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Pete, Technician
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 28752
Experience:  Over 17 years diagnosing and repairing automobiles various makes and models with some training and certifications.
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The top on my '02 SC430 stopped working. Problem is

Customer Question

The top on my '02 SC430 stopped working. Problem is sensors and motor for right side hinge. 6 years ago I was hit in the right quarter - 100% the other guys fault. A new 1/4 panel was welded on. I've contacted State Farm for a supplement. I know these hing/motor assemblies almost never go bad and cost about $5500 to replace. State Farm says that if I can justify causality between the impact and subsequent failure (6 years later) they will consider paying the claim. Can you help me with an explanation of how the motor/hinge/sensor assembly might fail 6 years later, but still be part of the accident damage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist with this today.In some cases I may need more info to assist better.I apologize for any delay.

If it was damaged in any way but took this long to completely fail then this can be caused by the collision that occurred.I have seen some issues as well like this where a component can be slightly damaged from the collision but not actually fail all together until years later.

What will have to be done unfortunately is to have a repair facility inspect the fault and damage and take pictures of it to see if you can get the info from them that this was caused by the collision.Then from there send that info to State Farm and see if they will cover the costs for repair from there.

This is very possible that this was caused by the collision but it will need inspected visually by a reputable repair facility to verify this and photos taken as well as written documents from the repair facility that this was caused by the accident several years ago.

If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pete, I have already done what you have outlined above. I am a service writer at a Lexus dealership. Our body shop did the original repair. Now, 6 years after welding in a new right rear quarter panel, they say that the right side motor/hinge assembly has to be replaced. State Farm is asking for an explanation of why the hinge/motor assembly should be considered a supplement to an accident that happened 6 years ago. This is what I need you help with; supplying a credible answer to State Farm. I know that these assemblies almost never go. They have an incredible record of reliability. Also, if it were a matter of simple wear and not a result of impact, it seems that both the left and right sides would need replacing. I've presented all this to State Farm but they are not convinced. This is a $5,000+ repair and I was hit; the other guy was found 100% at fault. Please help me find an explanation that will help persuade State Fsrm to cover the repair. Thank you, Rob
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pete, please respond to my follow-up question as soon as possible, or at least let me know how long it will take you to respond. I did pay for the upgrade to 'immediate response'. Thank you, Rob
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

I apologize for the delay as I had an emergency I had to head out from here yesterday.

Being at a dealer one that works on these models here your best chance is to get one of your technicians to find how this is related to the accident as they can check it over and see what may have caused the fault.I worked at a dealer for 17 years and know how this goes as well and it usually takes someone hands on to examine this further to pinpoint if this was caused by the accident as well as how it was caused and to provide photos for evidence or an adjuster come out to inspect it.Im surprised the insurance company does not want an adjuster to look into it as usually they send one of them out to inspect something like this here.

Unfortunately this is all the info I can help with here.I cannot say myself from here without seeing the vehicle that this was caused by the accident.If you want I can open your question for others here to see if anyone else can find a way to help on this but your best bet is to have one of your certified techs find why this should be covered and document it and take photos.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pete, again....I completed all your suggestions BEFORE contacting you. The insurance adjuster had already looked at the car and denied the claim. No photos could show the failure but we know the motor and sensors have failed because they are not working. WHAT I ASKED FOR IS HELP EXPLAING TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY WHY A FAILURE 6 YEARS LATER SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE ORIGINAL CLAIM. I would appreciate your gathering as much information as possible and if you don't know, perhaps someone else has had this experience of a hinge/motor/sensor assembly failing a while after impact was sustained to that area. This could be a huge ($5,000+) hit for me if the insurance company isn't convinced that they should step up to the plate.
Hope your emergency worked out for the best yesterday.
I am under time pressure here so would appreciate hearing back ASAP.
Expert:  Pete replied 1 year ago.

I will open your question up for others here to see if someone else can assist further on this as there may be others here that may have more info on what to check or do with this issue.I hope you can get this resolved with ease.No need to reply to my last post here unless it is a last resort as it will keep your question locked to me and others will not be able to view it.If you feel you want to continue to work with me on this feel free to reply at any time but keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair this without seeing your vehicle.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I 'm still waiting for an update - 5 days after having paid a premium for an immediate answer. Can I please hear from someone today? None of the information I have received to date have directly addressed my initial question of how the present breakdown is caused by the original accident. The responses I've gotten from you only present 'basic' advise; ideas I covered on my own before submitting my question. (If you read my original question and the responses that follow, you can see that no new information has been offered me). Please help, or at least tell me if you can't help. I will be conferencing with the insurance company this coming Monday and am looking for data that will help me persuade them to cover this repair as a supplement to the original accident. Thank you, Rob