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Discussion Starter #1
I recently took my truck to several body shops for estimates to fix a $###.00 self-inflicted parking lot door dent. The shops both took down my VIN on their computer generated estimates.

What I am wondering is if body shops funnel these estimates to companies like CarFax and others who advertise they have crash records for every used car? If so, are they getting kickbacks to take down your information even if you don't get it fixed there?

Anyone know where to get a door shell for an 06 dak club cab reasonably?
 

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Radioactive
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They might... but more likely they use the VIN to make sure that they get the right parts.

There are many parts that are different between trim lines, and trim lines might not be apparent from badging.
 

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I believe CarFax only shows accidents and repairs that get processed through insurance. Out-of-pocket repair doesn't show up, in my experience.
 

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Jeff2KPatriotBlue said:
They might... but more likely they use the VIN to make sure that they get the right parts.

There are many parts that are different between trim lines, and trim lines might not be apparent from badging.
This is very likely the reason. In years past, the parts catalogs used the part's description to identify parts that varied by trim level.
They switched to now use the VIN to determine which trim parts belong to a vehicle.
 

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Not to sound cynical, but I think that legally, body shops have to identify the owner and the vehicle on a shop letterhead estimate or repair order. Around here anyways.
After a 'hit and run' type accident, the perpetrator at fault wants the damage fixed and hidden quickly to avoid getting caught.
Many body shops were found to be complicit with auto theft rings in changing a stolen car's appearance to avoid detection. A painted dash and door from a junker could be used for a different VIN.
A guy locally stuffed deer fur into a smashed front end to hide the fact that he killed a bicyclist, but investigators eventually caught on arrested him.
It's for everyones protection.
 

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... besides that, their records are indexed by VIN. Among other things, it makes it easier to find particular vehicles when they want to go from estimate to repair and maybe later to warranty support (or other repairs, seems to me the same cars tend to go back to the shop many times ... at least for some people).

ImperialCrown is right as well, though body shops have figured out ways around that. Like having extra VINs of known cars they can use when needed.

No shortage of body shops helping chop shops, unfortunately. Some are honest but some do things like dumping their toxic waste into the river, covering up crimes, taking cash to avoid paying income tax, and such.
 
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