How to Deal with Car Damage at a Dealership (Presented by DrivenWheels.com)
Car dealerships are busy places with many employees and hundreds of vehicles moved in tight spaces every day. Despite the best efforts of dealership staff, accidents can happen and cars can be damaged while in for service. If this happens to you, it can be a stressful and frustrating situation. Here’s how to handle it.
Understanding the Situation
If your car has been damaged by an employee at the dealership, the first thing to understand is that labour laws prevent the dealership from firing the employee simply because they made a mistake. The remedial actions taken by the dealership are not the consumer’s business.
Another common misunderstanding is around insurance. In Ontario, we have a no-fault insurance system which means that regardless of who caused the accident, the cost of repairs to a vehicle are covered by the insurer for that vehicle. If the car was damaged at a dealership, the insurer has a process to be reimbursed by the dealership’s insurance company behind the scenes.
Dealing with the Situation
If you receive a call from the dealership saying that your car has been damaged, it’s important to remain calm and listen to what they have to say. It’s likely that they will be genuinely apologetic and will explain what happened and how they plan to rectify the problem. They should offer to loan you a replacement vehicle and do everything in their power to eliminate inconvenience and stress.
If you’re not satisfied with the service manager’s answers, then you can escalate the situation to the next level of management. Keep in mind that most dealer employees truly do care and want to help resolve the issue.
Avoiding Bad Behavior
It’s important to avoid bad behavior in this situation. Don’t demand that someone be fired or demand compensation beyond what is reasonable. Dealerships owe their customers an apology, good service, and a properly repaired vehicle. That is all.
The social media approach has been known to work to a certain extent, but it’s not a guaranteed solution. It’s always better to deal with the situation directly with the dealership first.
While it can be stressful and frustrating to have your car damaged while in for service at a dealership, understanding the situation and dealing with it calmly and rationally can make all the difference. Remember that most dealership employees truly do care and want to help resolve the issue.
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**This story was original to DrivenWheels.com and was rewritten a posted in an effort to maintain the legacy of the content for readers to enjoy.