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OMG - Dealer Wrecked My '04

28 January 2004
One of my tires was having a slow leak (new neighborhood, new construction, a nail most likely) and the car was getting near due for an oil change, so I called my dealer to have them come pick up the car for service. My salesman actually picked it up for me (great guy, bent over backwards to get us the car, 4th car we've bought from him) yesterday morning.

I left explicit instructions that only one tech was to work on it, as he installed the CTSC and knew the car, so he's familiar with the oil change procedure.

So I get a call from the tech this AM saying he had bad news on account of the rain... I told him not to worry, as I've had the car out in the rain a few times. He explained that he took off from a stop sign, hit second, lost control and put the car in a ditch. I started laughing (I've hung out with him at car shows, etc and he's worked on all of our Acura/Honda cars doing performance work thru the dealer) and said "no, seriously - what's up?" He assured me he wasn't kidding... I said I'd be right up and hung up.

I arrived to find the car getting hosed off - mud and grass all over the passenger side, clumps stuck in the wheels and brakes. He'd said it was the driver's side that got torn up. The quarter panel was buckled up, hanging loose - the front fender is twisted, the whole front bumper is shifted to the passenger side. The radiator support is bent to shit, the radiator is busted... the only reason the hood didn't bend was because I had a painted CF one on it. The passenger side front seems to be sitting up higher, too - maybe it's me being paranoid.

I feel bad for the tech - great guy but turning off TCS on wet roads and doing a hard shift to second (I'm assuming) with a SC'd NSX is a stupid, stupid move...

His boss was trying to tell me that he's not covered by their insurance policy (ie, "we aren't responsible for damages") and that he wasn't supposed to drive it. I know I'm sure as hell not going to eat the cost and his insurance company says he doesn't have the coverage to pay anything for the car.

At the same time, while I once HAD an immaculate, garage kept, 6k mile flawless car, I've now got one that's going to depriciate like mad because 1/2 the car needs to be painted/replaced. I told them that if it were my TL, fine, fix it... but this is different.

What would you guys do?


Pics (sorry - they're digitals of color inkjet prints they did at the dealer):








Sorry to hear about that. I'd demand a new one. You dropped off a basically new car. You should get one in return. I don't think it matters that he say's his insurance won't cover him. The mechanic is a representative of the dealership. It doesn't matter if he was authorized to take it out or anything. Fight this one to the end. Don't bend over for these guys.
I would be posting the dealer just gave me full book for my 04 and sold me a 05 at cost - hold back.!!!!

BTDT.. Make sure they make you whole again...
Ironically, the sales manager said the same thing - that they'd do what it took to make me "whole again". Even said my salesman could do a preliminary locator for a blue/blue '05... I have no problem starting over, equity be damned. I just want an unwrecked NSX back .. albeit one with a 6psi CTSC, NSX-R spoiler/hood/shift knob, etc...

For sure get a new 05 or 04 w/ equal or less miles than yours. Like you said, the car is going to depreciate big time after the repairs...you should not be the one taking that loss.

I'd try to contact the acura sales rep for that area too see if they can do anything.
Fortunately, covered or not, that car is the dealers responsibility period!!!
unfortunately, the insurance company will probably just have it fixed, not replaced...Good luck.
It is not relevant what ANYBODY "says". DO NOT WAIT ONE MINUTE, Get a lawyer, get it is writing. If you do not, you have nothing. That is the hard fact.

Good Luck and hope it all works out for you.

Sorry to hear about your car. I'd definitely hold out for a new car. The dealer now owns your recked car and you should get a new one. I wouldn't settle for anything less. And the nonsense about the tech not being covered under their insurance is complete BS.
DO NOT accept anything less than a new one. The car is not the same anymore. Your car just depreciated in value and perfection due to the stupidity of their employee.

Good luck...

PS: not sure if it's a good idea to report this to the police to file an accident so it would be on record. The driver who got into an accident should get a traffic ticket behind the wheel.
The dealer isn't covered!?! That's laughable. Just turn it over to his insurance and to your insurance adjuster to find out exactly what is damaged and if it is repairable. You deserve to get your car back in the exact condition that it was in when you turned it over to him. No ifs, ands, or buts.

And, when you find out what the damages are and the estimated cost, have a body shop of YOUR CHOICE do the work. DO NOT let this slimy dealership let their body shop even touch it!
Is that part in the front of the car (the radiator support) part of the frame or is that a totally removable and replaceable piece? If there's any frame damage I would settle for nothing but a new car, many people on here have posted how this car, with an aluminum frame, will never be the same again once it's been bent.
Larry Bastanza said:
It is not relevant what ANYBODY "says". DO NOT WAIT ONE MINUTE, Get a lawyer, get it is writing. If you do not, you have nothing. That is the hard fact.

Good Luck and hope it all works out for you.


I second that. Get a lawyer now don't wait.
wow! Very sorry to hear about this. I agree with the others. Get an attourney ASAP. If the tech was not supposed to drive the car, the dealership should not have let him do it. Also, why does he need to turn TCS off and hard shift second?? This is completely idiotic. I am with the others, DO NOT SETTLE for a fixed car.
Well, it looks like the dealer has agreed to take in a trade on a banged up 04 with 6K miles for a new 05.

Very nice of them.

See what their offer is before getting an attorney. Generally these fees are not recoverable. The dealer is responsible for their employees acting within scope of their job....a tech taking a car out for a test drive is clearly within scope.

The front is easily fixed, but the quarter worries me a lot.
:eek: Man, you have my sympathies.....I really hope everything turn out well.....the dealership definitely will compensate you...its just how far you are willing to fight....good luck.

-Rob and Julia....
Get a lawyer, immediately.

I would expect that dealer to give me a new, 2004 or 5 blue/blue NSX and all my undamaged aftermarket parts from the old one. It is not the employee's responsibility - it is the dealer's.
This really saddens me to read this and at the same time really burns me up. This happens QUITE often. I would imagine more times that most owners would expect. Technician goes out for a "test drive" on a powerful and exotic car and guess what the test drive becomes spirited. I caught a tech driving my brother's twin turbo supra very hard after doing a service awhile back (he had no idea I knew the car) and needless to say when I pulled back in behind him to the service center it got quite interesting, we'll leave that to the imagination.

I know this is not feasible for everyone and I feel lucky that being affilated with a shop I have this privlidge. But on my BBSC'd NSX there is NO TEST rides, joy rides, of ANY description. I don't care if they have just swapped the engine out, the tech can ride, but I'm driving. I have even gone as far as writing down the mileage when dropping it off. It's very simple to me, is your wife's / girlfriend's bed open to friends / strangers? The NSX certainly is not. Same theory. Can you fix it or pay for it if you break it?

There may be a few exceptions, and in an emergency obviously that would be a different scenerio. But my car's just not open to anyone to try out. Just my .02.

Guess this stems from my previous bad experience. Sorry if this got off topic. Best of luck and def. get an attorney involved. End rant.
I would call Acura's U.S. headquarters and make sure they know what happened. I would think they have some interest in what their dealers are up to.