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Parts Predicament: Parts shortage halts Ontario driver’s repairs for months as rental fees pile up

Mississauga, Ontario — An Ontario driver is echoing the complaints of many Canadian collision repair facilities as he sits in repair limbo, watching his rental car fees pile up.

Don Lewis of Mississauga brought his Volvo in for repairs in late November after another driver smashed into his vehicle. The shop told him he could be waiting until mid-February for them to be able to finish the job.

“They just can’t seem to find the parts,” Lewis told CTV News Toronto.

Lewis expected to be able to fall back on his auto insurance policy, which guaranteed him access to a rental car while his vehicle is being repaired.

“They will pay for a vehicle while my car is being repaired [up to] $900 dollars—whatever comes first,” said Lewis. That $900 came up fast and after only 16 days Lewis was asked to return the car or take the costs on the chin.

Lewis reluctantly chose the latter, saying “It’s costing me money and it’s definitely money I don’t want to spend.”

Allstate Canada, Lewis’ insurer, responded to CTV’s request for comment.

“As you may be aware, the global economy is currently experiencing supply chain issues which are impacting the availability of automobile parts all around the world, including for car owners in Canada,” wrote an Allstate spokesperson.

“Regarding this customer’s insurance claim, please know that our customer was provided with a rental vehicle for the full period under his automobile insurance policy and his claim will be paid in accordance with his coverage for the at-fault collision in question.”

Volvo Canada also released a statement addressing the matter: “Unfulfilled parts orders preventing a vehicle from re-entering service are treated with high priority, and Volvo retailers can flag orders as critical for more rapid prioritization; up to and including air freight where permitted, to reduce lead times.

“This part order was processed by Volvo’s Central Parts Distribution Center in Gothenburg, Sweden, shortly after it was submitted, and is currently in transit to Canada for local distribution.

“We will continue to work diligently to ensure spare parts are united with our clients in a rapid and efficient manner. Both the transport of parts via specialist providers and rental car support for repairs not conducted by the Volvo retailer network are matters in which we have no influence.”

Lewis said that Volvo reached out to him the day after the company issued it’s statement, informing him that parts had been delivered to the repair shop and his vehicle would be ready to pick up the next day.

“I heard from them the next day after we spoke that they somehow had found the parts,” Lewis said. “I have saved about $3,000 in rental costs by having them repair my SUV sooner.”

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