take them long to fit some gaskets to the rear lights and swap the amplifier out. They would also have a good look over the repair work carried out by the other garage.

    The light gaskets fitted, and car taken in to the workshop to dry out and be professionally cleaned to avoid mould etc. Now just to wait for the amp to arrive.

    Finally get word that the amp has arrived, and will be fitted that afternoon. Chased up the next day to find that they still can't get any sound out of the stereo. They were going to arrange for their local auto electrician to visit later that day, and get him to test the system out fully.

    The next day I get a call and after 3 hours the auto electrician had given up as well. They told me the car was going to be moved to the local BMW main dealer for diagnostics. By the time BMW got the car, it had been over 2 months since the accident.

    It took them a day or so to get the car in to the workshop for diagnostics. Eventually they found the cause after the car had been on their diag machine for about 4 hours.

    When the car had been reassembled by the original repair shop, the wiring loom wasn't secured correctly in the boot area. The first time the boot was closed it sliced through the loom wires. They booked the car in for the loom to be "fixed", but couldn't get it in for a couple of days. This caused a heated argument in the showroom as to whether they should be soldering it back together or replacing the loom. They assured me that BMW said this would be the correct method, and that it was fully warrantied by them anyway.

    A few days later I get a call from the dealer... It appears that the shorting of the wiring loom had now blown the replacement amplifier as well - sure as hell don't know why the fuse didn't protect it. Dead as a dodo, just like the crushed one. A second replacement amplifier was now on order from BMW Germany with another weeks delivery lead time.

    Whilst all this was happening I had lost all faith in the first repair company, so demanded that a full independent inspection was carried out on the car. An official complaint was also opened with the insurance company (that took two months to get a resolution on, but it was upheld and they paid me compensation!).

    The problem with the complaint and demanding a full independent inspection, and the amps blowing and long delivery times meant the car was at the BMW dealer for around 5 weeks.

    Finally after 119 days had passed (3 months and 27 days) I got the Z4 back fully repaired.

    Suffice it to say I never really recovered from it, and it was sold to my mate within a few weeks. It was a fantastic car before & after the repair work was completed correctly. Just the last straw!
     
  2. badman gee

    badman gee Guest

    Poor Sod Gaz.

    Can see why you sold it.

    Enough is enough.

    And I thought you sold it because you prefer z3 cars!
     
    #2 badman gee, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
  3. Brian H

    Brian H Zorg Guru (V)
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    You are lucky it was not written off, glad you got it sorted though. A friend of mine had a land rover discovery repaired by a ford garage at the insurance companies insistence, the finished job was shocking.
     
    #3 Brian H, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  4. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    Funny that Brian because part of my complaint to the insurance company querying whether it should have been written off. The figures they produced as part of their response to the complaint was rather interesting though.

    The repairers assessor for some reason had the car valued at £9,500. Odd because I payed the going market price for it at £7,750, and a year later prices had slumped and market value would have been £6k-6.5k at the time.

    The decision to repair was taken without the full damage being taken in to account. The repair was quoted at an eye watering £4,500 (possibly as I demanded it was jigged). This did not include the crushed amp which mysteriously was never noticed.

    4.5k against a 9.5k car is understandably a repair job. 5.5k against a car worth 6-6.5k would surely be a write off?

    Odd arguing with an insurance company that they have over valued your car!
     
  5. swamper

    swamper Zorg Guru (V)
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    kin hell...mission...!!!!
     
  6. Mint

    Mint Zorg Expert (I)
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    Wow that's a sad story Gaz, did anything happen to the driver of the micra? Done for driving without due care and attention would be nice to hear.
    I can see why you sold it though. Another horror story to add to the files.
     
  7. Ragtop

    Ragtop Zorg Guru (III)

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    Sorry to hear about this Gary, really feel for you. Do you know what nationality the culprits were? Are the police investigating? You hear about people slamming on their brakes so you go into the back of them, but never heard about this scam before. Can fully understand why you sold the Zed, I would have sold it too.
     
  8. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    @Mint I made it very clear to the insurance companies, and the one solicitor I spoke to that it smelt like a scam. I never heard anything back to say that he had been dealt with by anyone. At the time there were no reported injuries, otherwise I would have called for the emergency services.

    @Ragtop Nationality is always an interesting question, as he didn't look or sound "British" but with lack of any national borders that doesn't really mean anything these days.

    I was tempted to visit the police station and see what they said, but as soon as the solicitors and insurance companies started complying with me, it became less of an issue. I could use that time trying to get the car repaired.

    I take my comfort from the fact he didn't get a single penny, and would have lost his no claims bonus and will be enjoying higher future motoring costs and still be driving a shitty Micra. I would imagine his insurance company would have taken a dim view of his actions as well.
     
  9. MAURICE THE MARTIAN

    MAURICE THE MARTIAN Zorg Guru (V)
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    Bloody hell Gaz, glad your ok and that its all sorted now.
    And really glad that those scamming b**tards got nowt.
    Wont say more or I'll be accused of being racist.
    M


    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk 4
     
  10. joey

    joey Zorg Addict
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    awful........

    I hate these scammers...nearly got taken out on the A3 slip rd by the 2 car shunt trick,saw it coming and avoided it but got mrs to write down both number plates and reported it to the police...

    heard nothing..

    sorry you had to deal with all that Gaz , I understand why you sold it, it just takes all of the fun out of it and you fall out of love with the car...had the same with a troublesome bike that I really liked...

    best of luck with your next purchase!
     
  11. zedwheels

    zedwheels Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Reading your saga mate I have to say that my gast is flabbered!!!!
     
  12. Woody100

    Woody100 Zorg Addict

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    Wow a story from hell ! I laughed at my mate a few weeks ago for installing a £25 camera that fits behind the centre mirror and consistently records in front when his driving, I guess it's a good idea and could be used against scammers. Sad story but at least you wasn't hurt in the accident, just lost confidence in your car :(


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk - now Free
     
  13. GazHyde

    GazHyde The Gaz Monkey
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    In this case it would have been great for NOT capturing an accident! It's a sad fact that people are out there to make money out of crashes.

    If anyone was going to get money from a whiplash claim it would have been me. I could so easily have got out the car holding my neck and make a couple of grand out of it. Despite being stationary when hit squarely from behind I had NO ill effects whatsoever. No aches or pains, not even the slightest niggle then, or over the following days.

    It's scum like this that push all our premiums up...