Rusting repairs - Paul
Where do we stand on iffy repair work a few years on? My mother has a six year old VW Polo which sustained superficial damage to the offside about three years ago, and was repaired and resprayed by an insurance-authorised centre. Now the rear wheel arch and the weld around the sill are rusting-this was the area repaired, and there is no evidence of similar rust elsewhere on the car. Is it not unreasonable to expect the repair to last a lot longer than three years?
Re: Rusting repairs - Simon
Hi there Paul, up until a month or so ago I used to be a panel beater/painter and have now moved on but on the approved insurance repairer scheme that we used to operate we had to give a lifetime guarantee on all paintwork and repairs that we carried out. This meant that while the customer still owned the vehicle we had to guarantee our workmanship, obviously any problems that arose at later date had to be looked at fairly to ensure that it was a result of what we had done and not down to subsequent stone chips or scrapes or anything like that.

I would say it would be reasonable to assume that your repairs should last longer than this especially as there is no evidence of the other side doing the same and I would advise you to look through any old policy documents or receipts to see if you can see anything about guarantees on repair work and failing this contact the repair shop that did the work. If you have no joy here try contacting the insurers and don't be fobbed off by poor excuses.

Hope this helps,

Re: Rusting repairs - David Woollard

Yes it is reasonable to expect the repair to last longer than three years. The intention is that repairs are carried out to makers standards and should last as well as the rest of the car.

With respect to Simon and others in his trade it seems in many cases it is impossible to replicate the high standards of factory rustproofing we now take for granted. I think it is this expectation rather than poor workmanship that is the problem.

Just as an example.....

In the 1980s I owned a Citroen DS and Rover 3500, each being about seven years old. Both were in need of panel replacement, some structural welding and bottom half re-sprays. This was absolutely normal at the time for cars of this age.

In fact every second-hand dealer had a tame spray-shop to do a quick blow over prior to sale. This was because cars rusted then from five years onwards. I even remember looking at an Escort at the main Ford dealers during this period, they had filled and sprayed most of the car due to rust ready for retail sale. You never see anything like that at a main dealer now, anything tatty goes straight to the auction.

Smaller dealers that spray cars prior to sale now are likely to do so because they are trading in accident repairables, not rust heaps.

How does this nostalgia trip (again guys) relate to your query? Well take similar cars to my example now, say a seven year old Citroen Xantia. Look for rust, none on the panels, none on the underbody. In fact with a quick pressure wash and extra Wxaoyl underneath you can imagine it looking the same in another seven years.

And there's the problem for the body shops now. At some point the repair will show before the rest has given any problems.


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