My 4WD accident and how I lost it’s Navara bumper

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In December 2022, my Navara was involved in an accident and lost it’s Navara bumper.

Anyway, I contemplated writing about this, but decided I should after all since the insurance claim is done and over.

The accident

It happened when I was bringing the family to Borneo Happy Farm in Moyan.

The Pan Borneo Road was still under construction, and signage on this Batu Kawa – Lundu stretch was noticeably poor.

Signage to the farm was clear, but road signage in general was poor.

This meant I could be driving on the wrong side of the road, and not know about it until I see other vehicles.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we were on our way back from the farm and it was drizzling.

The Pan Borneo Road was partially closed.  This meant one side of the road had cars moving in two directions, where as the road I was using, was ‘law-less’ as it was still closed to public use.

I however had to use it as that was the only way to the Borneo Happy Farm.

I followed the arrows to the exit junction of the farm, in which was also a dedicated U-turn for cars going out to the main road.

As I was moving towards the U-turn, a car turned in, so I swerved to the left (avoiding the car), and back to the right before reaching the junction.

The entry of the car took me by surprised, so when I was at the junction, wanting to make a U-turn, I forgot the road I was about to turn into, was a two way street.

When I look front and saw the street was clear, and pressed on the pedal to exit, forgetting to look right.

That’s when it happened; I knocked an incoming lorry which was coming from the right.

The car shook, but everyone was alright, thankfully.

The lorry I knocked drove about 50m ahead, and stopped his truck.

I drove my truck forward since the engine was still running, and checked the damage, which you can see below.

From what I noticed, the damage was cosmetic and it thankfully didn’t hit any vital parts of the truck.

The Navara bumper came off, and the left light as well as front fender was damaged.

Accident insurance claim

The lorry driver and his assistant came over and we exchanged numbers.

We both took photos of the vehicles, and parted ways. The truck suffered minimal damage, but the truck driver said his boss may want to claim damage, and so I told him I am going to make an insurance claim. He then left for his journey.

I tried driving the car forward but decided it was risky because there were components hitting the tire. The loss of the Navara bumper meant I had no signals and all the components were exposed.

So I decided to call my insurance for help and they promised to send a tow truck.

I loaded the kids with my wife onto a Grab car we ordered, and waited for my insurance to send their people to tow my truck.

The insurance panel soon came, and decided they could drive the car to their workshop, and so they did.

I jumped into the tow truck, cleared my things from the truck at the mechanic shop, and went on my way.

Upon reaching home, I read the terms for an insurance claim for the insurance company I was using. They stated in bold that one “MUST NOTIFY THEM IN WRITING WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE ACCIDENT IN ORDER TO CLAIM INSURANCE”, and so I emailed them to do just that.

My insurance acknowledge my email, but the Insurance Panel Workshop was also doing it’s part.

This is where I learned that there’s a thing called ‘Betterment charges’ which is “a portion of the cost that consumers will have to bear when the damaged part of the vehicle is replaced with a brand new original part.

These charges vary according to the car age, and you can read more about it in the link below.

I was told that such charges can be offset if you paid for the Betterment Add-on in the insurance, but me, like most of us, wanted to save on insurances, so I didn’t opt for it.

Therefore, I had to absorb the charges myself which the workshop claimed to be about RM1,500.

Eventually, this cost went down to about RM416.30, but that only happened because the workshop didn’t exactly use full original parts and mixed and match what could be done.

They also decided not to fix the left fog lamp which wasn’t working, stating that ‘the accident only damaged the right side, and so the left side is not claimable’. Pfft.

Anyway, I paid my dues, and drove the car back after two months.

Navara bumper not fitted properly

Upon receiving the car, I noticed some parts, particularly the Navara bumper, being not fitted properly like it should be.

The mechanic didn’t use the appropriate screws and pins, and didn’t put screws or pins at certain points.

I could send it back to them to get it done because there is a three month warranty, but I decided to just repair it myself.

By doing so, I get it done faster and neater although I’d lose on costing. I need the car, so I can’t exactly have it stored in the workshop again.

It didn’t take me long to fix the fittings, but I could say that while the truck looks perfect from the outside, internally, I know it’s not the same.

Lessons learned from this accident

Anyway, I’m glad everyone escaped unhurt from the accident, but it is also painful knowing my truck is no longer in it’s original state.

Yes, the truck looks like new, but I know for a fact, it has been involved in an accident, and the feel of driving it is not the same.

Regardless, there’s a few key lessons here which I picked up, and they are;

  1. If the accident is major enough, call the insurance company immediately
  2. Never pick up car body parts and give them to the workshop. Doing such thing will only encourage them to re-use the parts as long as it looks good.
  3. Always read terms and conditions of the insurance, and make sure the company has a good list of penal workshops,
  4. I made a good decision buying a 4WD because if I was driving a smaller car, I think there would be injuries to my passengers, and
  5. Always be very careful when driving, especially when driving on roads that’s still under construction.

Due to cost, I am not looking into changing the 4WD, but I have to admit, driving it doesn’t feel the same anymore.

But that’s the all the story for today.

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