LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Many central Arkansas collision shops are seeing more frustrated customers and extended backlogs.
The issues mounting in their garages, as wait times push to up to a year in some cases.
“Most good shops in town were already full or had a lot of business before the tornado hit and the tornado has just complicated things,” Golden Collision Center Larry Golden said.
Now collision repair shops are warning customers, repairs that would normally be fixed in weeks, are now being pushed back from six to eight months.
“We try to be honest with them upfront, so they know this what you need to be prepared for,” mechanic Larry Duscher said.
Larry Golden said the biggest issue they are seeing is getting access to parts.
“Getting access to parts was already a problem for quite some time,” Golden said.” “After COVID, we never fully recovered from that.”
Golden said since the outbreak of tornadoes on March 31, some repairs, tornado damaged or not, may not be completed until next year.
“No one has been able to handle that kind of volume for a tornado that comes through,” Golden said.
Mechanic Ralph Duscher said he and other staff work as hard as they can-but these issues are simply out of their hands.
“There was a two-by-four stuck to the back of this one,” Duscher said. “We’re just that busy and backed up. People are surprised and shocked but their ain’t nothing we can really do about it.”
So, for those who need immediate service or have tornado damage to a vehicle that needs assessing, Golden is asking people to please practice patience.
“We have some amazing shops some really good technicians in this town,” Golden said. “They are doing their very best, just like we are to try to help people.”
Golden said for minor repairs like a broken window or mirror replacement, wait times could be within a week, but if someone needs something more serious, they have to wait far longer.