Body shops slammed repairing hail-damaged cars

Body shops slammed repairing hail-damaged cars

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by AMY COWMAN / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

AMY COWMAN / NewsChannel 36

Posted on April 20, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 20 at 5:15 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Many people walked away from the recent storms without injuries or damage to their homes, but their cars weren't so lucky. Dents from hail and broken windows have body shops working around the clock.

"It's been chaos because when hail falls in a town like this and doesn't expect it, no one really knows what to do with the amount of claims," said Dent Wizard technician Brandon Mann.

It's all hands on deck at Wilburn Auto Body on South Tryon. Mann is just one of many subcontractors for Dent Wizard brought in to help with the massive amount of repairs from the storm.
 
"We took in about 1,500 cars last week and we're looking at about that same number this week," said Stephanie Walbourne with Wilburn Auto Body.
 
Cars are packed in the back lots, the front lots, the shops and even out front where new customers are constantly coming in for estimates.

"I was at work in Fort Mill and stuck there and there's nothing I could do. Hail started bouncing off, you could see it. So it's pretty bad," said customer Ashley Rodrigud.
 
The majority of repairs done are known as PDR, or paint-less dent removal.
 
"It's very time consuming because the dents are large, because it was a bad hailstorm. So, it's going to take a while to get the damage repaired," said Mann.
 
Nationwide and Geico both have catastrophe crews here to help with claims, including many that need more than just dent repair.
 
"Because the hail was so large, we're having to do a lot of conventional repairs on a lot of the vehicles, meaning replacing panels, roofs, trucklets," said Walbourne.
 
Depending on the severity of the repair they say it could take anywhere from an afternoon to more than a week but they know for sure they'll be busy for at least a month.

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