Diminished Value or Diminution in Value is defined as that portion of a damage vehicle’s Pre-Loss Value that cannot be restored through the repair process.
Repair to "Industry Sub-Standard-Cut Rate Repair" exists when repairers use, used salvaged parts, non-original imitation parts**, excessive body plastic repair material, limited materials with regard to coatings, caulking or sealers. In providing this minimum level of repair. The technicians were unsupervised and no specific quality control measures were used. This repairer is either inexperienced or is willing to risk their reputation on a cut-rate repair. They believe the average untrained consumer will not notice the visible flaws. An expert has concluded that major and minor flaws and/or defects remain. Clear evidence of the repair process exists, exposed welds, weld burns, missing paint on hidden or interior surfaces, bodywork that is easily visible to even the untrained consumer.
The repairers may have used parts from sources other than the original manufacturer, used Salvaged parts that were untested or history verified. Areas of the vehicle may have been repaired using an excessive plastic auto body filler material. This repair was completed WITHOUT consulting the manufacturer specifications or guidelines. An expert has concluded that serious flaws or defects remain from the collision. It has also been concluded that evidence of the repair process exists that subsequent buyers may find. An expert has determined that the paintwork has been restored but evidence indicates that it is NOT EQUAL to the undamaged portion of the vehicle. An excessive amount of contaminant exists in the paint in the form of dirt, dust or flaws. No effort was made to polish or buff the painted surface. Diminished value would be severe and include inherent loss, insurance induced DV from limiting repairs and/or, selecting or directing the body shop. The potential for fraud is great and negligence. The potential for re-repair is limited by the value of the vehicle. It may not be practicable to re-repair the vehicle and total loss considered.
A. Minimal repair specifications were followed. No documentation exists that factory recommended repair procedures were followed. A third party provider eg. Chief or Continental Frame or Kansas Jack Dimension Service may have been used to reference dimensions. No specifications were referenced for the limits of structural repair or replacement needs. Replacement of structural components was limited to visible items. Damage may still exist and be visible. Integrity of HLSA or Composites or Alloys was not addressed. No after-repair tear down or testing has been performed.
B. Structural measuring was not documented and there is evidence of obvious variance in the panel gaps and alignment. It is not known with any degree of certainty that the vehicle will perform in a subsequent crash in a predictable manner as originally intended.
C. If the vehicle has a separate steel frame and the vehicle's frame has been repaired. There is evidence of hold down damage and repair areas are readily visible to a knowledgeable buyer or expert. The damage extended past the suspension area at either end of the vehicle. The drive train of the vehicle may have sustained compression damage. Un-documented heat may have been applied to the frame during repair. The frame may still have a twist, buckle, kink, diamond, corrosion or integrity issue where performance may be affected. A post repair inspection would reveal frame damage is present. That the attached body structure has visible flaws and defects.
D. The vehicle has evidence of kinetic damage caused from the impact in areas such as mountings, mechanical or structural components. As a result, there is documented proof that all accident-related damage has NOT been identified or repaired.
E. Some areas of the vehicle reveal it's had prior damage that may overlap impacts at different times. The vehicle is clearly distinguishable from an undamaged vehicle of the exact same make, year and model. In the opinion of most informed buyers, used and new cars dealers it would definitely be determined the vehicle was damaged. There is risk all of the factory warranties may not be intact.
F. This vehicle is not in a pre-loss condition relative to other makes or models of similar year. There is credible evidence that this vehicle will not function, perform and wear in a manner similar to that of an undamaged vehicle of the same year, make and model. Welded seams, joints and spot-welds were not inspected and the repair sites lack evidence of anti-corrosion coatings. There exists no documented proof internal and external coatings were applied.
G. The paintwork has not been restored to factory specifications; there is an obvious difference between the original paintwork and that of the repaired areas. This difference can be color mismatch, texture, or material quality. It is determined that there is a distinguished difference between the repair areas paint and that on the undamaged portion of the vehicle.
This vehicle will not function, perform or wear in a manner relative to that of an undamaged vehicle of the same year, make and model. It is unpredictable as to what may happen in a 10-20 mile per hour crash. Most vehicles are not built or crash safety tested above 20 MPH with intention of repairing them.
** Imitation parts: Have been determined by the courts to be inferior to OEM parts in many respects. Imitation parts void factory warranties on the imitation component itself and on all other related-connected components that fail due to the presence of the imitation part. Imitation parts have no effective recall system, should the manufacturer discover a design or material defect after installation. Imitation parts have been found NOT to be of like kind and quality in fit, finish, warranty and performance; as a result, using them may cause additional loss of value and additional potential safety hazards. Reconditioned or re-manufactured are also considered to be inferior unless sponsored by the OEM manufacturer.