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The unauthorised repair

Question : My nine-month-old Toyota Camry was recently involved in a minor accident that resulted in a small dent to the front left passenger door. I am reluctant for the vehicle to be repaired at an authorised Toyota workshop since the price quoted is more than double that of an independent spray-painting shop. Would my vehicle warranty be invalidated if a non-authorised repairer carry out the repairs to the paintwork?

Answer : Vehicle manufacturers are extremely "sticky" about who repairs their vehicles that are under warranty and they have good reason to do so. For example, most modern vehicles incorporate numerous electronically controlled items e.g. air-conditioning, braking, engine control and fuelling systems.

Specialised tools are required to diagnose and repair these electronics that can easily be irreversibly damaged if incorrect repair techniques are applied. Frequently, there is great expense involved in buying replacement items. Authorised workshops have an obligation to restore your vehicle to showroom condition wherever possible.

As such, one can expect repairs to be of higher quality, and a larger repair bill as a result. In your case, I suspect that while the authorised workshop may replace the entire door, the unauthorised spray shop may merely carry out a fill and paint job; the latter is cheaper since there are no replacement components and less time is taken to complete the restoration task.

You will, of course, have to check beforehand with the authorised Toyota workshop how this affects your new vehicle warranty. Of course, Toyota may not be entirely happy with repairs done outside, but then again, they can always refuse further warranty cover for that one particular door if for instance, it rusts in future.



Weatherstrip on the door

The unauthorised repair

Dent on the door



Spark plugs
Timing belt


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