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Home Rides Cars and Bikes The Decline Art of Custom Body Paint and Repair
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The Decline Art of Custom Body Paint and Repair

auto_body_repair_fraudAuto body repair shops plagued in fraud

It is said that the finest art is created by those who truly love art. The same may be said for talented auto body paint and repair technicians.  It’s important to differentiate the average body shop who is content with mediocre work and insurance claims and those who take actual pride in Custom Body and Paint. Whether one is customizing a lowrider or restoring an all original classic, one of the hardest things is finding a body shop willing to give your car the paint job it deserves. A  great paint job is one done by professionals who truly understands and enjoy the art of auto paint.  These professionals take pride in their art and their excellent reputations speak for themselves. 

Fraudulent Body Shops

Many who have experienced the struggle of restoring cars know that the art of custom auto paint and repair is being taken over by shady shops simply in for it for the money. Deceitful body shops may appear sincere in advertisement and appearance but one may find that these places prefer taking on insurance claims and avoid others as if they were a cancer. The first thing one may expect to see posted on many fraudulent Body Shops is “Insurance Claims Welcome”.

No Insurance - No Service Reassurance

The first thing people will be asked before their car is even acknowledged is who their insurance company is. If your car is older than 10 years old chances are you will receive a run-a-round.

Sham body shops find it much easier to milk insurance companies with deep pockets than to rob the average fellow with the classic car. Why should a Body Shop work harder smoothing out a classic ride with dent pullers and Bondo when they can simply replace the damaged parts on a newer car with cheap after market fenders and grilles, not to mention make a killing off your insurance company!

Could one blame many Body Paint and Repair shops for looking out for their best financial interests?

One may answer, ‘Maybe not. That’s life. Deal with it.”

The fact of the matter is people should not be subject to fraud.

"Operation Straight Body"

Insurance fraud is the number one factor of the sharp decline of quality body paint and repair. Police are new seeing a trend of repair shops engaging in this kind of deception and working hard to put these fraudulent shops out of business. The tip of this enormous iceberg was recently revealed on June 2010, following the arrest of auto body repair workers at Huntington Beach Bodyworks in Santa Ana California.  Dubbed "Operation Straight Body" , undercover police officers posing as customers brought in a couple of damaged vehicles for repair and discovered the shop was milking their insurance company.  Employee's at the shop, including the body  shop's owner  Richard Todd Evans, were all charged with one felony count of insurance fraud.

Where Profit Outshines Passion

Many of these fraudulent shops such as Huntington Beach Bodyworks tend to advertise themselves as "Custom"  body shops.  In reality true custom body shops take pride in their craftsmanship and the quality of their work speaks for itself.   Custom body and paint is a fine art and fraudulent shops posing as such are killing the trust of consumers who only want the best for their cars. Many "Custom" body shops who's desire for profit surpass their passion of quality are now dropping the term "Custom"  in their advertisement campaigns. Fraudulent body shops figure why should they waste time turning down consumers seeking true custom craftsmanship  when they can focus on turning insurance claims into quick and easy cash.

Genuine Custom Body Shops

True Custom Body Shops, although rare still do exist so please do not lose hope of receiving a great paint job. Just do your homework and look for actual examples of their work. Word of mouth never lies and attending local car shows is a good start. Spot out a clean classic car with a great paint job and talk to the owner for a referral and go from there.

In Conclusion, true Custom Body Paint and repair has become a rare art and is more difficult to find as auto insurance fraud progresses into the future.

D. Arredondo
www.convictedartist.com

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Joseph M  - Tpny Lewis Body Shop Rip offs |
I ended up taking my car there for damage I received in a hit and run. While the car was there, Mr. Lewis called me up and told me the car had more damage than what was originally noted. He told me it would be a little extra. I figured my insurance would take of it and they did. Thank God for Allstate. Anyways, I picked up the vehicle and drove away. Anyone in El Paso knows how hot it gets there and a working A/C is a must. Well, I turned on my A/C and only the fan kicked in. I took it back to Lewis and the shop foreman tells me, "that's how it came in." I explained to him that the A/C did work. I looked under the hood and found that some aluminum lines that connected to the radiator were broken. I showed him and still denied ever breaking them. I was pissed. Not just about the A/C, but that he tried to sell him self off as concerned and that it would be safer to fix the additional problems with the car. Tony Lewis Body shop is a rip off. I ended up sekkinfg the car for cheap because the A/C didn't work.
mark  - re: corrupt insurance adjusters |
I had a bad experience with too

max wrote:
the problem is also the fact that insurance adjusters and appraisers are corrupt ,also they take money from shops they pay for parts that are not damaged and split the cost of part. The shop makes money and so does the appraiser the whole system is corrupt. Especially watch out for fred loya insurance they are the biggest crooks in the business
max  - corrupt insurance adjusters |
the problem is also the fact that insurance adjusters and appraisers are corrupt ,also they take money from shops they pay for parts that are not damaged and split the cost of part. The shop makes money and so does the appraiser the whole system is corrupt. Especially watch out for fred loya insurance they are the biggest crooks in the business
reinaldo  - No Bueno |
Reglo Paint & Body Shop of Miami?
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Jimmy C  - COMPLETE FRAUD!!! NEVER GO HERE |
I too was ripped off by a body shop. Brown Bros. Auto Body & Paint Shop in Los Angeles completely me over.

This was a hard lesson to learn and ask that people who have been ripped off by this shop contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair and report them!
Manny  - re: Sergio Lewis Body Shop |
Julian wrote:
I ended up getting scammed here in El Paso after taking my truck to a local body shop. My 2002 Chevy Silvarado was hit front end and and had it "fixed" at Sergio Lewis Body Shop. When I got the truck back I noticed that my fenders and hood were replaced with super flimsy after markets, not stock at all.
They were off a bit. I found that this shop had charged my insurance company and a outrageous amount. Not only has my insurance gone up but I am now stuck financing a defected truck.


Didn't Sergio Lewis the owner of Sergio Lewis Body Shop recently win elections for El Paso County Commissioner or something like that? Hhmmm....
Guy  - re: Custom Body Shop Recommendations |
Dan wrote:
Can anyone out there recommend a good custom body shop in the El Paso, Texas area? I'd sho appreciate the help.


Any recommendations for the Southern California area?
Dan  - Custom Body Shop Recommendations |
Can anyone out there recommend a good custom body shop in the El Paso, Texas area? I'd sho appreciate the help.
Julian  - Sergio Lewis Body Shop |
I ended up getting scammed here in El Paso after taking my truck to a local body shop. My 2002 Chevy Silvarado was hit front end and and had it "fixed" at Sergio Lewis Body Shop. When I got the truck back I noticed that my fenders and hood were replaced with super flimsy after markets, not stock at all.
They were off a bit. I found that this shop had charged my insurance company and a outrageous amount. Not only has my insurance gone up but I am now stuck financing a defected truck.
 
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