New car backed into - front bumper no visible damage - what should I do?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Mal McMallow, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Mal McMallow

    Mal McMallow New Member

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    Hello, this is my first post here. I was hit (literally) with a small misfortunate event. I was outside my vehicle when someone backed straight into my new Prime while it was parked. It made a terrible loud crunching noise like hard plastic was bending. I thought it was going to be crunched. To my surprise both vehicles looked like nothing happened. They gave me their name and number and then left. After they left I noticed by the wheel well there was a tab that had clearly been snapped off after I compared it to the other side.

    So, I finally was able to get in contact with her insurance yesterday and they said they were going to send someone out to inspect it. Do you think I should be concerned that there is some sort of damage that can't be seen without doing further prying? If so what should I make sure they check for?

    To top this off I was driving an old 99 pickup forever and finally got a new car. I can't believe this happened so quickly! I guess it could've been worse.
     
  2. Mal McMallow

    Mal McMallow New Member

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    Here's a photo of the right side that was damaged.

    IMG_20210720_115057.jpg

    Photo of the left side that doesn't look damaged
    IMG_20210720_115113.jpg
     
  3. Mal McMallow

    Mal McMallow New Member

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    Here's a clearer photo of the damaged side.

    IMG_20210720_115100 (1).jpg
     
  4. Mal McMallow

    Mal McMallow New Member

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    I was just offered around $500 for insurance to take care of this. If this was yours would you consider this worth repairing or just taking the money?
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    hard to be positive, but i would discuss it with a body shoppe
     
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  6. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Push the panel back in and see if it stays in. Looks like superficial damage.
     
  7. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Looks like it sheared off the little plastic pins that go in those holes. They lock and unlock by turning the screwdriver slot 90°. They break fairly easily so the bodywork is less likely to be damaged. Looks like they did their sacrificial job.

    Still, you don't know what might have happened behind the plastic till you take it off. I'd take it to a body shop to be sure.
     
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  8. DukeofPrime

    DukeofPrime Junior Member

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    I happened to look in the front fender of my 2 month old Prius Prime and saw exactly the same thing. One side fine, the other side had partially exposed tabs. I gently pushed a bit on the fender and it snapped back in place and it looks the same on both sides now. I haven't been in any accidents, but I did park it on the street a couple times in Chicago neighborhoods where parking is very tight. It's not uncommon for folks to bump cars a bit when squeezing into / out of parking spaces. I assume that's what happened to me.

    From what I could tell, I didn't see anything that looked like damage on the exposed fender tabs so I'm not sure if those plastic pins actually hold it in place front to back, or are just there as guides, more or less.

    Most body shops will give you an estimate free of charge, but they usually add the disclaimer that there may be additional damage found once they start tearing things apart. Given the Prius's reputation for having a "glass jaw", it's probably fine (the assumption is that the bumper will break if hit hard enough to damage anything inside), but who knows.
     
  9. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You should ask the insurance inspector which body shop you should take it to for a COMPLETE inspection.......which can NOT be done while sitting on the street.
    If the insurance guy is respectable, he will suggest that too.
     
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  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    NO, NO, NO.
    Because to get that money you like will have to sign a "waiver" that prohibits you from further claims if more damage is discovered.

    THEN.....if you just live with what you think is minor damage, and there is another front end collision.......you might be in a huge mess because the next insurance company will ask for proof that you got the previous damage fixed.......and claim that ALL of the damage was from the first accident. And you have already signed off on that.

    Don't do it. The risk is WAY too high.
     
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  11. Mal McMallow

    Mal McMallow New Member

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    The panel will stay in place decently. I don't know. If I take it in would you suggest taking it to the Toyota dealership? They shouldn't charge me correct?

    When I had my car inspection, I asked them to look at it and the receptionist left a voicemail saying "there's nothing wrong with the rear bumper". I called back and she said I was gonna call right away and say I incorrectly stated rear but meant front. I wasn't able to talk to a mechanic about it when I was at the shop unfortunately. Maybe I could go back there and ask someone if they remember looking at it.
     
  12. Mal McMallow

    Mal McMallow New Member

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    The insurance companies are too busy to do complete inspections at this time. They just had me take photos and use their All State app to submit their claim. They got back with a PDF saying they'd give me a certain amount of money. They never mentioned anything about that I'd be required to taking it to a specific body shop.
     
  13. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    The first red flag in that story is ALLSTATE. :eek:
    They used to be known for low-balling claims.

    I will repeat that if you accept their offer, that will be the end of their liability........and any "hidden damage" later discovered will be on YOU.

    Do try to be wise here. It could be important.
     
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  14. burrito

    burrito Member

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    Keep in mind that insurance companies (even yours) are for-profit companies. Anything and everything they do revolves around making money and minimizing expenses.

    The money they're offering you is an attempt to minimize expenses. And even if you want to take the money, you can always negotiate a better price.
     
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    ^ that. They are gambling that a $500 is cheaper than getting an adjuster to look at the car + having a shop fix whatever the adjuster finds. And they are within their contractual rights to make this offer.

    You can take it if you want, or you can insist on waiting for an adjuster, or you can tell them you want (some greater amount) and see how fast an adjuster shows up.

    Don't forget to talk to them about diminished value- if they pay a claim on the car, it goes on the record and will negatively affect resale/trade value at least for the short term. Once the car is older it won't matter, so it kind of depends on how long you own it.
     
  16. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    What lives behind your shiny front bumper cover looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    The "impact bar" (52021) is sturdy metal, and probably laughed off a low-speed "backing into" event.

    The "impact absorber" (52611) is a sacrificial chunk of basically thick Styrofoam. In a low-energy impact, it just gets squashed, so the energy isn't passed on to anything else. Your shiny bumper cover pops right back out and looks like nothing happened, but you might want to replace the squashed Styrofoam chunk with a new one, so it is once again squashable for the next time. It's only forty bucks.

    If you look at those two standoffs at the ends of the impact bar, you'll see they are sort of corrugated-looking towers of stamped metal. They are "crush boxes" and they are built that way so that they, too, will squash before much impact energy can be delivered to the car's frame. In an accident like this, it's unlikely they crushed at all, but with the bumper cover off it's easy to take a look and see.

    Although the concealed-fasteners look can appear tricky, the bumper cover is made to be pretty easy to take off for looking at the stuff behind it.
     
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  17. Colorado Boo

    Colorado Boo Member

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    Yep, I was just reading about this in my 740 page owners manual....it states that even a non-airbag deployed accident requires the Toyota dealership to inspect it thoroughly. I'd do that before signing anything.
     
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  18. Northerner

    Northerner Member

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    I had similarly bad luck but the damage was scratches and a dent to the passenger front door and front fender. I was surprised to see the repairs come in at over $2000 at the shop that the insured’s company sent me to.
    I absolutely not willing to settle for anything but complete inspection and repair on my brand new car.
     
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  19. Sid786

    Sid786 Active Member

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    Similar issue when in car wash front truck put a brake, while on rails. So my front has plastic damage visible. Got a quote from body shop was around $2200 but it didn't include if sensors or inside were damage. Insurance of the other guy estimated $1600 after inspection was done. Worst part is that it will take 3 weeks or more time to fix.
     
  20. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    Excellent advice, and great diagram to share. (y)

    I agree with above comments about being very weary about accepting a preliminary offer. The OP would be accepting a blind compensation without knowing what is really going on behind the scenes. Absolutely should have it inspected by a reputable shop before making a decision, particularly as the OP’s car sounds nearly brand new.

    Another consideration if the car is owned or leased (?); be especially careful if it happens to be a lease (though it doesn’t sound like it?), as there could be fees for the damage upon turning the vehicle in… *if* the inspector spots the (seemingly minor) damage, since there are some signs like the tabs being broken.
     
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