In August 2013, Matthew and Marcia Seebachan bought a used 2010 Honda Fit from a car dealer relying on a CARFAX vehicle report that showed that the car had a clean history with no structural repairs or hail damage.
Unbeknownst to the Seebachans, the Honda’s previous owner had taken the vehicle to John Eagle Collision Center in 2012 to repair hail damage to its roof. Instead of being welded with a new steel roof using 108 welds, as specified by the Honda Corp., this collision center used a glue-like adhesive to attach the new roof.
In December 2013, the Seebachans were traveling on a highway when a Toyota pickup truck hydroplaned and struck the Honda head on. On impact, the Honda’s roof separated from the body of the vehicle. The roof separation set off a chain of structural failures: the safety cage collapsed, the driver’s side roof rail deformed; and the rocker panel underneath the vehicle collapsed, puncturing the gas tank beneath the driver’s seat.