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Thread: Potential car damage

  1. #1
    Master
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    Potential car damage

    Before I start please excuse my total lack of knowledge on cars so I'll just post this as I think it:

    On Saturday I drove into a new Wainhomes housing estate and turned into a road that appeared to be completely finished . . . . . . well it wasn't my car dropped around 5,6 or 7 inches where the road hasn't been finished and got completely stuck. (To explain it was pouring with rain and there was water on the road, which it turned out masked the huge drop but couldn't be seen. There were no signs telling people not to drive. Over the next hour 3 or 4 people who had moved in came out to help. They all spoke of their shoddy experiences with Wainhomes and how a year later snagging wasn't done, also that there were signs telling people not to drive there but wainhomes took them down as the job had apperently been finished!! Then someone else came out who said the same thing had happened to his car as well. Fortunately it seems clear that they are at fault. There sales lady came out and clearly couldn't give a ****).

    Anyway I digress. I have a bmw 640 which is quite low. I called them and they sent a breakdown recovery firm who towed the car out of the ditch. The noise underneath sounded horrendous, however the guy told me that bmw's have this protective casing underneath and that's what the damage was to. A friend who is an ex army mechanic turned up by chance and had a look underneath and he thought the same.

    Question is does that all sound right? I'm going to take my car to my bmw dealer but I'd like to know a bit of information beforehand. Any ideas what that protective casing costs to get a new one? Would it realistically have protected the underneath of the car? Two square (ish) shapes of plastic were ripped off which I would think are what secures the casing which must be at least a metre wide and designed to protect part of the engine I would think. I lease my cars from new so when I hand it back no doubt it would be picked up that it was missing and they would charge me 3 times more!

    Does any of this make sense and does anyone even know what I'm talking about? Thanks.

  2. #2
    I've got 640 and under those circumstances I think you may end up with an insurance claim, the whole front of the car is one piece, the labour to paint and swap over isn't going to be cheap, mechanically no one will know until it is inspected, I think the only thing you will be able to hit the builder with is uninsured losses.

  3. #3
    Master
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    The cover is there to protect the engine from rain water getting driven up and to improve the aerodynamics of the car, NOT to protect against impact.
    First thing I'd do is tell the builders you're going to have the car inspected fully at their cost (it won't be cheap).
    Get it to the dealer and have a full inspection of the underneath. Any scrapes need to be addressed. The wheels need to be checked for cracks and the tyres for bulges along with any evidence of damage to the under slung parts of the engine (sump mainly). Also, the suspension components will need careful scrutiny.
    Additionally, it is vital that a proper alignment check is carried out as this will hel determine whether anything has been bent.
    That won't be cheap at a dealer but then, you won't be paying!

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    I hope you took plenty of photos while the car was stuck and of the "drop" after the car was removed and of the damage before BMW or anyone else has touched it. Then if it goes to an insurance claim or dispute then you have evidence.

    Worth sending the photos to the lease company too and ask for advice on potential charges.

    Might also get complicated with legalities of who maintains the road. Is it the council responsible yet or is it private land still?

  5. #5
    if it is a building site has the road been adopted if not for the owner to be liable I think you would have needed to be invited. there must be someone on here who works for a builder.

  6. #6
    Master
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    The road won't be adopted if it isn't finished. Councils got wise to that years ago.

    Once the builder puts the final layer of tar on, they'll agree to adopt.

    I'm in N Ireland, but I can't imagine GB is much different

  7. #7
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonloop View Post
    The road won't be adopted if it isn't finished. Councils got wise to that years ago.

    Once the builder puts the final layer of tar on, they'll agree to adopt.

    I'm in N Ireland, but I can't imagine GB is much different
    The road where I used to live wasn't adopted for about three years after it was surfaced, and the builders had packed up left. When the council did finally get round to looking at it, they drilled lots of core samples, and decided the surface was up to scratch - the whole thing had to be ripped up and re-laid.

  8. #8
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    The road will not be adopted as yet and therefore it will be the responsibility of the developers to post warning signs accordingly ie ramp/ exposed ironware etc.My road is an unadopted private road a maintained by us the householders and we post a speed limit sign and a speed bump/hump warning.
    As has been already said I hope you took photos? get your damage assessed by a BMW dealership inform your lease company and proceed to reclaim from the developers via your insurers making sure you reclaim any excess has your policy got legal cover?

  9. #9
    Master
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    I leased the car through the BMW garage itself (Alphabet I think which is there own company).

    Just been there and had the car up on the ramp. The Repair Manager seemed fairly certain that no damage had been done to the engine. That area is untouched. The damage is to the protective cover which is quite a large area. They are going to work out how much it will cost to repair - couldn't give me a rough price as haven't had to order replacement parts like these on a 640 that they could remember. I've emailed pictures of the incident to Wainhomes and also more taken at the garage today.

    In my conversation with them, they said as a visitor I should have reported to the sale office and there is a sign saying that clearly. Ridiculous though as it's a road. Imagine every person going to visit any one of 100 houses and dong that!

    From what the neighbours have said they are a complete nightmare and no doubt they will just fob me off. I have 3 options I guess if they refute it:

    1. Bite the bullet, pay it, chalk it up to experience and move on.
    2. Insurance claim.
    3. Fight them and take them to court.

    Any and all of the options will be based on the cost and hassle factor. Two teenage boys doing A levels and GCSE's and a 12 week old daughter gives me enough to be going on with :-)

  10. #10
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    IMO the developer will play hardball based on the sign requesting all visitors to report to the sales/site office " where you would have been made aware of the potential risks in visiting a building site" still might be worth talking to your insurers legal dept if you have that in your policy.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post

    In my conversation with them, they said as a visitor I should have reported to the sale office and there is a sign saying that clearly. Ridiculous though as it's a road. Imagine every person going to visit any one of 100 houses and dong that!

    From what the neighbours have said they are a complete nightmare and no doubt they will just fob me off. I have 3 options I guess if they refute it:

    1. Bite the bullet, pay it, chalk it up to experience and move on.
    2. Insurance claim.
    3. Fight them and take them to court.
    You know I'm right :-)

  12. #12
    Master
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    Update - I was imagining this to be anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 (no clue about cars so a total guess). It cost 638 all in!

    I emailed Wainhomes again, who then got a manager onto it who asked for the estimate. They confirmed 48 hours later that they were 'raising a cheque to pay for all the costs'. No arguing, no wriggling out of it, just agreed.

    Whilst I'm surprised I'm also fairly confident that the photos I'd sent them I had them bang to rights.

    Anyway happy days :-)

  13. #13
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Update - I was imagining this to be anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 (no clue about cars so a total guess). It cost 638 all in!
    To be fair, if the only damage was to the undertray, it is just a large piece of some sort of composite plastic (or something similar - in best TZ-UK tradition, there'll be a material scientist along in a minute...), so even 638 isn't exactly bargain basement. But great news that the cost will be covered, and that there's no other damage to the car.

    (As somebody who also pays the BMW tax, I'm aware that all their components are individually hand hewn out of pure unobtanium by elves in the Black Forest, and are therefore stunning good value for money!)

  14. #14
    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Update - I was imagining this to be anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 (no clue about cars so a total guess). It cost 638 all in!

    I emailed Wainhomes again, who then got a manager onto it who asked for the estimate. They confirmed 48 hours later that they were 'raising a cheque to pay for all the costs'. No arguing, no wriggling out of it, just agreed.

    Whilst I'm surprised I'm also fairly confident that the photos I'd sent them I had them bang to rights.

    Anyway happy days :-)
    Great news and very surprised however when the kite hits take a pic for the framing and Bank ASAP

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Update - I was imagining this to be anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 (no clue about cars so a total guess). It cost 638 all in!

    I emailed Wainhomes again, who then got a manager onto it who asked for the estimate. They confirmed 48 hours later that they were 'raising a cheque to pay for all the costs'. No arguing, no wriggling out of it, just agreed.

    Whilst I'm surprised I'm also fairly confident that the photos I'd sent them I had them bang to rights.

    Anyway happy days :-)
    Christ, you got lucky. I've been battling with Direct Line to get them to pay out for a windscreen replacement on my M5 for the last 10 days. So far they are refusing and my car was undriveable.

    Some idiot got on the motorway with a load of crap in his trailer. What looked like half a brick flew off and totalled my windscreen at 50mph. Reported to the police and they didn't care.

    Kind of annoying because if I hadn't put my hand in my pocket and paid for a replacement yesterday, my car would still be off the road, nearly two weeks later.

    Oh well, the joys of motoring :)

  16. #16
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    Update - I was imagining this to be anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 (no clue about cars so a total guess). It cost 638 all in!

    I emailed Wainhomes again, who then got a manager onto it who asked for the estimate. They confirmed 48 hours later that they were 'raising a cheque to pay for all the costs'. No arguing, no wriggling out of it, just agreed.

    Whilst I'm surprised I'm also fairly confident that the photos I'd sent them I had them bang to rights.

    Anyway happy days :-)
    I would not count your chickens yet, you know what builders are. The cheques in the post, yea right.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Yep I got extremely lucky. Building hundreds of house on the site and I guess you wanted me to go away.

  18. #18
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilly10 View Post
    I would not count your chickens yet, you know what builders are. The cheques in the post, yea right.
    Actually had an email from the lady dealing with it this morning, saying that she's been given the cheque and what's the best address to post it to?

    So hopefully with me tomorrow :-)

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