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Old 09-20-10, 07:18 PM   #1
Siu Blue Wind
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Leased cars - End of term responsibility and liability

Dad leases car. Adult son falls asleep at wheel and crashes car into tree. Son is not on insurance although was thought to be (dad unwittingly signed a waiver saying son is not to be on policy). Insurance will not cover. Damage is 10k. Lease will be up in half a year. Son does not have money outright to repair damage on his own with genuine parts but does have enough to use aftermarket cheapo parts. We are talking about front end body, hood, some engine. He plans on having it repaired in time to do the lease return.

Is the liability on him to use genuine factory parts or can he get by with using aftermarket? This would cut his cost in half.

He has not reported the accident to the company dad leased it from.
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Old 09-20-10, 07:33 PM   #2
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It depends on the terms in the lease contract. It should be spelled out there.
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Old 09-20-10, 07:33 PM   #3
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Dad leases car. Adult son falls asleep at wheel and crashes car into tree. Son is not on insurance although was thought to be (dad unwittingly signed a waiver saying son is not to be on policy). Insurance will not cover. Damage is 10k. Lease will be up in half a year. Son does not have money outright to repair damage on his own with genuine parts but does have enough to use aftermarket cheapo parts. We are talking about front end body, hood, some engine. He plans on having it repaired in time to do the lease return.

Is the liability on him to use genuine factory parts or can he get by with using aftermarket? This would cut his cost in half.

He has not reported the accident to the company dad leased it from.
I would think that aftermarket repairs would be a violation of the lease agreement. Dad does NOT own that car. He needs to report it to the lease company. Dad needs to fix car per arrangement with the lease company and then work out his own terms with his son. Dad broke the terms of insurance, so he is responsible.
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Old 09-20-10, 08:12 PM   #4
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The thing is, if he really broke the terms of the insurance or not. On paper he did, but ....

Dad does not speak English and the son went with him to get the insurance. During that time, the insurance agent filled out a form that would waive the son driving it, and slid the paper to the dad to sign it. Dad signed it. Son asked what that was, to let him see it. The agent explained that since the son was living at the house, he would not be covered, that this is a waiver saying the son will not be insured. The son pointed out that he has his own residency, that there may be a time when he needs to drive dad to appts, etc.

The insurance agent took the document out of the stack, said he would disregard and destroy the signed paper, that the son will be on the insurance.

Needless to say, the form was in the file when he went to inquire about the accident and to make a claim. The family was denied the insurance. He tried to fight it but the it's a no win situation.

So he has accepted that he has to pay for it himself.
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Old 09-20-10, 08:19 PM   #5
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Factory parts not aftermarket. The son is not liable - the dad is.
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Old 09-20-10, 08:43 PM   #6
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The second question is, how will the leasing company find out what parts are on it?

The son will not let the dad pay for it since he crashed it. But he doesn't have the money to do OEM.

.....Oh I might add that some front end suspension work is needed too.
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Old 09-20-10, 09:06 PM   #7
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What I don't get/like about auto insurance is that: a)if I let someone borrow my car and they get into an accident, they are covered- since they are (presumably) licensed and they were authorized by me to operate the vehicle. b)if it's family, though (especially in the same household- kids) the rules are different...

As for the OP:
-Dad needs to report it
-Dad could try and file against Son's insurance
-Dad's insurance broker/agent is a hack and should be reported. May not do any good, but if there are others who are dealing with the same problem related to the same agent...
-Dad should start shopping around for a new insurance company
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Old 09-20-10, 09:16 PM   #8
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Son crashed into a tree and did $10k worth of damage? Airbags go off by any chance? Most of the vehicles I've owned over the years would have just been totaled with that much damage... What kind of vehicle we talking about here?

As far as the leasing company spotting after market parts goes, I'd imagine they couldn't tell the difference in the body panels, but engine/suspension they just might notice. If they do a thorough inspection when the vehicle is turned back in.
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Old 09-20-10, 09:18 PM   #9
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Hmmm... That's a good idea filing against son's insurance. I'll mention that to him, thanks!


His car is a Lexus. Lemme go find out what the damage is again.

Edit: I was mistaken. No engine and no suspension. This is what he said: I know ill need a hood, the entire front end, both lights or at least light covers...
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Old 09-20-10, 11:12 PM   #10
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I'm no expert on this subject but it seems to me that fixing the car on the cheap may end up costing more in the long run. The leasing company will surely detect that the front end has been repaired. All body panels have stickers on them with the vin. When they see the new panels they will inspect each part with a fine toothed comb. Someone will pay, that's for sure. I've always been told that turning in a lease can get expensive when they add up every scratch on a car. A caved in front end on a lexus? Someone's going to get reamed.
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Old 09-21-10, 06:51 AM   #11
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I'm no expert on this subject but it seems to me that fixing the car on the cheap may end up costing more in the long run. The leasing company will surely detect that the front end has been repaired. All body panels have stickers on them with the vin. When they see the new panels they will inspect each part with a fine toothed comb. Someone will pay, that's for sure. I've always been told that turning in a lease can get expensive when they add up every scratch on a car. A caved in front end on a lexus? Someone's going to get reamed.
YES!! You are correct here, they do! And I noticed that each window has LEXUS etched...Oooo, I better tell him. Thanks for reminding me!
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Old 09-21-10, 07:40 AM   #12
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Find out the total damages cost for factory parts, and also find out what the buy out cost is for the car rather than turn in, and then go with the cheapest option. Buy out may well be cheaper than repair and turn in. Also, if you do the repair route, make sure the WHOLE car is painted and not just the damage repair areas, since it won't cost all that much more overall and will address any scratches or nicks on the body.
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Old 09-21-10, 08:43 AM   #13
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I just returned a leased car this past July at the end of a 3 year lease. The dealership just did a cursory inspection but the manufacturer was actually the owner of the car - it is standard procedure for Ford Leasing. Anyway, as I had moved out of state, I could have returned the car "locally" but returned to where I had leased it from and then flew back home that day - so, the Ford Corporation Leasing inspector actually did the detailed acceptance inspection 2 days after I turned the car in --- only then was the car lease "finalized".

Having been a car salesman at that particular dealership for a summer, I can tell you that the Corporate lease inspector can be a royal pain if he's been tipped off by the dealership that anything seems suspect. A severely damaged front end that's been repaired with aftermarket parts WILL be detected and "lawyers"/accountants will get involved if necessary to recover costs/damages. Most lease agreements specify that the car will be returned in the same condition it was originally leased in after allowing for "normall wear & tear". NW&T includes things like tire tread wear, air filters needing replacement, MINOR dirt/stains on the upholstery, etc. Actual damage to side panels, doors, cracks in windshields, etc. are not covered without contractual riders (insurance) as part of the lease contract.

So, where does that leave the OP? Well, basically, "Dad" might have just bought himself a car. That's best case scenario. Worse case, they'll repair it and charge through the whazooo for it --- not very likely, but possible. It's up to them/whatever is in the contract.

Edit to add: Regardless of what the son says, what's in the signed paperwork is what applies - and the son may not have been authorized "on paper" as a driver of the car. That is why doing the lease buyout may actually be the best avenue here despite the fact that the family is obviously going to lose money on the deal here no matter what.

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Old 09-21-10, 10:21 AM   #14
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Find out the total damages cost for factory parts, and also find out what the buy out cost is for the car rather than turn in, and then go with the cheapest option. Buy out may well be cheaper than repair and turn in. Also, if you do the repair route, make sure the WHOLE car is painted and not just the damage repair areas, since it won't cost all that much more overall and will address any scratches or nicks on the body.
You've had a much different experience with painters than I have. I neighbor recently ended up paying $800 at a local auto body place for paint on his front bumper (2005 Viper) after a trip through the grass in a less than forward direction. While he could have had the entire car painted somewhere else for $2000, the quality wouldn't have been anywhere near the same, and it still would have been more than 2x as much.
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Old 09-21-10, 06:34 PM   #15
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Fact is, most insurance companies insist on non-OEM parts unless you can show they are sub-standard or not equal to OEM parts. If you still want to go OEM, you pay the difference. I have one of the best insurance companies in the country (USAA) and even they do this.

Not having read the lease, I would bet that it says you have to return the car in the same basic shape you got it, less wear and tear. Equivalent non-OEM parts should be just fine on a lease return and cost nothing to satisfy the lease.

If the car company tries to tell you it's not, then call the AG... and the state insurance Commissioners office. It can't be both ways!!

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Old 09-21-10, 08:16 PM   #16
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Two ideas: 1) son reports the accident to his own insurance company and they will repair the car 2) tomorrow dad crashes the car into another tree, and then dad's insurance company will cover it.
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