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So, I was exiting a parking lot behind a woman in a large Chrysler SUV. We were both approaching a stop sign, and I stopped about 8 or 10 feet behind her. For some reason, she put her car into reverse and started backing up. Frantically, I was honking and screaming, but she continued to reverse into me:facepalm.

The spare tire and trailer hitch on her SUV went directly onto the front clam, taking the emblem off, cracking one of the turn indicators/running lamps, putting a dime-sized hole into the clam behind the turn indicator, and scraping a good bit of paint off.

The clam was also popped up over the mount at the front of the exit vent on the driver's side.

Here's some pictures:mad::mad::mad::(:(:(:





Her insurance (GEICO) already contacted me and set up an appoinment for an adjuster to inspect the damage at a Chevy dealership on Saturday.

So what am I in for here? I haven't had an accident in 14 years and I don't remember the process. I'm guessing the clam is repairable, but is there the possibility of any other damage beneath it? Anyone want to give a ballpark guestimate if the clam is good to repair so I can make sure the adjuster doesn't try to low ball me?

Also, I'll want to have the car fixed at a shop that is qualified - any recommendations in the Baltimore/Washington area?

Thanks,
 

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Tire abuser
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Ugh. Really sorry to see that. It is a pretty common event unfortunately and I am always worried about getting backed over. I always stop where I can see the rear view mirror of the car ahead. You would think that yellow is hard to miss.

Others, with more knowledge will weigh in on clam repair/replacement.
 

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5k for a new clam and some bits, and 5k in paint and labor. 10k id say. just the star shield and lens and labor is almost a grand.

be careful about repairs, i guarantee you it looks 2x worse from the inside, and if you push on its 4x worse, the fiberglas is this and separates/cracks out very easy. not saying that it can not be repaired. just saying repairing it correctly will probably not change the cost significantly.

keep in mind al lthe lotus colors are very hard to match. the color changes with thickness (opacity). so the new / fixed calm should be painted and the car blended and that is not cheap to do. also getting the paint finish to match makes all the difference.

on advantage of repairing the clam is that it may then be possible to paint the nose and blend the clam, rather than blend the rest of the car. so that scenario could reduce the price.

but its not your job to reduce the price!
 

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Really sorry to see that... there's NO EXCUSE! 'Afraid I can't lend any repair estimates to the discussion -- but, I was gonna take mine out for a spin -- until now. Reckon, she'll just hide in the garage some more...
 

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That blows man, I bet it can be fixed. Had a dime sized hole in mine thanks to some road debris and the bill was just South of 9K. GEICO didn't give me any grief for it though and I'm very happy with the repair.
 

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Wow, sorry to see that. You've only had the car a couple of weeks, right? Every time I'm out and about in Crofton/Gambrills I've kept my eye out for you.

In Maryland you don't have to take Geico's estimate. You are entitled to take your car to any shop you want for an estimate, and accept the estimate you want. That is Maryland law.

If you replace the clam, you may have a wait. Apparently there is a shortage of new clams and there have been horror stories on here of many months wait.

As has been said it is damaged all the way through. The clam would have to come off to fix it right. If you get the clam repaired I'd go ahead and have that seam across the nose filled.

Can't recommend a shop. When Criswell was a Lotus dealer they used a shop that generally did a good job (although some had less than satisfactory experiences). Don't know if they'd bother with your car now.
 

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I had a somewhat similar incident but my clam damage was worse. The clam was replaced along with a headlight and the radiator shroud. It was cracked. I doubt you have any damage underneath but of course the clam will be removed and any further damage will be found.

I took mine to the shop of my choice and then told the insurance company where it was. From there, the insurance company and the shop handled all of the details.
 

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Definitely talk to local dealer and see what fiberglass experts they use. Easy repair in the right hands.
 

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Wouldn't it be better if you took it to EuroMotorcars in Bethesda?

Lotus Dealer in Bethesda Maryland - EuroMotorcars Lotus

-Swift
I agree. Talk to the dealer to find who would actually fix it to get appraised with the insurance appraiser and the repair appraiser working side by side (one for your and one against you). Don't let the appraiser access your vehicle independently, much less sign anything until you are confident everything is covered or that you can add more damage as it is discovered.
 

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So sorry to see that... I hope everything goes smoothly!

At first I wondered "why a Chevy dealer?" .... but then I thought that if there isn't a Lotus dealer close, the Chevy dealer has experience dealing with Corvette fiberglass... maybe they'll give a good estimate? I sure hope so. Best of luck.
 

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And here is another reason

To upgrade your horn......recommend something that resembles a train!,,,:D
 

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holy shiit this is my exact scenario! and almost the exact same damage. Goodness, I feel sorry for you man.

My car has been in the shop for over a month. I hope to get it back this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ugh. Really sorry to see that. It is a pretty common event unfortunately and I am always worried about getting backed over. I always stop where I can see the rear view mirror of the car ahead. You would think that yellow is hard to miss.

Others, with more knowledge will weigh in on clam repair/replacement.
She told me that her back-up obstruction warning bell didn't come on until her car was on top of my car. I'm still in awe that she didn't bother looking behind her, nor did she hear the (weak) horn. I think when its at the body shop, I'm going to ask them to put in an air horn when the clam is off.

5k for a new clam and some bits, and 5k in paint and labor. 10k id say. just the star shield and lens and labor is almost a grand.

be careful about repairs, i guarantee you it looks 2x worse from the inside, and if you push on its 4x worse, the fiberglas is this and separates/cracks out very easy. not saying that it can not be repaired. just saying repairing it correctly will probably not change the cost significantly.

keep in mind al lthe lotus colors are very hard to match. the color changes with thickness (opacity). so the new / fixed calm should be painted and the car blended and that is not cheap to do. also getting the paint finish to match makes all the difference.

on advantage of repairing the clam is that it may then be possible to paint the nose and blend the clam, rather than blend the rest of the car. so that scenario could reduce the price.

but its not your job to reduce the price!
Thanks! I'll think I'll be going to the Bethesda Lotus dealership's body shop; hopefully they'll have some experience and will be able to right it.

Really sorry to see that... there's NO EXCUSE! 'Afraid I can't lend any repair estimates to the discussion -- but, I was gonna take mine out for a spin -- until now. Reckon, she'll just hide in the garage some more...
Thanks!

Eh, I'd say go for it. I took all the bad lotus mojo for today, everyone else should be good.

That blows man, I bet it can be fixed. Had a dime sized hole in mine thanks to some road debris and the bill was just South of 9K. GEICO didn't give me any grief for it though and I'm very happy with the repair.
Yikes! Well, her insurance company is GEICO and hopefully they'll be reasonable.

Wow, sorry to see that. You've only had the car a couple of weeks, right? Every time I'm out and about in Crofton/Gambrills I've kept my eye out for you.

In Maryland you don't have to take Geico's estimate. You are entitled to take your car to any shop you want for an estimate, and accept the estimate you want. That is Maryland law.

If you replace the clam, you may have a wait. Apparently there is a shortage of new clams and there have been horror stories on here of many months wait.

As has been said it is damaged all the way through. The clam would have to come off to fix it right. If you get the clam repaired I'd go ahead and have that seam across the nose filled.

Can't recommend a shop. When Criswell was a Lotus dealer they used a shop that generally did a good job (although some had less than satisfactory experiences). Don't know if they'd bother with your car now.
Yeah, I picked it up the beginning of this month. Not a single accident in 14 years (and that one was a dumb friend who wrecked my 944 turbo when I let him drive it), and of course the favorite car I've ever owned gets assaulted within 3 weeks of ownership.

Keep an eye out, I'm going through the route 3 corridor daily!

Regarding the clam wait, I was afraid of that. I really really do not want the car to sit in the body shop for 6 months waiting on a new part. I hope the damage is repairable or they are able to get a quick line on a replacement. At least I get a rental car for a while courtesy of GEICO.

Good call on the seam, why did they do that!?

Euro Motorcars (that is the only Lotus dealer in the area) has their own body shop, and I'd imagine that if they are fixing $80k Evoras and $100k+ Mercedes they probably do a good job.

I had a somewhat similar incident but my clam damage was worse. The clam was replaced along with a headlight and the radiator shroud. It was cracked. I doubt you have any damage underneath but of course the clam will be removed and any further damage will be found.

I took mine to the shop of my choice and then told the insurance company where it was. From there, the insurance company and the shop handled all of the details.
Yikes. I'm hoping everything goes well.

Definitely talk to local dealer and see what fiberglass experts they use. Easy repair in the right hands.
The local dealer has their own shop so I'll probably be using them.

Wouldn't it be better if you took it to EuroMotorcars in Bethesda?

Lotus Dealer in Bethesda Maryland - EuroMotorcars Lotus

-Swift
Yes, I believe I'll be using these guys, thanks! I also have two outstanding recalls on my car (ECU and oil lines), but the oil lines were replaced with beefy fire-jacketed custom lines from evolution motorsports that look to be better made than the updated ones. I will probably get the ECU reflashed while it is there.

I agree. Talk to the dealer to find who would actually fix it to get appraised with the insurance appraiser and the repair appraiser working side by side (one for your and one against you). Don't let the appraiser access your vehicle independently, much less sign anything until you are confident everything is covered or that you can add more damage as it is discovered.
As 4380r pointed out, MD law is very consumer-oriented with regards to insurance claims, but of course they will try to get away with paying the least and I will make sure they pay to fix it correctly. I will look into setting this up though.

So sorry to see that... I hope everything goes smoothly!

At first I wondered "why a Chevy dealer?" .... but then I thought that if there isn't a Lotus dealer close, the Chevy dealer has experience dealing with Corvette fiberglass... maybe they'll give a good estimate? I sure hope so. Best of luck.
It's one of GEICO's appraisal shops, but good point, they should know about composite body work and may be able to provide a more accurate estimate than any old shop.

To upgrade your horn......recommend something that resembles a train!,,,:D
Haha, I'll be going for something *loud*.

Wow, another one out for repairs. Sorry. Hope all goes well.

Alex
Thanks! I am so bummed out. I was going to drive it up to cape cod in two weekends; I still might and get the repairs done when I return.

holy shiit this is my exact scenario! and almost the exact same damage. Goodness, I feel sorry for you man.

My car has been in the shop for over a month. I hope to get it back this week.
Oh my! What is with people!?

Thank you, and here's hoping you get it back in better condition than it went in.
 

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While they have the clam off, get your fan resister pack inspected/replaced. Consider upgrading your radiator. Removing the clam is about 80% of the labor costs on these two typical failures.
Check and find out if your car has had the oil cooler line RECALL performed. They remove the clam to perform this recall.
 

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That's horrible! I always worried about this happened so I would move towards the outside of the lane where I could see the driver in the side mirror so I knew they could see me. Hopefully you don't end up having to wait for a front clam! Good luck with the repairs, hopefully everything goes smoothly.

I'm going to ask them to put in an air horn when the clam is off.
Clam does not need to come off to replace the horn. They are easy to get to with the front end jacked up.

Check and find out if your car has had the oil cooler line RECALL performed. They remove the clam to perform this recall.
Most of the time they don't. They didn't remove mine. They usually only remove it if one of the hose connections is stuck and won't come loose.
 

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I'm a motorcycle rider, I always ride my car like if I was in the motorcycle. Stay in their rear view, have a way out, but sometimes as you describe there's nothing you may be able to do. Crazy. Hope she doesn't tell insurance that you hit her.
 

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Geez how many times have we seen pretty much this same story. Another idiot stupid enough to back up in an intersection. Why are they usually in an SUV?

I've driven 42 years have never once even considered backing up in a f'n intersection. Sure, sometime I find myself out there, and when the light turns gee, it's my intersection and I drive on.

But it's our choice to drive out there with these artards in any car, much less a tiny eggshell.

About all you can do is always stop way to the left, hanging out at least 18 inches so if the dummy acidentally looks into the side view mirror they might see us, if they look.

They should be forced to sit three weekends in a glass box highly visible with a big sign saying "I am stupid enough to back into expensive cars in intersections"
Then have them pay directly for the havoc they have wrought.

I drive a Tundra as my DD. It's amazing how often prople pull out right in front of it despite the size and lights always on day or night. I sorta enjoy seeing the true fear in their eyes when they do somehow recognize my truck as an actual object.
 
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