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View Poll Results: Will the 300m be fixed or totaled?
The insurance company will want to fix the car 0 0%
The insurance company will want to total the car and sell it at a salvage auction 11 84.62%
The insurance company will want to write a check for the car and allow you to keep it 2 15.38%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
XDCX
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Unhappy Destroying the Family Fleet - One vehicle at a time....

Well, when it rains it pours....

Since my trusty Jeep TJ is still on the injured reserve list (click here for that saga) I borrowed a Chrysler 300m from my parents to drive. I've always liked the 300m and while the car often gets poor marks for excessive interior cabin noise, compared to my Wrangler it seemed perfectly quiet to me.

I was running some errands yesterday afternoon and got rear-ended by a 16 year old driving a 2011 Toyota Tacoma while I was stopped at a red light. The kid estimated he was going about 30 - 35 MPH just before the collision.

Fortunately there were no serious injuries (my back was a bit sore but it feels better today) and it appears there's sufficient insurance coverage in place to get the 300m fixed or replaced.

Concerning the 300m, I'm betting that it's totaled. While it still drives OK and the damage doesn't look too bad it took a heavy hit and it appears the rear portion of the car is twisted. There are wrinkles in both C-pillars near the top of the rear window and the rear glass no longer fits evenly in the body opening. It also appears that the 300m "dog-tracks" by about 1.5" to the right.

Here are some pictures:







Concerning the 2011 Toyota Tacoma, it needed to be towed from the accident scene because it was leaking transmission fluid from the front cooler. The vehicle took a pretty hard hit and pushed the front fender past the front door - making it somewhat difficult to open the front door. Given the impact speed I was somewhat surprised the airbags on the Tacoma didn't deploy but I think the 300m absorbed a lot of the impact energy. The impact moved the 300m about three feet forward and I had the brakes applied hard since I could see the Tacoma coming toward me fast in the rear view mirror.

Here's a picture of the Toyota Tacoma:

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
XDCX
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Default Will the 300m be fixed or will it be totaled?

I thought I'd add a poll to this thread - Do you think the insurance company will want to fix the 300m or will they total it?

The 300m is a 2003 model with about 70K on the odometer and has a retail book of about $7,500.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:45 PM   #3
steve_biegler
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Glad you are OK. Love the line about cabin noise, as an old Jeep guy I can relate.

Did he try to miss you on the right or was he just paying more attention to his phone and drifting to the right?
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
DealerEx
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probably wind up being a total...from description sounds like they'll have to estimate both rear quarter panels, deck lid, rear bumper assembly and cover, and if they have to cut the roof panel to repair that pretty well cinches it just on parts and paint.

Last edited by DealerEx; 09-14-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
mr4t60e
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If they do write it off, and the car isn't damaged to the point that the rear wheel alignment isn't thrown off, I'd buy it back from the insurance company, get a used bumper cover, and drive it as is. I've driven cars that looked much worse than that.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
XDCX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_biegler View Post
Love the line about cabin noise, as an old Jeep guy I can relate.
I love my TJ but there's no question you have to accept a few trade-offs if you're going to drive a Wrangler on a regular basis and excessive cabin noise is one of those trade-offs. In fact, I smile when I read about states that enact laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving - I've never been able to make or receive a call while driving my TJ - it's too loud to hear anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_biegler View Post
Did he try to miss you on the right or was he just paying more attention to his phone and drifting to the right?
He was a nice kid and was very composed and apologetic. He explained that there was a vehicle that was tailgating him and he was so concerned about what was happening in his rear view mirror that he lost track of what was happening in front of him.

At the very last moment just before the collision he was trying to move to the right and that explains most of the damage. The rear bumper support on the 300m was also bent to the right and I think that deflected his vehicle and explains part of the damage.

One cool thing about the design of the 2011 Toyota Tacoma was the actual structural support for the front bumper is placed relatively low on the vehicle and lined up perfectly with the rear bumper support of the 300m. I'm sure this must be a Federal regulation and in this case the design worked well to minimize the damage to both vehicles.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr4t60e View Post
If they do write it off, and the car isn't damaged to the point that the rear wheel alignment isn't thrown off, I'd buy it back from the insurance company, get a used bumper cover, and drive it as is. I've driven cars that looked much worse than that.
I've never had to deal with an insurance company with a concern like this and I'm not 100% sure what to expect. If there's an option to keep the vehicle I think that's something I'd be interested in.

My parents aren't going to be interested in driving a wrecked vehicle but keeping the wrecked 300m would give them more time to find a suitable replacement vehicle. My dad has a neck condition that makes it difficult for him to get into many vehicles and if the 300m is totaled I think it's going to take awhile before he finds another model that suits him. Time will tell....
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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glad your o.k. and remember things happen in 3's. Make sure and get the sales tax money if car is totaled.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingersnap View Post
glad your o.k. and remember things happen in 3's.
I've been thinking about that too....

My Dodge truck is probably safe since it's still in Washington but I'm afraid to drive my parent's golf cart thinking that it might be the next victim in my path. (The golf cart is the only part of the Family Fleet in AZ that I haven't destroyed yet.)

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Originally Posted by gingersnap View Post
Make sure and get the sales tax money if car is totaled.
Thanks for mentioning that - I was wondering if the settlement would add in sales tax, doc fees, licensing fees, etc.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
conn02
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definitely totalled. The only thing left is to fight over how much his insurance will give you for your 300m. good luck with that, might have to get an attorney to get the right amount, because the book will not be kind
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
XDCX
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definitely totalled. The only thing left is to fight over how much his insurance will give you for your 300m. good luck with that, might have to get an attorney to get the right amount, because the book will not be kind
It will be interesting to see what happens once I hear from the insurance adjuster - I'm supposed to hear from them by the close of business tomorrow.

Part of me thinks the adjuster will be fair/reasonable because they'll be happy to settle an accident where their 16 year old driver rear-ended a stopped car at 30 MPH for a modest amount of money. The other part of me thinks I'm naive....
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #12
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from the pictures, it looks as if your car was garaged and spotless. It is hard for those guys to look beyond the black and white of those pages and appreciate a near classic pristine automobile
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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from the pictures, it looks as if your car was garaged and spotless. It is hard for those guys to look beyond the black and white of those pages and appreciate a near classic pristine automobile
My parents bought the 300m used but it's in almost perfect condition. They spend half the year in Seattle so the 300m in AZ spends most of its life in the garage and only racks up about 3,000 miles per year.

I mentioned to my dad that I think there's a good chance the 300m will be totaled and now he's sending me links to Chrysler 300 SRT8s on Ebay. I can just imagine him driving a SRT through his retirement community rarely exceeding of 35 MPH.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:49 PM   #14
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Angry That friggin trunk light.....

Sometimes you just have to laugh....

I was going to get some parts for my TJ this afternoon and I was planning to take the 300m. As I was getting ready to go I couldn't figure out why the power seat wouldn't work. Then I was trying to figure out why the garage door didn't close when I hit the button above the EVIC display. Once I tried to start the car it all became clear - the battery was dead.

While the trunk lid had initially remained closed after the accident it popped open since I've been driving the vehicle. I hadn't paid too much attention to it since the trunk was still 95% closed and it didn't lift while I was driving.

What I didn't realize is that a 5% trunk opening is enough to turn on the trunk light and drain the battery.

I've got the battery charger hooked up and I wonder if the 300m will be charged enough to make a pizza run to Papa John's tonight? The Diamondbacks won yesterday so all pizza at Papa John's is 50% off....
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:17 PM   #15
XDCX
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Default One inspection down, one to go....

After about a week of delays Farmers finally has the ball moving and I had an appointment to get the 300m inspected by one of their approved body shops this morning.

The body shop, Auto Body World, was pretty impressive - they actually have seven shops in the Phoenix valley. I also thought it was a nice touch that they had message board welcoming their customers to the shop. There's something reassuring about seeing your name on a message board that affirms you're in the right spot and the staff is ready to address your concern.

Concerning the 300m, the rep from Auto Body World indicated that he wasn't allowed to release estimates that were over $3,500 and we both agreed the estimate would be far beyond that. He spent about 10 minutes taking pictures of the car and told me he would complete his estimate and send it to Farmers.

About an hour later I received a phone call from Farmers and they indicated the 300m is close to being a total and they want one of their field adjusters to look at the vehicle and make a determination. That will happen tommorow....
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