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A Dallas, Texas couple is lucky to be alive after surviving a car crash that burned them both, badly. Matthew and Marcia Seebachan were on the road for a Christmas trip when their Honda Fit was hit by another car.

The crash was made much worse because the Honda had been previously repaired by a shoddy auto repair business. The roof had been glued back onto the car at some point, instead of being welded, which is required by Honda.

The couple sued John Eagle Collision Center who had done the repairs previous to the couple buying the car. The Seebachan’s had only owned the car for a few months. They bought it from a local Kia dealer; the CarFax report did not state that the roof had been repaired.

“There was no way the Seebachan’s or anyone from Huffine’s Kia could see that the roof was glued rather than being welded because paint and shiny trim covered up a time bomb,” said the Seebachan’s attorney, Todd Tracy.

The defective roof caused the Honda’s safety cage to collapse, and the fuel tank, located beneath the driver’s seat ruptured. The couple was pulled from the car after suffering severe burns to their bodies.

The body shop director, John Boyce, admitted that the roof was indeed repaired with glue instead of being welded. Boyce said the previous owner had taken the car to John Eagle Collision Center to be repaired following a hail storm. He also admitted that the company ignored Honda’s repair specifications.

Last week, a Dallas jury awarded the couple $42 million in damages. Attorney, Tracy, who specializes in vehicle safety, said the verdict sends a strong message to repair shops: “Fix vehicles properly, or pay the price. This case is about industry-wide change,” he said.

If you have questions about a defective repair, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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