Langley couple Guy Sarazin and Brenda McDonald show pictures of their stolen pickup truck that turned into a three-month battle with ICBC. Black Press Media photo

Langley couple battles with ICBC over recovered stolen truck

Guy Sarazin and Brenda McDonald wanted a safety inspection

When their pickup truck was recovered just a few hours after it was stolen from their driveway, Langley City residents Guy Sarazin and Brenda McDonald considered themselves lucky that the vehicle appeared to have suffered only cosmetic damage.

But nearly three months later, thanks to a drawn-out dispute with ICBC over a potential safety problem, their 2001 Dodge was still sitting at a local repair shop.

“I don’t get why it’s such a pain,” said Sarazin.

“It’s turned into hell,” McDonald said.

“It’s just been so stressful.”

In November, when the 2001 Dodge truck was stolen from their front driveway, it was recovered in a matter of hours thanks to an onboard GPS tracker with a remote kill switch that allowed the truck to be located and immobilized by police, who quickly arrested a suspect.

When the retired grandparents got their first look at the interior of the recovered Dodge, it was clear extensive repairs would be needed.

In the process of stealing the truck, the thief damaged the driver’s side door, ripped away the covering to the steering column and left debris everywhere.

“It looked like he used a stick of dynamite, McDonald said.

“There were [broken] parts everywhere.”

After the truck interior and exterior was repaired, Sarazin and McDonald picked it up Dec. 5 and discovered it was making a loud grinding and scraping noise during turns.

Back it went to the repair shop.

“We had it one day,” McDonald said.

READ ALSO: ICBC posts net loss of $582 million

When Sarazin and McDonald told ICBC the drivetrain should have a safety inspection, they said ICBC told them they would have to pay for it themselves.

The couple refused.

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s not our responsibility,” McDonald said.

After Black Press reached out to ICBC for comment, the couple said they were contacted by a representative of the insurance company on Monday and told their truck’s wheel alignment and bearings will be looked at to see if there was damage as a result of the theft.

As well, they said, the insurer has offered to pay half the cost of fixing a crack in the dashboard that they maintain was substantially bigger after the theft.

“I’m glad,” said Sarazin, but expressed frustration that the issue took so long to resolve.

A statement provided to Black Press Monday by ICBC spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said the insurer is taking steps to investigate the noise and ICBC will pay for the cost to have alignment work and an assessment completed on the vehicle at a shop of Sarazin’s choosing.

“The delay was caused because there was difficulty in determining whether the noise was a result of the theft, as it was located in a part of the vehicle where there was no physical evidence of damage or contact noted by the customer or the ICBC estimator at time of inspection, the statement said.

“In light of new information shared by the customer today, we’ll be able to use this information and the vehicle assessment to confirm cause.”

“While we take no pleasure in having inconvenienced Mr. Sarazin, ICBC has a responsibility to all its policyholders to review all claims and establish proof before repairs are granted.”

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The truck, after initial repairs.

The theft caused extensive damage to the steering column.

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