NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The survivors of a fiery crash claim a dealership’s body shop cut corners on a repair job and caused their car buckle in a wreck.
Marcia Seebachan examined the crumpled car Tuesday afternoon, seeing it in person for the first time since she says she almost died inside. “It makes so much more sense now… some of the things I’ve heard,” she said.
Seebachan has no memory of the crash in 2013, only waking up in the hospital four days later on Christmas Day. Her husband, though, remembers the wet roads, the collision with a car that lost control, and the fire that burned his legs and feet. “Those memories are part of his daily life,” she said.
According to the couple, it was only recently that they learned the used Honda Fit they bought four months before the crash had prior roof damage that had been repaired with industrial glue.
The vehicle’s previous owner had taken it to John Eagle Collision Center to have hail dents repaired and employees replaced the entire roof.
The couple’s attorney, Todd Tracy, says Honda’s repair manual specifies the roof should have been welded back onto the body of the car and that is warns people can be “killed or seriously hurt” if instructions aren’t followed.
“At some point you trust professionals to do their job and do it well,”said Seebachan.
In a deposition this month, John Eagle’s body shop director, Boyce Willis, admitted it did not follow Honda’s manufacturer recommendations, but still defended the decision. “Bonding is better than welding,” said Willis. “It’s bonded not every one inch; it’s bonded the entire length of the roof rail.”
Experts hired by the Seebachan’s law firm disagree. They claim a faulty roof repair is to blame for compromising the car’s structure and the severity of the couple’s injuries in the crash.
“There’s just nothing in our lives that hasn’t been touched by this,” said Seebachan.
While Seebachan says the lawsuit may not change anything, she says it’s helping her family cope. “When all your life is turned upside down, you want answers as to why, you want to understand why.”
Calls to the John Eagle Collision Center and its attorneys have not been returned. A Better Business Bureau report, though, shows the business currently holds an A+ rating.