Final Update [7]:

Dropped it off Monday evening, picked it back up today. Looks MUCH better. The spot on the passenger rear quarter is gone, and the bumper matches much closer on that side as well.

Overall I can still tell the drivers side is more white than the passenger, but there aren’t any spots where there is a stark difference. Short of spending days or weeks complaining until they possibly repainted the whole thing (which would be a long shot), I think it is as good as it will get.

(Special shout out to The Actual RootWyrm for all of the knowledge around the painting process.)

Did some skimming on diminished value in Texas, and I’m not sure I’m going to do anything there either. The minimum amount of damage to even file a claim is $4k, and I was just over that. I’m not sure the hassle will pay off. How much less is it really worth having a non-airbag accident on the car fax? If I keep it for 5 years and put 150k+ miles on it, then probably not much. If for some reason I sell it in the next couple of years with around 100k miles, maybe $1500? And to get that I’ll need to get some sort of official appraisal, which I’m guessing will be $100-200.

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Opinions welcome.

UPDATE 6:

Tuesday turned into Thursday, and I picked it up last night. They said the colder weather here in Houston made the painting process slower, which seems reasonable.

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The driver’s side looks great, from any angle I could find it looks consistent.

The passenger side is a different story.

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I know it probably doesn’t show at all in the picture, but there is a clear color difference between the bumper and the passenger rear quarter panel right above it. The entire driver’s side was repainted, along with the whole rear bumper which was replaced. So where the newly painted rear bumper wraps around to the passenger side there is stark difference - new paint is much “whiter” and old paint has a faint “yellow” tint. It is very apparent on the rear quarter, and less so on the back of the car, since there isn’t a spot where the bumper lines up flush with the lift gate.

In addition there is an odd round area right above the bumper where it looks like someone held an orbital buffer in the same place for a few minutes. Running my finger over it the texture is clearly different.

I need to ‘burb for a trip this weekend, but it will go back to them next week.

I know getting this perfect will be nearly impossible, but the odd spot definitely needs to be fixed. My opinion is that the whole vehicle looked the same color before the accident, it should look the same after. Am I setting unrealistic expectations for this kind of repair?

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Also, once this is done I’m planning to file a diminished value claim with the other driver’s insurance. Any tips for doing this in Texas?

UPDATE 5:

Supposed to be picking it up tomorrow. Would like it to be a sunny day, but forecast calls for cloudy all day.

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With that white diamond tri-coat paint, are there suggestions on how to inspect it on site to make sure they did a good job blending it in?

UPDATE 4:

Already got reimbursed from USAA for the deductible, the other side took full responsibility. Now to make an appointment to take it in.

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Once I get it back I’m going to file a diminished value claim. Based on what I understand of Texas statutes I need to get the vehicle repaired first, then I can file a claim.

I’m still considering adding the retractable running boards (either factory or these) since one side is covered in the claim. Any opinions on installing these myself?

UPDATE 3:

USAA is quick. Estimate is roughly $4k, and they already emailed me that I will have the money in my account in 2-3 business days (minus the deducible). I’ll have to call and talk to them about that, but last time this happened (see BMW accident last year), it only took one call and they reimbursed me within a week for the deductible as well. Haven’t looked at the detailed estimate yet, but I’ll post if there is anything interesting.

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Since it did take out one of the running boards, I’m thinking I may upgrade to the auto-retractable ones. They look slick.

UPDATE 2:

Insurance agent for the Volvo driver called and said they are taking 100% responsibility. I told them I needed to talk to my insurance (USAA) first, but would get back with them Monday at the latest. Based on meeting the guy after he hit me, I’m actually not that surprised that he is being proactive about taking responsibility. Now to see where AAA wants to send me for repairs, since RootWyrm pointed out my white diamond tri-coat is a pain to blend.

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UPDATE 1

Back home, claim filed. Agree that most of it will, in fact, buff right out. Still going to have my insurance take a look (and I’m going to look tomorrow in better light).

I have pictures of the 240, but not sure on the implications of posting them here, so I’ll hold off for now. I will reiterate that, assuming the brakes did go out, the guy made the best decision possible. Scraped up my drivers side, gave the Accord a Camry dent, but no on was hurt.

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Beer time.

[Original post]

Developing.

Sitting at a light in the left turn lane and get hit. There are two left turn lanes, I was in the right of the two, and a Volvo 240 crunches between me and the Accord coupe in the left left turn lane. Older gentleman says the brakes went out. Assuming that is true he actually made a good decision to go between instead of hitting either one of us dead center from behind. Everyone is ok, Constables are here (all of them), waiting for the police report so I can head home.

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