Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Empowered by Technicalities: The Story of My Car

In my home, my husband takes care of all the finances and technicalities of our lives. Loans, plumbing, house or car repairs, insurance, and garbage removal.
Last week, however, we needed to take the car in to be repaired as the rear hatch aka the trunk was leaking after the wiring was installed for a U-haul hitch back in the end of July.
I took off a day from work to run around and scheduled a trip to Toyota to have my car repaired.
And this is how I started to learn all about a lot of things I wish I knew nothing about.
I got the the repair center and was assigned a representative, Bob. No really, his name is Bob. when I told him that the problem was that the car would leak when it rained, Bob informed me that it would take several hours to determine the cause of the leak (which I believed was from the hitch installation). Water testing takes a long time so I would probably have to leave the car there. Of course, just to frustrate me, I was ineligible for a loaner car (still unclear why).
I usually get VERY flustered when things like this go wrong. Here I was stuck in Hackensack at the Toyota repair sop with no ride home, pregnant, and emotional. LUCKILY, I kept it together and waited, figuring we would just have to reschedule the repair.
After about an hour, it was determined that the repair would take several days. Bob said he would try to get me a loaner vehicle for the interim even though it wasn't standard protocol.
They were able to get me a loaner and they gave me the largest car they had, a Venza (a car I secretly wish I owned). The service center staff helped me transfer my 5 car-seats to the Venza and I took off.
Then came the technical work:
First, I had to get documentation of the cause of the leak from Toyota.
After that, I had spoke to my lawyer-aunt to find out how to proceed.
Then, I called the insurance company to find out if this type of damage would be covered and process a claim.
Next, I dealt with Toyota regarding the repairs needed and the details including having the appraiser from the insurance company come to assess the damage.
I also spoke to the insurance company about suing U-haul for the deductible as well as the cost of the repair and made sure I got all the documentation required to do so. I can't wait until that part of this saga is settled.
And finally, I spoke to the bank that finances our car to ensure that we process the insurance payment correctly despite the lien on the vehicle.


The service center (and Bob) was so amazing that the technicians re-ran the wiring, allowing me to keep the hitch by properly installing it without ruining the weather stripping of the trunk. They also took my car to be washed before I come to get it. Because the repair also included replacing the entire car carpet (full of mold and mildew), I anticipate that the car will come back MUCH cleaner than my children left it ;) and in much better shape.

I can't wait to get my minivan back. And in the process I've been empowered and strengthened. (Let's just hope my husband doesn't see this as an opportunity to distribute his responsibilities...)

Come again!