Shortage of auto parts causing delays in repairing vehicles in the Triangle


RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – The pandemic is causing another shortage and this one involves parts to repair automobiles, especially those involved in crashes.

Bodybuilders across the country and here in the Triangle are struggling to find parts to repair cars in right time.

Before the shortage, repairs to a vehicle in a store such as Coats Body Shop in Raleigh would take about five days.

Now it’s much longer than that.

For example, the store owner showed CBS 17 a Lexus that has been in its parking lot since July awaiting parts for an exhaust system damaged in a crash.

Auto body repair shops don’t make money when a car waits for parts in the shop, and these days the parts just aren’t there.

“This is a peak in the squad that has not returned to 100 percent,” said owner Tana Malerba. “Some suppliers tell us that manufacturers have lost 40% of their workforce, which has an impact on productivity. “

Bodybuilders are scrambling to get parts. Sometimes they use aftermarket parts if the car owner approves it, and they may find a part available.

Other times, they look elsewhere, such as salvage yards, but it’s also difficult.

“Unfortunately, everyone is in the same boat because he’s number one,” said Malerba.

Many auto insurance policies provide for a 30 day rental period, but with cars in stores longer than that in many cases, places like Coats Auto Body have tried to be creative in helping owners of damaged vehicles. .

“If we can make a vehicle usable with safe temporary repairs, we will,” said Malerba. “We take it on a case-by-case basis. If there is anything we can do to speed up repairs, we will.

Sometimes spare parts arrive damaged and their return adds even more delay, especially if they come from abroad.

Malerba said in his store that there were cars waiting for parts for two and a half months.

Body shops say they see no immediate end to the parts shortage as the pandemic rages around the world.

The only thing they can do is ask customers to be patient and flexible.

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