CHARLOTTE, NC – This is not how Hadiyyah Abdushshahid wanted to start her day.
“He smashed into the back of me and I smashed into the car in front of me” said Abdushshahid of her really bad day on April 12th.
The Infiniti had damage to the front and the back, so Abdushshahid took her car to be repaired at the TAS Collision Center on North Tryon, but after a few days of them working on it, she says she didn’t like what she was seeing.
“Pieces look dented still, they kept saying it’s almost ready and I said, it couldn’t be, it looks a mess,” said Hadiyyah.
Billy Walkowiak , owner of collision safety consultants in Belmont, says after looking at the car: "this is unsafe, this car is not going to function in the way it was designed to when it left the Infiniti factory.”
Walkowiak said he found serious problems in the repair job done by the body job across town.
Walkowiak pointed out bad welds in the frame. On the MetLife insurance estimate, it clearly says remove and replace these parts.
“What they were paid for was to replace the entire thing, what they did was weld on an extension,” said Walkowiak.
NBC Charlotte was invited over to the TAS Collision Center to get their side of the story, but they told us no on camera interview.
However, they did give us paperwork that they say proves their side. Terry, the man we spoke with at TAS, gave us a receipt showing he ordered the replacement parts and told us they did put them on the car.
He even showed us the $1,000 discount he says he gave Hadiyyah on the $7,941 repair job.
Another issue soon surfaced.
The MetLife Insurance estimate didn’t include work that should have been repaired. Among the jobs needing to be fixed was the torn back seat from child’s car seat ripping into it on impact.
That item alone would have totaled out the car costing MetLife more money but it wasn’t listed.
"The reason that many estimates are underwritten is, they say, well if the body shop had told me, but it’s really because it eats into their bottom line, because they’d have to total loss the vehicle," Walkowiak said. "They’d have to pay $13,500 to her versus the $8,500 to a body shop. Those margins make a big difference to a company that writes thousands and thousands of estimates every day.”
Abdushshahid said she is angry at the collision place, but even angrier at her insurance company, because they should have been there to protect her.
NBC Charlotte called MetLife and inquired about the questionable repair job and asked why the car wasn’t totaled out by their adjuster.
Within two days of our call from the I-Team, MetLife decided to total the Infiniti and gave Abdushshahid $13,483 towards a new car.
MetLife responded to NBC Charlotte saying that the bottom line theory doesn’t hold much water and that their company is committed to giving customers what they deserve.
MetLife also told the I-Team that they recommend taking your wrecked car to a reputable repair job shop, and that means doing some research and relying on the reviews of satisfied customers.