Car parts shortage leaves drivers stranded

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

Pandemic-related supply chain shortages have become so normal that we’ve gotten used to them. The good news is the shortages are getting better, but not when it comes to car parts. Throwing an added wrench into the situation, factory shutdowns and labor shortages.

Dayna Welch didn’t know when she’d hear the sound of her 2024 Honda HR-V starting again. After a terrible car crash left her hurt and her other car totaled, she leased her new ride in November – the 2024 HR-V. Then, she noticed a leak.

“I hadn’t made the third payment,” Welch said.

So she took the car to Coconut Point Honda, where she leased it. Welch sent WINK News Consumer Reporter Andryanna Sheppard the multipoint inspection report the service department gave her.

Images of the radiator from the multipoint inspection report

“The radiator went on me,” Welch added. “They didn’t seem to have a loaner to help me. If that wasn’t enough, there are no radiators. They’re all on ‘critical backorder.'”

Critical backorder is another way of saying there weren’t any around.

“There have been shortages in parts, both mechanical parts and collision repair parts,” said Deborah Robinson. She’s the Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council.

Robinson said the car parts supply chain was still repairing itself after COVID. She also blamed labor issues. Now, countless drivers who need a part or two to get back on the road have to wait.

“It’s unfortunate that if somebody has a car issue and can’t get a solution from their local service provider,” Robinson empathized. “All in all, the people in the industry are great, and they want to take care of people.”

WINK News Consumer Reporter Andryanna Sheppard discusses car parts shortages with Deborah Robinson of the National Auto Body Council, CREDIT: WINK News

I understand that dealerships like to sell their cars but when you lease something
you still have to make a car payment on it. Dayna Welch, Car Owner

American Honda said in a statement:

“During this period of unprecedented global supply chain challenges affecting multiple automakers and industries, American Honda is working to resolve all replacement part backorders as soon as possible, and we regret any inconvenience that our customers may experience due to these externally-caused delays. Since each delayed replacement part may face different supply challenges, we recommend working directly with local authorized Acura and Honda dealers to ensure that appropriate priority is placed on critical part orders.  If a customer has concerns beyond the dealer’s immediate ability to respond, then customers are encouraged to contact Acura Client Relations (for Acura owners) or Honda Automobile Customer Service (for Honda owners) to determine if any additional assistance is possible. Each customer inquiry will be addressed by our customer service professionals on a case-by-case basis appropriate to the circumstances.”

WINK News Consumer Reporter Andryanna Sheppard speaks with Welch, CREDIT: WINK News

According to Welch’s inspection report, a new radiator will run her just short of $1,600, but the dealer had no idea when the radiator would arrive. She’d be stuck paying for a rental and her lease with no end in sight.

Coconut Point Honda told WINK News Consumer Reporter Andryanna Sheppard since Welch technically damaged the car herself, this wasn’t under warranty and they can’t give out a rental for a non-warranty item.

“I was devastated,” Welch said in tears. “I’m a single mom. I’m barely working because of the car accident that I was in, so maybe I shouldn’t have made this decision anyway. Then, on top of it, they’re telling me, ‘Good luck to you?’ What do you do? What do you do?”

Welch eventually confided in her boss at Naples Motorsport. He called Honda of Fort Myers on her behalf.

“Honda of Fort Myers stepped up. They did not charge me a dime. They said if they couldn’t provide me with a loaner, they would have my car fixed within, you know, 24 to 48 hours,” she added.

Honda of Fort Myers said they just wanted to help a single mom. They didn’t magically have a radiator, so they took one off a used 2023 HR-V and put it on Welch’s car instead.

“I was able to get back on the road again, so I’m eternally indebted to them.”

What to do if this happens to you

If this shortage keeps you off the road, the National Auto Body Council recommends you shop around. Ask a dealer or shop if they can get creative like Honda of Fort Myers did. Just because one shop doesn’t have the part you need doesn’t mean the next one can’t help you.

  • Look at your car’s warranty.
  • Adjust your insurance coverage if it does not include rental car coverage just in case an accident puts you out of yours.
  • Make sure you have roadside assistance in your policy.
  • Have a plan in case you get into an accident or break down on the side of the road.
  • Keep information for an auto body shop you trust handy so a tow truck knows where to take your car.

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