“Post-Repair Inspection (PRI)” has become a catchphrase in the collision repair industry over the past three to four years. Although PRIs have been around for decades, this term has gained prominence in recent times for a variety of reasons. For one, the advanced steels used in late-model vehicle construction are generally unrepairable, yet pressure from insurers, unrealistic cycle times, a lack of technician training, antiquated equipment and/or greed have led to these structural components being repaired. This has resulted in noticeable imperfections. And obviously social media has added to the expansion and the drama along with it.
Almost all collision repair professionals have experienced a poorly repaired vehicle in their shop, at least once. In some cases, they were horrified by what was done; in many cases, they were unsure of what to do about it or who is going to pay for it. (Note: We’re not giving legal advice in this article. Please check with your lawyer regarding the laws in your state).
|Misaligned strut mounting bolts|
Good and bad situations
When a car is poorly repaired by a direct repair program (DRP) facility, a good situation would be when the insurance company will cover the re-repairs and rectify things quickly for the vehicle owner. A bad situation is when a non-DRP shop (with no ties to an insurer) repairs the vehicle incorrectly. The insurer may say to the vehicle owner, “You chose the facility, and we will not cover the re-repairs.” In this situation, the consumer will most likely need to hire a lawyer to sue the repair facility. This whole process could take months or even years. Even if the consumer wins the case, he or she may not get paid because the shop could go out of business, change names or ownership to avoid paying for the vehicle repairs or a replacement vehicle. You — as the shop trying to rectify a poor repair — must inform the vehicle owner up front what his or her situation is and what the choices are.