While the health crisis has lengthened delivery times for new vehicles, it has also led to a shortage of certain spare parts. And sometimes, broken down or damaged vehicles find themselves stuck in the garage for several months while waiting for a supply. The foreman of a bodywork approved by insurance tells us. One example among hundreds of others in France.
Vincent sometimes finds himself distraught when victims of traffic accidents ask him when they will be able to get their car back, and for good reason: this workshop manager of a body shop in Hauts-de-France has to deal with the shortage of certain spare parts. Cases are rare, fortunately, but can lead to endless waits. He tells us about his embarrassment and the financial losses that these situations cause…
What types of parts have you had trouble with? And on which models?
Vincent: I had some problems with headlight lenses. For example, I have just received a Citroën C4 which suffered a small front impact. Nothing serious, but the right projector is damaged and must be replaced. Unfortunately, the brand is unable to give me a delivery date. The vehicle is however recent since it dates from 2015.
And on French vehicles, it is impossible for me to repair with a headlight other than that of the manufacturer, while foreign brands authorize adaptable parts approved. As a result, the car has been stuck in my park for three weeks, and it is impossible for me to give a return date to my client. Of course, I have the possibility of looking for a used part, but they are rare.
Same problem with a fifth generation Renault Clio, therefore also very recent. The optic itself is not damaged, but the mounting brackets have yielded. And alas, the brand does not provide a repair kit, you have to change the block. The problem is that Renault announces a delivery in January 2023. I was able to “pick up the pieces” to help out the customer, but he will have to come back once the part has been received. He would probably have done well without this setback…
Other problematic parts?
At the beginning of the year, I was particularly annoyed with the recent MG ZS EV. Following an encounter between the SUV and a wild boar, the front end had to be largely redone. The problem is that the brand did not manage to supply the grille for three months.
The client rode like this from January to the end of March. Nothing dramatic will you tell me, but he is worried about the supply of other parts if necessary. A stress that almost makes him regret his purchase.
Which case caused you the most problems?
Active driving assistance on a recent Peugeot 308 (less than four years old). A shock before, again. Once the face of the vehicle was replaced and repainted (less than ten days), no one could have believed that the car was not fit to drive again. However, it lacked a decisive part, in this case the ARTIV box which detects obstacles and triggers the automatic emergency braking with which the car was homologated.
Without this element, it is impossible to return the vehicle to the customer. And the brand took four months to deliver to me. Impossible to do otherwise, by taking a second-hand part for example, as one can do for a headlight, because the part is linked to the chassis number. I struggled so that the client could continue to go to work by providing him with a courtesy vehicle. Result, I am out of pocket, because he returned the vehicle to me with an additional 17,000 km. Inevitably, it had to be revised, and it lost value.