CONCLUSION of: The Saga of the SLK vs the Minivan
Brief description of the event: Exiting off the freeway and making a R-turn at the light at the end of the exit ramp. There are 2 R-turn lanes onto a 6-lane divided secondary road. SLK in the outside R-turn lane. Minivan in the inside R-turn lane. After traveling through the intersection and onto the secondary road, a minivan suddenly appears in my passenger window and I feel the SLK shudder under the impact.
Damage to my SLK: R-door various creases and dents with several long scratches, R side mirror stem ding, R rocker panel thrashed, R quarter panel scratch that continues from the door. Tire rubber stuck on the R-rocker panel. I was contacted by the other driver's insurance company 1 week after the accident for a statement of what happened. My insurance took my statement the same day of the accident. 2 days later, my insurance company calls to let me know the other party assumes full liability.
Took my SLK to Pan American under the recommendation of the service adviser of the dealer where we bought my SLK. We just asked who they use for body-work. Called Pan American and looked them up online. They're certified by Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi as authorized repair center. Pan Am has satellite centers throughout Silicon Valley and I dropped my car off at their Los Gatos location. George from Pan Am was the rep assigned to me at that location. He helped assure me on each of the steps required to repair my car and set up the frequency of updates for me regarding the repair and via what method. He also set up the rental car vehicle as it's part of my auto policy. I was impressed by his professionalism and detail on taking care of my SLK The satellite location was meticulously maintained. Projected time required for repairs was 1 week. I dealt with Nick at the Enterprise rental car office in Los Gatos and they gave me a 2012 Impala 1LTZ (leather interior etc). I think he upgraded me to the luxury midsize car as a courtesy versus a standard one like a Cruz.
When I thought the car was almost finished with repairs, we decided to take a drive down to the main repair location. It is very impressive and was exactly the way it appears in the online photos. Aimee and Enrique were the reps for the main location for my SLK. They both were very knowledgeable regarding the repair work and damage assessment. They answered all my questions to my satisfaction.
Ultimately, they found more items that needed to be fixed/repaired/replaced. The door skin was replaced but not the full door so the inside is still original. They redid the rocker panel and took care of the quarter panel and mirror stem. The supplemental damage that was found and approved for coverage by my insurance company was the clips for the rocker panel needed to be replaced, as well as the fuel door (I think it was slightly bent under the impact and buckling of the door and quarter panel.
When I picked up my SLK today, I was happy with the work that was done. You couldn't tell the car had ever been in an accident and looked like it did when I drove it off the dealer lot. I would highly recommend Pan American in Silicon Valley for any repairs for any of my cars, as they also do work on domestics and imports (both European and Asian). I saw pick up trucks, station wagons, sedans and sports cars there. There was an Audi R8 there being picked up, as well as a few Mercs.
Taking my SLK on a drive to Carmel tomorrow in a group of exotics (Audis, Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, Corvettes). I'm happy again! Almost better than … ummm… well not quite but a few notches from … the top