There's a hole in the soft top, dear Liza, dear Liza (aka be sure to read the find print!)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/08/27 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

(title inspired by that old children's song, I remember the Sesame Street version best)

It was not that long ago that my car (a black 1995 Saab 900 convertible) was parked at the airport in long term parking, and I was somewhere else. San Jose, I think.

While I was there, someone decided to break into the car.

Of course there was an alarm, so they had to be careful.

I was gone for most of a week so they had time to be industrious.

Their first attempt was to remove the lock on the passenger side. This does not let the door open (and even if the door did open the alarm would go off, so it would not have helped).

Undeterred, their second attempt was to cut a hole (well, actually two holes) in the soft top.

Wait, I have some art for this:

You can see the two rips in the soft top. If you really work at it you could maybe pull something out but the only thing there was to pull out was the GPS unit on the floor mostly under the seat (hard to see, even harder to reach), so it would have been difficult to get it out, I guess. strike two. Particular annoying failure for reasons that will become clear shortly.

These thieves were quite determined, though. In the end they broke the driver's side window. And they got the GPS unit.

It was surprising to me that the alarm did not go off. Iinterestingly it did go off when I unlocked the door by reaching in and lifting it, but the cop mentioned to me that it is possible to shatter a window with vibration but without motion, so it would just be my bad luck. I think I should probably look into a better alarm system. :-(

In any case, insurance coverage was apparently not as full as it might have been....

So far, the window and the door lock are covered but the soft top is not due to some kind of exclusion. Though since I had to pay a higher rate for loss/damage/theft for a convertible, it seems like something of an unfair exclusion (though how often can one out-argue an insurance company?).

I will withhold the name of the insurance company for now while I wait for the appeal to finish up, more on this later,,,,

If they won't cover it, then I have to worry about the price of the repair -- the cost of the soft top (about $3000, quoted by the dealer) and the labor to replace it (17 hours!!!) is fairly steep. So I may hold off on the full repair until I decide to sell the car. Or maybe find some auto repair school that wants to take in the repair as a project

(ironically if someone steals it, then the whole car is covered, including the soft top. I can always just hope somebody steals it some day..... sigh).

For some strange reason, the roof does not leak -- but that may not be the case forever as the top goes up and down.

In the end I guess I'll just have to get it replaced whether the insurance company pays or not (one way or another)....


This post brought to you by (U+2f27, a.k.a. KANGXI RADICAL ROOF)

# TemporalBeing on 27 Aug 2007 2:45 PM:

Just a thought...but if they don't cover it, you might want to try repairing it yourself before paying to have it fixed.

You could probably fix it with some needle and thread in several stages. First, sow up the holes as they are; then sow another strip over top of them. Finally, get some Tent Sealant and use that over where you sowed.

You'll probably want to talk to a seamstress before starting, as they could probably tell you the best kind of stitch, needle, and thread to use.

Any how...just a thought that might be able to fix the top for $10 instead of $ the very least it should be worth a try.

(BTW, if it was leaking, then I'd probably say just go ahead and pay the $3000.)

Also, disclaimer - I am NOT a mechanic or any kind of expert in this field. It's just a thought, so take it with a grain of salt.

# Michael Dunn_ on 27 Aug 2007 6:49 PM:

I think my car's alarm is better than a simple motion detector. If a door is opened without you unlocking it first from the outside (using either a key or the remote), the alarm sounds. This alerts you to a "smash and grab" thief while not annoying the neighbors when a heavy truck drives by.

# Debbie on 24 Sep 2007 4:12 PM:

You know i too was quoted a price from a dealership of $3000-$5000 for my Honda S2000, however, i think you may find it cheaper to buy online like from this web or one similar and then have an auto body upholsterer install it.  I only listed this web because it has had the cheapest price i can find so far.

Stupid Vandals.     :(

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referenced by

2007/10/06 The Directionatrix and the Intern (aka Calculating Route...)

2007/09/20 Avoiding entitlement (aka Don't bother, it's okay)

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