November 6, 2011, around 8:40 AM. Driving to work in the relatively new Scion. In sight of the entrance to my place of work, and I have last minute preparations for a volunteer appreciation day, which I’m to emcee. Bursting into my peripheral vision, entering stage left, and appearing full speed as out of nowhere down a driveway partly occluded by scrub brush is a rather large whitetail deer. My appreciation for ABS is extensive and is that appreciation remains undimmed. But while my car is so equipped, the deer was not.
Skidding on the pavement and smashing into first the left front of the car, then folding in to smash the right front of the car, the non-ABS deer then continued as my ABS brought me to a safe stop. Quick — check the rearview — all clear — check oncoming traffic — all clear — check the rearview — all clear…limp the car over to the side of the road. Call the police, call the insurance company, call my wife. And call the office so they know I’ll be a bit late.
Poor deer not only had no ABS but also had no air bags, and no way she was going to live to tell the story. A quick end would have been preferable, but not that fortunate. (There’s now a story circulating some smalltown bar in northern New York about how a park ranger dispatched a mortally wounded deer with a tomahawk. Nothing like hyperbole to make for interesting stories.)
I was fine, the car was a wreck, and the events continued as follows.
My volunteer appreciation day went very well.
The garage sent my car to a Toyota/Scion dealership with full body shop about 15 minutes away. Two days later, the body shop manager made comments like, “You know how I said the repairs would be X dollars? Well, I think we can accomplish everything we need to for a bit less. And, I think we can do the repairs with factory parts now,” and a few days later, “You know how I said it would be ready in three weeks? Well, I forgot that the technician working on it doesn’t usually leave until 8 or 9 PM, and we close at 5, and he usually does an 8 hour day on Saturdays, when we’re closed. It should be ready by this coming Friday. And you know how I said it would now be X dollars? Well, I think we can have it done a little less than that”
Next, a call to the insurance company, since the final dollar amount was about $6.50 less than the repairs-minus-deductible check they sent, and my sense of justice was flashing a yellow light of guilt. Explaining the situation to the agent, and how their check paid for everything, even without my deductible, she sounded a bit surprised by the call, and had “to check with someone else.” Three minutes later, the reply was, “Well, I think we can call it done, since everything has been repaired to your satisfaction and you’re back on the road. Oh, and by the way, this conversation is being recorded, so you don’t need to worry about anything changing.”
Walked away without a scratch. Had a great event for our volunteers. Got the car back. Great experience with the garage. Great experience with the insurance company.
Anyone want a reference for a great Toyota/Scion dealership and a great insurance company? I’ll gladly share.