Making a dent in repairing storm damaged vehicles


SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Last month’s severe storm brought two confirmed tornadoes to the region along with damaging hail. 

A countless number of vehicles in our area were damaged, including cars ready to be purchased. Crews from Georgia and our area have been here for two weeks working on vehicles. They’re about 50 percent done with just the new, used and customer vehicles damaged on the dealership’s lot.

Paintless Dent Removal technicians have an eye for detail for things most of us might miss. Last month, severe weather moved into the area bringing strong winds, rain and damaging hail. In the storm’s path? Toyota of Scranton.

“It damaged about 520 new, used and some customer cars on the lot. So we have been pretty busy since the storm,” Toyota of Scranton collision director Curt Manck said.

The damage was so widespread, a local company, Pocono Mountain Paintless Dent Repair, and a national company, The Dent Guys, are spending hours carefully removing dents.

“It’s a very meticulous art form and technique. We actually have to take apart more or less insides of the car, headliner, hood pad, lights, to be able to access the inside of the metal,” The Dent Guys regional manager Donald Dorney said.

From there, crews can see the hail imprints. To reverse it, crews use special tools to massage the metal back to its form, calling the process paintless dent removal.

“You would not be able to tell. It’s the closest that you will get to a factory finish,” Pocono Mountain Paintless Dent Repair owner Billy Goodrich said.

Along with the dealership’s vehicles getting repaired, Toyota of Scranton is also the hub for insurance claim hail repair. The process takes a long time because typically with hail damage, there’s more dents than an adjuster can see.

“You know, you see some dents on there and does not look that bad, but when we take it inside and put it under the lights…,” Manck said.

We tested it out. We had crews put lights on the hood and sure enough, more dents appear.

“Allowing the time to assess the damage on the vehicle and it’s what makes the huge difference in the estimate,” Manck said.

Pocono Mountain Paintless Dent Repair is scheduled to be working on hail damaged vehicles from now until the end of July. They say they do eight vehicles a day. The average bill headed to an insurance company for one vehicle? $3,000.

If you plan to purchase a vehicle from Toyota of Scranton that received hail damage, we are told the repairs come with a lifetime warranty. Also, a salesperson will let you know if a vehicle you’re looking at had damage.

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