Drivers wait for months without vehicles as supply chain issues delay car repair times

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause problems with the supply chain of several products, including car parts. Drivers are going months without their vehicles while they wait for car repairs due to the lack of car parts.

Fayetteville driver Lakeisha Davis-Mills said the supply chain issue caused an extra burden since she needed a rental car while waiting for those repairs.

The problem started for Mills when another driver ran into her car. "He hit me so hard, his truck bumper was wedged in my car," she said. Since the driver who hit her had insurance, she thought she wouldn't have to pay anything out of pocket.

RELATED: North Carolina is one of the few 'at fault' states for car accidents

The repairs to her car were not supposed to take long, but the repair shop told her they were having trouble getting some of the parts. "There is a backorder on parts, we don't know when they are coming," Mills recalled.

While waiting for her car to get repaired, Mills' rental car was paid by insurance, but it had a $1,500 maximum on the rental policy, and since the repair was taking longer than normal, Mills hit that $1,500 limit. That meant she would have to return the rental car, or she could pay for the rental on her own, and then try and get the insurance company to reimburse her.

Financially, Mills said she couldn't pay for the rental on her own.

"I had to return it because the only way I could have kept it is if I paid. I can't afford to do this, I just paid the car note," Mills said. "I feel like everybody's just shutting the door in my face and this is from something that I didn't cause. I didn't cause the accident, and how am I being penalized with the part shortage, the car not being able to get fixed, I feel like none of it is my fault."

When she couldn't get the insurance company to extend the rental, Mills reached out to ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson who got in touch with the insurance company of the driver who hit her, Geico, and a representative did reach out to Mills and worked directly with her to resolve it. Mills said Geico extended the rental until her car was fully repaired.

RELATED: Working from home? Your car insurance rate could go down

"I'm 100% sure you were the one that got the ball running," Mills said to Wilson. "I'm very appreciative of you helping me. I feel so much better. I was able to do my physical therapy. I was able to go to work. That was a big weight off of my shoulders."

Troubleshooter Takeaways:
When it comes to working with insurance companies and obstacles, get everything in writing. If you can't get the insurance company to follow the policy, you can also file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.