Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual: Collision Damage Repair

If your vehicle is involved in a collision and it is damaged, have the damage repaired by a qualified technician using the proper equipment and quality replacement parts. Poorly performed collision repairs diminish your vehicle's resale value, and safety performance can be compromised in subsequent collisions.

Collision Parts

Genuine GM Collision parts are new parts made with the same materials and construction methods as the parts with which your vehicle was originally built.

Genuine GM Collision parts are your best choice to ensure that your vehicle's designed appearance, durability, and safety are preserved. The use of Genuine GM parts can help maintain your GM New Vehicle Warranty.

Recycled original equipment parts may also be used for repair. These parts are typically removed from vehicles that were total losses in prior crashes. In most cases, the parts being recycled are from undamaged sections of the vehicle. A recycled original equipment GM part, may be an acceptable choice to maintain your vehicle's originally designed appearance and safety performance, however, the history of these parts is not known. Such parts are not covered by your GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and any related failures are not covered by that warranty.

Aftermarket collision parts are also available. These are made by companies other than GM and may not have been tested for your vehicle. As a result, these parts may fit poorly, exhibit premature durability/corrosion problems, and may not perform properly in subsequent collisions. Aftermarket parts are not covered by your GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and any vehicle failure related to such parts are not covered by that warranty.

Repair Facility

We recommend that you choose a collision repair facility that meets your needs before you ever need collision repairs. Your dealer/retailer may have a collision repair center with GM-trained technicians and state of the art equipment, or be able to recommend a collision repair center that has GM-trained technicians and comparable equipment.

Insuring Your Vehicle

Protect your investment in your GM vehicle with comprehensive and collision insurance coverage.

There are significant differences in the quality of coverage afforded by various insurance policy terms.

Many insurance policies provide reduced protection to your GM vehicle by limiting compensation for damage repairs by using aftermarket collision parts. Some insurance companies will not specify aftermarket collision parts. When purchasing insurance, we recommend that you assure your vehicle will be repaired with GM original equipment collision parts.

If such insurance coverage is not available from your current insurance carrier, consider switching to another insurance carrier.

If your vehicle is leased, the leasing company may require you to have insurance that assures repairs with Genuine GM Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or Genuine Manufacturer replacement parts. Read your lease carefully, as you may be charged at the end of your lease for poor quality repairs.

If a Crash Occurs

Here is what to do if you are involved in a crash.

- Check to make sure that you are all right. If you are uninjured, make sure that no one else in your vehicle, or the other vehicle, is injured.

- If there has been an injury, call emergency services for help. Do not leave the scene of a crash until all matters have been taken care of.

Move your vehicle only if its position puts you in danger or you are instructed to move it by a police officer.

- Give only the necessary and requested information to police and other parties involved in the crash.

Do not discuss your personal condition, mental frame of mind, or anything unrelated to the crash.

This will help guard against post-crash legal action.

- If you need roadside assistance, call GM Roadside Assistance. See Roadside Assistance Program for more information.

- If your vehicle cannot be driven, know where the towing service will be taking it. Get a card from the tow truck operator or write down the driver's name, the service's name, and the phone number.

- Remove any valuables from your vehicle before it is towed away. Make sure this includes your insurance information and registration if you keep these items in your vehicle.

- Gather the important information you will need from the other driver. Things like name, address, phone number, driver's license number, vehicle license plate, vehicle make, model and model year, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), insurance company and policy number, and a general description of the damage to the other vehicle.

- If possible, call your insurance company from the scene of the crash. They will walk you through the information they will need. If they ask for a police report, phone or go to the police department headquarters the next day and you can get a copy of the report for a nominal fee. In some states/provinces with “no fault” insurance laws, a report may not be necessary. This is especially true if there are no injuries and both vehicles are driveable.

- Choose a reputable collision repair facility for your vehicle. Whether you select a dealer/retailer or a private collision repair facility to fix the damage, make sure you are comfortable with them.

Remember, you will have to feel comfortable with their work for a long time.

- Once you have an estimate, read it carefully and make sure you understand what work will be performed on your vehicle. If you have a question, ask for an explanation. Reputable shops welcome this opportunity.

Managing the Vehicle Damage Repair Process

In the event that your vehicle requires damage repairs, GM recommends that you take an active role in its repair. If you have a pre-determined repair facility of choice, take your vehicle there, or have it towed there.

Specify to the facility that any required replacement collision parts be original equipment parts, either new Genuine GM parts or recycled original GM parts.

Remember, recycled parts will not be covered by your GM vehicle warranty.

Insurance pays the bill for the repair, but you must live with the repair. Depending on your policy limits, your insurance company may initially value the repair using aftermarket parts. Discuss this with your repair professional, and insist on Genuine GM parts.

Remember if your vehicle is leased you may be obligated to have the vehicle repaired with Genuine GM parts, even if your insurance coverage does not pay the full cost.

If another party's insurance company is paying for the repairs, you are not obligated to accept a repair valuation based on that insurance company's collision policy repair limits, as you have no contractual limits with that company. In such cases, you can have control of the repair and parts choices as long as cost stays within reasonable limits.

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