Prius rearended at stop light - body shop only replacing bumper cover?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by sfprii, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. sfprii

    sfprii SF Prius

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    Does anyone know whether the Prius rear bumper can withstand multiple hits?

    We were rear-ended (probably <20 mph, but it was HARD) while stopped at a stoplight in a residential area. The body shop just sent a revised quote indicating replacement of bumper cover only and resetting of the airbag light.

    Does this mean there was no damage to the integrity of the bumper? I find it hard to believe because I've noticed that the hatch requires more force to close now after the accident.

    And the airbag sensor/light just requires a reset?
     
  2. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Take the car to another body shop for a second opinion...
     
  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Definitely take it (or tow it) somewhere else.

    People often over exaggerate speeds of accidents (higher when not their fault, lower when it is). Not necessarily your fault. If you weren't expecting it, then a small acceleration change (jerk) makes it seem like something big must have happened. Whereas if you were the one doing the rear-ending, you know it is coming for a few hundred milliseconds or even seconds and your brain goes into hyper sensory recording mode where it logs everything as long term memories in very very fast speeds. This is where "it felt like slow motion" thing comes from, because you have way too many memories for that short period of time, so it seems like it was over more time, i.e. slower speed.

    But back to car damage, there is a rigid foam bumper underneath the plastic bumper cover. In a 20mph crash, it would 100% need to be replaced. I would check that bumper foam yourself. If you see that it is anything but perfectly rectangular, and they say they are just replacing the cover, then scream and take it elsewhere. It will not protect you next time if it is already collapsed.

    As for the hatch being harder to close, it may just be a mental association thing. You are looking for things to be wrong, you might find one. However if it was actually high speed, it is possible the false floor supports moved up or something. Improbable, but possible. You said the airbags went off? If so then you need new airbags as well, and that dust will need to be removed professionally.
     
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I got hit from behind at a light too. It did not set the airbag off
    but hard enough to push me into the car in front of me even though I was on the brakes.

    They replaced front & rear bumper cover and the impact brace behind the rear cover. The one your talking about.
    It needs to be replaced after an impact.

    Who's your carrier?
     
  5. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Find a competent body shop. Ask serveral Toyota dealers who they refer their body work to. You live in California, It's the law that you can take the car to whomever you want, not the cheap lazy fixit shop the insurance would love you to use!
    If you have to contact an accident attorney, sometimes that sort of weight on your side willhelp greatly. Let us know how you make out!
     
  6. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    My son backed into a post with mine, it turned on the airbag light. He hit it at about 15 mph. It put a crease in the cover and it came completely loose on the drivers side, but everything behind it was OK. The crease wasn't bad, I reconnected the cover and had the light turned off. The only one who can do it is the dealer. Any other code reader won"t do it. I tried my mechanic's Snap-On, and the parts store code reader, they don't work for this code. Bad side...... the dealer wanted to charge me an hour labor to take 5 minutes to do it. I finally agreed to it because they were the only ones who could do it. When I got the car back in 10 minutes they sheepishly said.... "Uhhh that's ok, no charge. So, yes take it to another shop, but it is possible they are correct in saying nothing else was damaged.
     
  7. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    Behind the bumper is an energy absorbing material - it is a one time use material so yours has already done its job and needs to be replaced as well. Perhaps this is included with the bumper cover but I'd at least check. If not I'd insist on it being replaced.
     
  8. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    Do the seat belts retract properly?
     
  9. jdtechtalk00

    jdtechtalk00 New Member

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    Hey stevemcelroy,

    The part that you are referring to is called the Rear Bumper Energy Absorber (OEM part # 615-47020) and it is indeed a designed to be replaced after it has performed its job of absorbing the massive amounts of kinetic energy caused from accident impacts.

    At the very least, I would look into replacing the Rear Bumper Energy Absorber and the Rear Bumper cover; however, there may be a few more rear bumper components that have become compromised in the accident. Have another shop assess your Prius's damages to determine the full extent of the necessary repairs :)
     
  10. liskipper

    liskipper Member

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    As others have said, take it to another body shop - preferably one that is not recommended by your insurance company. In New York, at least, you can bring it anywhere, and insist on Toyota parts. There is an energy absorbing component that needs to be replaced. I got hit from behind, and it didn't seem that bad until my body shop disassembled the bumper. The floor was also bent up. The total cost, for a "low speed" crash? Almost $6,000. And the whiplash has had me going to Physical Therapy since March. Also, no airbags deployed, either on my cay car or the Toyota Corolla that hit me.


     
  11. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    That fits the description of hatch harder to close.

    My wife's Acura TL got rear ended by a Mercedes several years ago. It looked like just cosmetic bumper damage, but of further inspection the trunk floor was bent a bit. It was about a $4k insurance job

    The Mercedes had to be towed away.
     
  12. sfprii

    sfprii SF Prius

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    Hey all, update! I wound up getting a second estimate. The 2nd shop I went to seemed careless to me - they didn't even check the airbag light that I reported -- then wrote down "check engine light". When I corrected them on the light issue, they updated the description in the estimate, again without checking the interior light. I wound up going to the first shop.

    After removing the bumper, they found additional damage and did replace the floor -- final bill came out to double the original estimate, nearly $2k. This was a reputable shop and they replaced everything after they took the bumper off. They also explained that they assume "best case scenario" when doing estimates but will modify the estimate as soon as they get the car in for the repairs.
     
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