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Old 01-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #1
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New 4x4 Sprinter in Accident- Advice needed

My new 2018 Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 170 was in transport and the transport carrier snagged a power line on my Sprinter and the power pole came crashing down on the van.

Has anyone else gone through similar damage? What should I look for in the repair to make sure it was done right? Is the entire roof and each side one panel of metal?

I was looking forward to starting the conversion next month but looks like that may not be happening.

Pictures attached below.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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Very sorry to see and hear about this. Wish you the best moving forward.

That looks like it will be a pretty extensive repair with the buckling on the side. I am sure it can be fixed. I'd make sure to get new replacement parts for the back doors. Probably they will weld in new steel to fix the top and sides.

I would not accept a straighten and body filler sort of repair although I wouldn't expect an MB dealer to do that. I believe these days the standard is part and panel replacement, although I am not an expert.

No way to get them to replace the van?
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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...No way to get them to replace the van?
That is what I was thinking.

I'm just not sure how well that area will seal after repairs. The last thing you want is water intrusion damaging your interior conversion.

You may want JWA's insight on this since had a body repair and glass shop.


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Old 01-12-2019, 04:08 PM   #4
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BTW, was it even technically yours yet? Had you taken possession?

What has the dealership, or carrier company, offered as compensation?


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Old 01-12-2019, 04:46 PM   #5
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Ouch---that's a nasty lick to be sure.

First order of business is determine if this was indeed YOUR Sprinter---despite having paid a deposit unless it was titled in your name and recorded in the record of your local BMV you might have certain rights of refusal, the dealership (through no fault of their own) cannot presently deliver what you bargained for, to wit a new undamaged vehicle.

Before I'd worry about what repairs and the results thereof would be get the best advice you can regarding your rights of refusal. As others have said the location and type of visible damage is significant and no way in hell I'd accept delivery. I know that's not good news with the back log of Sprinter 4x4's but its better to wait a bit (easy for me to say right?) than accept something damaged by the transporter.

FWIW I had a rather beat-to-death '88 E150 that suffered similar damage by a tow driver who didn't pay close attention to back the van into my drive. It was being towed via the wheel lift arm of his roll back rig---he being a professional I didn't question his choice.

The damage was primarily to the left C-Pillar, just above the tail light BUT the side wall was wrinkled, the roof rail bent outward ever so slightly. Tow company's insurance declared it a total loss, paid us about $5K and let us keep the van. (Age alone caused this action---nothing wrong with the van.)

As I'm looking at the photos there's a lot of damage that if done properly could run as high as $10K to do the job right. You'd NOT want a lot of straightening and pulling and hammering things back into place, a dab of filler and paint and delivery back to you. Its a NEW undelivered vehicle for chrissake!

I've PM'd you with a bit more advice----best wishes for a speedy replacement!

BTW when I owned my body shop I learned there's a great number of transported vehicles damaged and repaired that never gets reported. At the time vehicles shipped into the USA via ocean liners would be crashed in-transit and fixed at a large facility just off the Baltimore docks. Because most of that damage could be claimed below a certain cost ratio threshhold it didn't have to be disclosed.

I learned of this though a friend in the repair biz when sharing a story of not being able to find what was then the Vehicle Certification Certificate spot welded to the core support. His speculation was that vehicle had significant front end damage, the core support etc had been replaced but the VCC tag not transferred or a new on secured.

Another friend had a very high performance Pontiac Firebird with huge problems he nor the dealership could supposedly identify. We took one look at the car underneath and saw the unit body front rails were bent. Most likely this was also done by the transportation company when it was lashed down with ratchet straps on the multi-level car hauler trailer.

Its almost frightening what happens to new vehicles before they're delivered.

HTH
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:35 PM   #6
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Send it back. Total it out. Whatever. Plenty of 4x4 170” out there.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:37 PM   #7
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I would definitely walk away from this if you can. You would normally not own the vehicle until the conversion is complete, unless you purchased it first and were then having it transported to SMB.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:34 AM   #8
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As others has stated don’t accept the vehicle. This is on the transporter, there insurance & bonding can pay for a new sprinter. You should be getting a new undamaged vehicle... not this one.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #9
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I too think you should refuse delivery. You contracted for a new, undamaged vehicle. There's no doubt it can be repaired so it looks cosmetically perfect, but it may never be correct, and problems could show up in the future (mis-matched paint that fade's differently, leaks, squeaks, rattles etc.) In addition it may carry a re-constructed title, lowering it's value at resale.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:10 AM   #10
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Now I’m curious on the outcome. Let us know if you were able to refuse delivery or if it was already yours!
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