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WCMH: State Farm refuses to pay for scans on 2018 Jeep Cherokee

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Business Practices | Education | Insurance | Repair Operations | Technology
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An July 17 Ohio TV news segment alerts viewers to the need for a diagnostic “safety scan” on “just about all cars on the road” and the possibility an auto insurer would refuse to cover the cost — even on a 2018 vehicle.

The WCMH “Better Call Jackson” broadcast features Derek Weaver, whose 2018 Jeep Cherokee was hit in the right rear in what he described was a minor parking lot impact.

The at-fault party was insured by State Farm, which provided Weaver with a “list of the things that State Farm was refusing to pay for. And the first thing on the list was the scans, the pre-scan, the mid-scan and the post-scan,” he told WCMH reporter Mike Jackson.

A 2016 FCA position statement mentioned by Weaver and shown in the WCMH segment calls it “necessary” for repairers to scan the OEM’s vehicles before and after a repair. It states that diagnostic trouble codes could arise before or during the repair any time a car “is involved in an accident or collision, even though the damage may appear minor.” Multiple OEMs — including FCA — say DTCs without dash lights appear in vehicles dating back to the 1990s.

While the Cherokee trim level couldn’t be determined from the broadcast, footage of the 2018 Jeep shows parking sensors, indicating additional electronic sophistication a repairer would have to ensure is restored correctly.

A Three-C Body Shop scan demonstration in the segment uses a third-party Snap-On Versus Edge, though FCA’s position statement demands an FCA wiTECH tool be used on diagnostic checks. (It also implies a first-party alternative like the asTech is acceptable.)

“Each claim is handled on its merits,” State Farm said in a statement to WCMH. “State Farm estimates include necessary operations to complete the individual repair, and depending on the nature of the damage and individual vehicle, State Farm may determine vehicle scan operations are necessary and will include a corresponding cost for that operation to support the amount owed to a vehicle owner.

“While we cannot discuss a specific claim, due to customer privacy, we welcome the opportunity to review a claim if you can provide that additional information. Further, the vehicle owner is encouraged to reach out to their State Farm claims contact to have their concerns addressed. Based upon how the repairer and customer shared their interpretation of our response, it seems there may be some additional confusion we can resolve.”

WCMH reported that Three-C performed a mid-repair scan for free but conducted no post-repair scan. Weaver told the station that the possibility of an undetected issue affecting his warranty was “my biggest concern.”

The WCMH report doesn’t indicate if Weaver plans any additional action given his warranty fears, nor does it examine the liability of Three-C releasing the car without post-repair scanning it.

More information:

“Man shocked to learn insurance won’t cover required scans after crash” (video)

WCMH, July 17, 2018

“Man shocked to learn insurance won’t cover required scans after crash” (article)

WCMH, July 17, 2018

Mopar position statement on scanning

FCA, 2016

Featured image: An July 17 Ohio TV news segment alerts viewers to the need for a diagnostic “safety scan” on “just about all cars on the road” and the possibility an auto insurer would refuse to cover the cost — even on a 2018 vehicle. The WCMH “Better Call Jackson” broadcast features Derek Weaver, whose 2018 Jeep Cherokee was hit in the right rear in what he described was a minor parking lot impact. (Screenshot from WCMH video)

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