My friend has borrowed my car for a few months (2004 A4 Audi V6), yesterday she told me that her other friend rear-ended her "very lightly", after which the car exhaust started making a weird noise. She says she didn't feel any impact but heard the collision. The bumper (from what they say) was not touched.

They took it to a mechanic who is a mutual friend of theirs, and he stated that the issue is that the flex-pipe shattered from impact due to old age, quoting the repair at $300. He also suggested not going to the dealership which would charge thousands for replacing the entire exhaust system (I'm well aware of dealerships overcharging but I want to make sure the friend is not hiding a several-thousand dollar repair with a temporary $300 fix).

The friend said he would pay for the repair and wants to avoid involving the insurance. I'm not against it, but I want to make sure I fully understand the problem myself and that there are no additional issues I would encounter later due to said friend of a friend cutting corners.

Since I'm unable to see the car until tomorrow, and therefore can't post photos, what should I look for as signs of further damage? Does this repair/problem from a minor rear-end collision sound reasonable to you? What else do you expect to get damaged during such collision?

A few things concern me:

  • I've been rear-ended before and I have bumped another car before, I know that bumper is the first to be hit and the first to scratch or crack, the fact that it wasn't affected seems odd to me
  • I also have typically "felt" the impact before "hearing" it, which makes me wonder how light it really was
  • This friend has also racked up over a hundred dollars of toll fees without telling me in the past (although she paid it after I showed her the toll readings), which is what makes me suspicious to begin with, I don't know if she's telling me the full story

I'm considering having an independent mechanic look at it, but I don't want to be driving the car around in this state or being difficult to my friend and this mechanic who is doing them a favor by charging less for the repair.

  • Regardless of anything to do with the actual damage, it's obvious that this person does not respect you or the car, and you need to act appropriately on that knowledge.
    – PeteCon
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


If the other friend rear-ended her, then that person is liable for the damage, and it's time to contact their insurance agency. There's no way to tell what was damaged in the collision; it's possible that your trunk no longer lines up, that the bumper mounts were bent or broken, or that some other hidden damage occurred. If the friend that was borrowing the car truly had someone else hit them, then it shouldn't matter if you pursue a claim.

It's incredibly unlike that the bumper wasn't damaged, much less was "untouched". There's almost certainly broken clips. This site really is not for legal advice, but go get an itemized quote from a dealership AND an independent mechanic; there's no such thing as too much research to be done here.

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