A Richmond, B.C. motorist is challenging the repair bill handed to her by a garage who told her it would cost nearly as much to fix her limited-edition Aston Martin DB9 as she’d paid when she bought the car.
Jessica Liu crashed her DB9 – which is allegedly a James Bond-badged Skyfall silver example, but looks like a one-of-one-hundred Centenary Edition – into a large boulder on the side of the road December 2015, ruining the front right fender and steering.
With only basic liability insurance covering the vehicle, Liu found herself in an expensive predicament. The car, which she paid $200,000 for, will cost a dizzying $132,000 to fix, reports Richmond News.
The once-gorgeous Aston has been collecting dust in a body shop – the only shop authorized by Aston Martin in the province – for several months since the crash. The steep bill means it may collect dust for many more months before a resolution is realized.
Liu blames Aston Martin for the crash, claiming the DB9, by design, is dangerous. “I don’t think it’s safe to drive,” argues Liu. “I just drove it for two weeks; I don’t trust the car.”
The steep repair bill, not covered by B.C.‘s ICBC public insurance, has turned Liu against the Aston Martin dealership and body shop, too.
“I’m not going to pay a cent. I don’t even want the car back anymore; I want a refund [from the dealer],” said Liu, adding she doesn’t trust the body shop’s invoices.
Her supercar requires comprehensive repairs to ensure stability during at-limit driving—and the thoroughness of the repairs is what’s driving the repair bill sky high, the shop says.
For instance, the high-performance ceramic brake rotors on her DB9 must be changed in pairs, or else a braking imbalance may be introduced due to one rotor being more worn than the other. And unlike conventional steel discs, ceramic rotors cannot be machined—the front set of rotors alone cost $30,000, plus installation.
Liu would like the repair shop to only replace the damaged rotor, but the shop isn’t backing down. “This is a car that can go 250 km/h; we can’t take any chances, it has to be 100 percent,” said Frank Van Pykstra, co-owner of Burrard Autostrasse (BA) repair shop.
“When you’re braking in this car, in any car really, the brakes need to be balanced. You can’t replace just one.”
A large chunk of the repair bill consists of the need to replace the front sub-frame, bent in the crash. Because the sub-frame is considered a restricted part, and only authorized shops can order one from Aston Martin, the cost is quite lofty, ringing in at $25,000, plus labour—and as you can imagine, that’s a lot of labour.
BA’s offered to take $5,000 off of Liu’s repair bill and cancel the storage fees – roughly $150 per day , or $18,000 so far – but the likelihood she’ll take that deal seems slim.
A disproportionately high number of supercar crashes in the province of B.C. has forced ICBC to take action; the public insurance provider stopped insuring cars worth more than $150,000 as of January 1, and will be raising basic insurance rates by 4.9 percent in 2017.
More than 3,000 cars in B.C. are worth more than $150,000—an increase of 30 percent since 2014.