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Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00

Some Minnesota Shops Still Have 4-6 Week Estimated Backlogs

With the huge number of crashes this winter, auto repair shops in Minnesota are still swamped with weeks-long backlogs. Many repair shops are telling customers they will have to wait four to six weeks before they can even start working on their car or truck. Marwan Kawas is a manager at Heppner’s Auto Body, which has six locations in the east metro area. “This is my 15th year doing this, and this is the worst winter I’ve seen,” Kawas said. He says business is up about 30 percent. “Drivers don’t keep their proper distances when they’re on the roads. Sometimes it’s just inevitable, you know, especially with black ice.”

Kawas says people are often stunned by the cost of repairs. “Sometimes they think it’s just a bumper,” he said. “But when you factor in the price of the part, the paint, the labor, sometimes the little hidden damage, the broken clips…it adds up. You know, even just a bumper can be a $1,000–$1,500 repair. This one is more, actually, because it buckled on the hood, and there’s probably some inner damage as well, that’s probably a good $3,000–4,000 repair,” Kawas said, adding, “If your vehicle is severely damaged, you will likely be able to get help sooner than later. But if you can still drive your car, expect a long wait.” How long? “Weeks out, definitely,” he said. “And you’ll find it’s true across the metro area…we all have the same problem.”

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