Similar lawsuits could happen in the UK if vehicles are not repaired to the manufacturer standard, it is claimed
A couple who suffered life-changing injuries are suing US insurer State Farm in a legal battle that could repeat itself in the UK if insurers are not careful.
Matthew and Marcia Seebachan claim a repair shop failed to fix their car to Honda’s original manufacturer’s recommendations.
Honda recommends recommended spot welding but the garage used adhesive, it is alleged.
The couple were awarded $42m against repairer Texas-based John Eagle Collision Center, and now they are suing State Farm.
It is claimed State Farm Mutual Auto influenced the garage’s repair decision to use adhesive.
“Greedy insurance companies have been bullying auto body shops into fixing damaged vehicles with unsafe practices and materials for decades,” said lawyer Todd Tracy, representing the couple.
State Farm denies the allegations and wants the lawsuit thrown out.
UK: It could happen here
In the UK, Auto Windscreens has criticised industry rivals for using recalibration methods on windscreens that do not guarantee the full functionality of a vehicle’s Advanced Driving Assistance Systems features, potentially putting the safety of the driver at risk.
Pointing to the report in Glassbytes, Autowindscreens managing director Rupert Armitage said: “We are the only vehicle glass repair and replacement business in the UK that offers the reassurance that every recalibration will be carried out by manufacturer approved technicians in a manufacturer approved workshop environment.
”All the vehicles we work on are returned to their owners with a manufacturer’s guarantee that all the ADAS functionality is in 100% correct working order.
“By partnering with all manufacturers we have not only been able to control this necessary additional cost but also ensure that the ADAS fitted to the vehicle will be returned to the customer fully functional, as intended.”
It comes as Auto Windscreens revealed it is reducing its national ADAS recalibration rates by 12%.
The new rates cover every vehicle manufacturer make and model and will be the cheapest national ADAS camera recalibration rates in the UK.
The business has built extensive partnerships with the vehicle manufacturers and dealer networks and offers the only solution that is 100% manufacturer approved.
Armitage said: “From the outset we promised that the recalibration of front-facing cameras would not be used by Auto Windscreens as a revenue stream. It is simply part of our award winning service. It has taken us nearly eighteen months of collecting data but I am delighted to announce that we are in a position to reduce our rates to all of our insurance and fleet partners.”
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