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How likely is it that my chassis/frame is damaged?

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New User

Jul 2, 2012, 9:30 PM

Post #1 of 4 (1379 views)
How likely is it that my chassis/frame is damaged? Sign In

I was rear-ended pretty hard whilst stationary in my 1999 Toyota Camry station wagon. My tow ball was wrenched right upwards, the rear bumper and tail gate were wrecked and the rear quarter panels (rear wings) on both sides have indented. The insurer is saying that the damage to the rear quarter panels/rear wings is unrelated (even though it wasn't there before!) and they won't fix it. They have fixed the rear bumper and replaced the tow ball, but the new tow ball is very crooked. I have had friends advise me that the damage to the rear wings and the crooked new tow ball suggests chassis/frame damage. Can anyone tell me how likely it is that this is true? It will be timely and expensive to dispute this with the insurer and I'd like to get an idea of how likely it is that this is the case before I decide.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 3, 2012, 2:58 AM

Post #2 of 4 (1348 views)
Re: How likely is it that my chassis/frame is damaged? Sign In

IMO - this car should have been declared a total loss with that amount of damage. Take pics now that indicate date. If you have some insurance commissioner for your location they may handle this for you. Can't know from here so easily for you. Yes - moderators can dig out where your post was routed from and that isn't dependable.

If your own insurance company is involved they should be helping you even if the laws keep them out of the money for the fix or extra damages to you than were fixed. Stinks no matter what in crap like this,


Veteran / Moderator
nickwarner profile image

Jul 3, 2012, 4:06 PM

Post #3 of 4 (1324 views)
Re: How likely is it that my chassis/frame is damaged? Sign In

Sounds fishy to me. Take it to a repair shop that can do frame work, a reputable collision shop unrelated to this accident or your insurance company. Pay them to inspect the damage, taking photos and such to back up their findings as to if you truly have frame damage and are getting hosed. Then have a chat with your insurer and make it clear this only gets more expensive if it goes to court. It doesn't take much to total a Toyota out, and if it twisted up the back there is certainly frame damage.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 3, 2012, 4:14 PM

Post #4 of 4 (1321 views)
Re: How likely is it that my chassis/frame is damaged? Sign In

This car doesn't actually have a frame but the unibody can get twisted up.

As much as I hate and distrust insurance companies, they usually have pretty good evidence when they take a stand like this. Something isn't making sense about this story. I've never seen an insurance company just blatantly refuse to repair damage that even possibly could have been caused by the accident. These adjusters are usually independent contractors that don't work for the insurance company. I would take Nick's advice and get a second opinion.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

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