1 Was your vehicle damaged in a collision?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:44 am   Post subject: One more time  

Quote:
In this case, the court said the amount of damage should be

measured from the fair market value immediately before the collision and the fair market value immediately

after the collision.




We are talking third party claims in which an insurer steps up to pay for damages under the liability portion of a policy for the negligent actions of their policyholder including any loss of value which can be measured. This is the measure of damages for the restatement of a tort; the courts have ruled this is so in all states.



The loss in value is greatest when the damage is more severe and when the vehicle is newer. After a time when the value of a vehicle depreciates the loss in value is negligible as in the original posters vehicle possibly. The attorneys that normally handle loss of value claims do so on contingency that they are able to collect. Maybe if insurers made a reasonable attempt to pay for these losses so that the damaged party does not have to litigate the costs could be mitigated somewhat. But as usual most insurers deny they owe any DV and force the damaged party to hire an attorney.



Until the insurance industry can legally exclude certain types of damages on third party losses, specifically loss of value, it will be owed. It matters not whether an insurer feels it is wrong that if a party chooses not have the damage repaired or whether they drive the car for twenty five years, the courts have concluded that loss occurs immediately afer the impact and not when and if the vehicle owner chooses to sell the car.



Perhaps you shoud concentrate your displeasure with autodealers and carfax and demand that they not penalize people who trade in their damaged and repaired vehicles by offering them less than fairmarket value comparable to a vehicle that has no accident history. Make them accountable so you can continue to offer lower premiums. Why should insurers that can show reasonable profits by properly indemnifying policy holders and repairing third party claimant's vehicles be penalized because other insurers can not do the same. Let the weaker companies learn lean operating accounting and just work a little faster and in greater volume like they insist the collision industry must do.



Why should policy premiums not be adjusted to account for these types of losses. Where is it written that insurers can not go to their departments of insurance and ask for increases to cover these losses. Every service and product of manufacture eventually increases in price (with perhaps the exception of electronics). Why should an entire industry have to toe their bottom lines just so insurers can keep offering low cost coverage. The collision industry labor charges in the last 25 years have not even kept up with the rate of inflation. I am certain that insurance employees have been extended increases in salary of the same period to account for the increased cost of living, why shouldn't the collision industry.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:38 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I am certain that insurance employees have been extended increases in salary of the same period to account for the increased cost of living, why shouldn't the collision industry.
Where has it been said/written that you cannot charge whatever you want?



With 5 body shops on every corner how unprofitable can the industry be? In my city we have 4 Home Depots and 4 Lowes. Yet there are probably 60 body shops. Are they all losing money?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:42 am   Post subject:   

The problem that I have with DV claims, they are soooo subjective. Really who can determine or should determine diminished value. OH! The fair market value. What is fair market value? What is fair market value for a 24 year old Toyota or a 2008 Ferrari Enzo? Market Value is basically what someone is willing to pay you for something that you are selling. Add the FAIR and it becomes an estimate. The estimating part is what I have a problem with. Who decidesÂ…. An auto dealer, adjuster, some bean counter at the carrier, personally I think Lori should handle all of theses, but she doesn't seem to have the time. I get it, Mr. Claimant takes the damaged or repaired car to their local dealer and asks what they would give them for the car now and then if it had not be in an accident, and then the carrier should just pay the difference. Sure!



As for the ruling that Mike posted, that really doesn't make any sense. Why would they rule that DV would be calculated directly before and directly after the accident. I think all would agree that someone would pay more for a repaired car then a wrecked carÂ…. even if they would pay even more for the same car that had not been in an accident at all.



I can also understand the stance that insurance carriers take on DV claims. You have to prove your loss, and in these cases they aren't taking the expert word from "Big Bob" at Bob's Auto World. No offense Bob, but you may have a vested interest in this. So take them to court and roll the dice. It tends to weed out the 24 year old vehicles that attorneys won't take on because even they know its a farce.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:04 am   Post subject:   

I think Mike's post states that there is precedent in MO to asses DV prior to the vehicle being repaired. That is, the owner does not have to have the vehicle repaired in order to have suffered a DV loss. Basically, yes... the person does not need to prove the loss as obviously this could only be done if the vehicle _was_ repaired. Hey, at some point you are going to find that one judge who screws up.



I've said it all along and it can't be denied... DV claims are are only the _perception_ that a vehicle is worth less. In reality, it's not. It would not make a lick of sense for any insurance company to support this perception as it only serves to increase the amount of the claim payment... even though no loss has really been incurred. That is, a claim payment for DV would only serve to perpetuate the myth.



Of course no one can really prove a DV amount prior to the sale. If you've ever seen a "professionally" produced report on a DV claim you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:21 am   Post subject:   

Here are some of the 'qualifying' questions on one of the 'helpful' diminished value sites, (they only charge, oh, 199.00-a percentage)

Quote:
1) Was your vehicle damaged in a collision? Yes No

2) Was your vehicle less than 7 years old? Yes No

3) Was your vehicle worth at least $10,000.00? Yes No

4) Was someone else at fault for the accident? Yes




As we see our OP is disqualified on 2 out of the four...so seems the 'professionals' re: diminished value, don't think he even qualifies to ''buy'' a report...



also on their site they say this....
Quote:
Dimished Value (DV) is the loss in market value that occurs when a vehicle is wrecked and repaired.
Again, apparently the 'pro's' that are paid to type up these reports, (many/most without ever seeing the car)...agree on this one, car's too old, not worth enough, and you need to repair it before you even think about a diminished value claim!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:40 pm   Post subject: you get what you pay for.  

I assure you the reports from the consulting company I am associated with, are prepared for consumers just as they would be for an attorney. It is supported by research and over 20 pages of documentation. The report is prepared for an attorney and is complete with pictures and supporting evidence to initiate their demand to the negligent party or to be used in a court of law.



They are not your two page opinions that you may be used to. Even the Georgia 17C formulas that insurers use pale in comparison. The insurer's attempt at producing a diminished value report to challenge a professional report is humorous and deficient to say the least. They are easily refuted in court. They look as complete as SOME insurance prepared guestimates.



Inexperienced appraisals by incompetent inspectors in which partnered shops repair vehicles will continue to drive the public perception that damaged vehicles are worth less than non damaged vehicles and the market validates that fact. It is the consumer perception that insurers attempt to pay for cheap repairs also fuels the belief that some wrecked and repaired cars are not worth as much as non damaged cars. As long as there are collision shops that are greedy and take short cuts on repairs because they will not ask for what is properly required to restore the damage for fear of being removed from programs also drive the concept of DV and their inability to learn to channel the liability for the insurance specified repairs back to the insurer.



Keep singing that old tune and I'll keep humming mine.



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:28 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Inexperienced appraisals by incompetent inspectors in which partnered shops repair vehicles will continue to drive the public perception that damaged vehicles are worth less than non damaged vehicles and the market validates that fact
Are you saying that DRP's are the reason for diminished value claims?
Quote:
As long as there are collision shops that are greedy and take short cuts on repairs because they will not ask for what is properly required to restore the damage for fear of being removed from programs also drive the concept of DV and their inability to learn to channel the liability for the insurance specified repairs back to the insurer.
And of course cheap insurance companys? Then from this I'm to assume that you do not write nor encourage any customer who has a vehicle repaired in your shop to pursue a diminished value claim right? riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight............ Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:14 pm   Post subject:   

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Then from this I'm to assume that you do not write nor encourage any customer who has a vehicle repaired in your shop to pursue a diminished value claim right? riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight............
I don't think Mike has ever said that the vehicle is any worst off after the repair. That is, when a vehicle is repaired correctly it's _exactly_ the same as prior to the accident if not better. He has stated that its the _perception_ that the vehicle is worth less that causes it to be worth less. Which is why it only makes sense for an insurance company to resist DV claims. Why would anyone acknowledge something that does not exist and that will only serve to cost more if it's it's acknowledged.



Personally, I fail to see the benefit to society in transferring a "good deal" on a used car back to the insurance company. People love to complain about insurance rates but fail to understand that losses are transferred directly back into premium.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:18 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
It is supported by research and over 20 pages of documentation.
I can't speak for the report you mention but I have seen one of those '20 page reports". Again, not speaking of your report but the one I saw was laughable! It was page after page of how they arrived at the figure they did. After you cut through all the fancy legalize it basically said the number was a guess. There was no supporting documentation to show how the number was arrived at. How could there be... no one tracks the selling prices of damaged and non-damaged identical vehicles. If they do, please let me know.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:31 pm   Post subject: On the contrary.  

Quote:
And of course cheap insurance companys? Then from this I'm to assume that you do not write nor encourage any customer who has a vehicle repaired in your shop to pursue a diminished value claim right? riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight............




This quote tells me you and your buddy T still do not comprehend the difference in insurer related DV, inherent DV, and shop related DV.



You know, it is easy for people who do not have the skill or ability to perform collision repair and restoration to think the work they see is exceptional or standard of the industry. What you are use to seeing is average workman like standards which is far from quality. Only skilled professionals can actually tell the difference in my opinion. This is why so much crappy work is passed off onto consumers. Consumers for the most part, do not know good work from bad work, and SOME insurers obviously do not comprehend quality, or they would never insist on inferior junk parts and non oem parts be used on a vehicle less one year old and still under warranty.



If you went to an expensive restaurant and you paid for a quality meal and they prepared it with hamburger helper, bone meal, and generic fillers, you would most likely cry foul. Well people, welcome to the current version of collision and insurance indemnification in America. You pay for fine prime rib and they give you a happy meal. The collision people say, the insurers will not pay us enough and T says all the shops have to do is ask for proper payment. When you insist on proper payment, insurers say we don't pay for that, or it is not the prevalent practice in your area.



I encourage all vehicle owners which are my customers that are third party claimants to collect the diminishment of value. I offer the assessment service at no charge to my customers who wish to pursue their claims. Other times vehicle owners suggest to insurers that they will pursue it, if the insurer refuses to repair with original parts and based on my repair plan. Amazing how that one works. It's like pay me now or pay me later. (third party of course)



Only insurers, the scrs and asa which until recently were symbiotically tied together to insurers believed that vehicles can be restored to pre loss condition or that repairs made in a shop can equal the factory quality. I have been repairing vehicles for over 35 years and while my repairs are comparable to other quality minded shops, I do tell people my work is not better or equivalent than the factory. Maybe if we are talking about changing pre-painted fascials, grilles, chrome bumpers with originals, you can certainly achieve a similar equality.



But I, or no one else can refinish a vehicle with paint the factory does which is baked and hardened at temperatures that would melt the interior so as to achieve a more chip resistant finish. I can't promise you that the fender I painted today is going to match one year from now because it left the shop matching. The technology in a remanufacturing setting which is what a body shop is, is nowhere comparable to the original assemby and quality.



Are you aware of any shop that has the capability to measure or ensure that all electronics, all collision zones will function as the manufacturer designed after deployment of the air bags or an accident severe enough to crumple crush zone and ensure they will react in the proper timing to work with the inflatable restraints? I can't and I don't believe any other shop can either.



I examine completed work often on vehicles from some of the largest and best equiped DRP and Non DRP shops in the Kansas City area and Springfield areas. All have remaining flaws and defects that decrease the vehicles value. When you start putting cycle times and pushing volumes on technicians who would prefer to work as craftmen, you start getting inferior work.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:03 pm   Post subject: There is a reason these reports are formatted as they are.  

Quote:
After you cut through all the fancy legalize it basically said the number was a guess. There was no supporting documentation to show how the number was arrived at. How could there be... no one tracks the selling prices of damaged and non-damaged identical vehicles. If they do, please let me know.






Your are right T, it is my opinion. My opinion counts in court because I am recognized to have the ability to offer that opinion based on my experience and abilities, and put simply and succinctly, you don't.



Quote:
Determination



Based upon my knowledge of the automotive resale market combined with a thorough review of the

documentation pertaining to the loss to the subject vehicle, it is my opinion that this vehicle has sustained

the type of damage that causes a loss of value.




There is a reason a properly repaired report is long and written with legaleze. If a document is to be presented in court by an attorney, it must convey all the necessary information to impart to a jury why DV exists, how it is determined, by what law it is owed, the methodology of how you arrived at your conclusions and more. If all your ducks are not in a row, the report is worthless to an attorney.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:22 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
The collision people say, the insurers will not pay us enough and T says all the shops have to do is ask for proper payment. When you insist on proper payment, insurers say we don't pay for that, or it is not the prevalent practice in your area.
But your agreement to be paid is between you and the vehicle owner. So it should not matter what the insurance company is paying, correct? Seems someone told me that before. If you can't or won't repair the owners car for what the carrier is paying, the owner can simply go some place else and have it done. You won't have to worry about it. You also stated that you have enough work that you don't need to rely on insurance claims. Again... I'm not seeing the problem.



Quote:
I encourage all vehicle owners which are my customers that are third party claimants to collect the diminishment of value. I offer the assessment service at no charge to my customers who wish to pursue their claims.
I'm guessing this service is offered free so that you can gain their business? I guess therein lies the rub... you give the person the impression that despite _your_ quality repairs, their vehicle will not be worth as much upon resale. So why do you point out the different between quality repairs and substandard repairs? After all, you only do the best repairs possible yet, by your own admission, even with the _best_ repairs the vehicle is still not as good as it was. Also, it seems like you are perpetuation that the _perception_ of DV exists. What do you get out of this...? More business/money in your pocket. Yet you complain that the insurance wants to save a buck by not acknowledging it exists. I'm down right confused.



Quote:
But I, or no one else can refinish a vehicle with paint the factory does which is baked and hardened at temperatures that would melt the interior so as to achieve a more chip resistant finish. I can't promise you that the fender I painted today is going to match one year from now because it left the shop matching. The technology in a remanufacturing setting which is what a body shop is, is nowhere comparable to the original assemby and quality.
Others can and do. But can the manufacture guarentee the same thing of their paint? A vehicles warranty on paint usually lasts 4 years. When I buy a used vehicle, out of warranty, I don't expect any more from the seller then I would from the manufacture.



I've also seen thousands of vehicles and owned many that have been repainted. After many years the differences still cannot be seen. So I'll have to disagree with your implication that non-original paint is inferior. It is different... and can be done incorrectly, but 99.9999% of the time it is just as good.



Quote:
All have remaining flaws and defects that decrease the vehicles value. When you start putting cycle times and pushing volumes on technicians who would prefer to work as craftmen, you start getting inferior work.
Then I think the owners of those vehicles have some valid complaints against the shops that did the substandard or incorrect work. If they could not do it correctly for what the insurance company was paying, they either should have discussed the issue or not done the work at all! It's _that_ simple. Don't blame the insurance company for shotty workmanship when they can't be shown to be at blame.



If the insurance company would allow it, I'm sure shops would LOVE to take 4 or 5 times as long to repair a vehicle. How about 10 times as long? I'm betting you'd go for that. But an insurance company is a business. They have a right and duty to keep their expenses as low as possible... just like repair shops do. Are their insurance companies that don't pay enough? Heck yes! Are their shops that charge too much and do piss poor work? I'll let you answer that one.



Which I guess raises a question. When you prepare a DV report, do you inspect the vehicle? Do you review the appraisal done by the insurance company to know what they paid for? Do you go over the repairs done with the shop that repaired the vehicle? Do you use a database of some type that tracks the same type of vehicles that sell with and without the same type of damage? If you don't do all of these things, how can you know the insurance company is even responsible for DV?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:29 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I am recognized to have the ability to offer that opinion based on my experience and abilities
Here are my questions:



1) What type of special training have you gone through in order to determine a vehicle that has been repaired is worth less? Do you have any industry certification for this training?



2) You have repaired vehicles for umpteen years, how long have you been in the business of selling vehicles? Have you ever owed a sales lot?



3) How many other vehicles of similar makes and models both repaired and unrepaired did you compare the vehicle in question to?



4) Did you inspect the vehicle prior to it being repaired so that you could actually see what was damaged and how?



5) Did you discuss the repairs done with the shop that repaired the vehicle? That is, do you know specifically what they did with the vehicle? Do you know exactly what type of parts were used in the repairs?



6) Is it true that you complete these reports as a means to obtain body shop work?



Those are just a few static questions I could think of to question the ability of someone to be considered an "expert witness".



I can easily offer my opinion on the matter... but I don't have to. It's up to the owner of the vehicle to prove they suffered from DV. That is, I don't have to prove or offer my opinion that it does not exist in a particular case.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:56 am   Post subject: Here are my answers.  

Quote:
1) What type of special training have you gone through in order to determine a vehicle that has been repaired is worth less? Do you have any industry certification for this training?



2) You have repaired vehicles for umpteen years, how long have you been in the business of selling vehicles? Have you ever owed a sales lot?



3) How many other vehicles of similar makes and models both repaired and unrepaired did you compare the vehicle in question to?



4) Did you inspect the vehicle prior to it being repaired so that you could actually see what was damaged and how?



5) Did you discuss the repairs done with the shop that repaired the vehicle? That is, do you know specifically what they did with the vehicle? Do you know exactly what type of parts were used in the repairs?



6) Is it true that you complete these reports as a means to obtain body shop work?



Those are just a few static questions I could think of to question the ability of someone to be considered an "expert witness".



I can easily offer my opinion on the matter... but I don't have to. It's up to the owner of the vehicle to prove they suffered from DV. That is, I don't have to prove or offer my opinion that it does not exist in a particular case.


1. By the definition required of the court as an expert witness, I qualify. My Curricula Vitae has all my credentials and experience listed on it. I even listed some of those ICAR classes from the 90's that they dumb downed so non repair people could comprehend the classes.



2. I have bought and resold vehicles both with and without prior salvage titles for over twenty years. I have a salvage buyers license, and I do not sell more than the required vehicles a year to necessitate a common dealers license. I am in the business of repairing cars not selling. I have sold cars which I marketed with prior accident histories and sold them below fair market which would have been in line of the diminished value with the accident history. They hire kids with no collision training, marketing degrees, or insurer experience to sell cars so whats your point. Auto sales prices are based on condition and quality of the vehicle, what similar undamaged vehicles sell for in the market area, and the availability of other similar comparable vehicles that may be saturated in a market. The ability of a salesman and the profit motivation can not be used as an indicator of a vehicle's value in a market because of either the motivated buyer or seller, or the ability of the buyer to negotiate or finance a vehicle. Car sales prices are based on market research conducted by people who do not sale cars.



3. I may research over a hundred vehicles to locate vehicles that are comparable to the car I am appraising. I use 3 to 4 for market comparisons which actually reflect the similarity of options. The programs that insurers use may list 10 to 20 vehicles for comparison, none of which the adjuster actually calls to verify that the sell price and the take price were one in the same. You claim they use the sell price, but my understanding is that the research is based on the take price of the vehicle and it is never verified for accuracy.



In order to obtain a true picture of the diminishment in all market sectors one must consider trade in values, private party values, and dealer suggested values, taken from four nationally recognized research groups. It also requires consideration of as many as four comparable vehicles available and verified for sale, one must consider the true diminishment to be an average of all sectors researched.



4. Not sure I would ever need to see the actual damaged car to come to a conclusion on the quality of the repairs. I do see the invoice and the insurer estimate to check for fraud and to validate that all work billed for was performed. If there is no prior accident history or evidence thereof, I base my examination of the completeness and quality of repair based on repair techniques or lack thereof according to the repair plan provided to the vehicle owner. I also make note of any repairs not performed that would have been created by the accident in question.



5. It is not my job to discuss the quality or scope of repairs with the shop; they did not hire me to judge their quality or methodology; the vehicle owner or the attorney did. The shop would not be at fault for any unperformed work that was not billed for. They may be guilty of being sloppy or lacking in due diligence of notifying the owner there was damage as a consequence of the accident that the insurer failed to pay for if they were informed. Repairers can only perform repairs that they are adequately compensated for. That is why there are line items on a bill of invoice. Most repairers can easily detect parts that are not made by the manufacturer or parts that are not new and may have been repaired when replacement was billed for.



6. My customers come to my business based on the perceived honesty and quality of the work we perform based on our experience and ability to make repair decisions not influenced by a third party which may have a financial stake in the matter. Some people have come to the conclusion that they need an advocate that has the experience and knowledge to assist them in obtaining proper and complete repairs, because they have knowledge of others that have not benefited by trusting their insurer to select a shop for them perhaps because they percieve there is a financial motive for the insurer to pay for the least expensive repair. As their advocate, it is my job to inform them of my ability to complete repairs to their damaged vehicles based on the funds that the insurer has estimated that the repairs could be performed for. It is my duty as an advocate for them to inform them that there may be additional damages and losses for which they may be owed that the insurer refuses to pay for. I give them the names of attorneys that they can speak with for legal consultations if it becomes necessary.





Quote:
I'm guessing this service is offered free so that you can gain their business? I guess therein lies the rub... you give the person the impression that despite _your_ quality repairs, their vehicle will not be worth as much upon resale. So why do you point out the different between quality repairs and substandard repairs? After all, you only do the best repairs possible yet, by your own admission, even with the _best_ repairs the vehicle is still not as good as it was. Also, it seems like you are perpetuation that the _perception_ of DV exists. What do you get out of this...? More business/money in your pocket. Yet you complain that the insurance wants to save a buck by not acknowledging it exists. I'm down right confused.




People are looking for honesty and frank answers; they don't always seem to be getting it from the people that owe them money for their losses.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:32 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I encourage all vehicle owners which are my customers that are third party claimants to collect the diminishment of value.
Well then Mike,you are saying your shop is in the same group, and you did not have the ablility to return that vehicle to pre-loss condition...you don't say if I used a/m parts which of course you've made clear you NEVER do...so that ain't it........so the vehicles repaired in your shop are no different from any others huh? They have a diminished value because you repaired their vehicle...couldn't be another reason could there? like then you also get to 'sell' them your 199 dollar 20 page report too right? Or do your customers get a break? Rolling Eyes Geeze Mike from your discription of yours and other shops final repairs, you are going to run all shops out of business, crap why aren't we totalling all of them and having zero body work? I mean seriously! Your paint may not match a year from now, how many you have coming back with this problem MIke? You don't 'know' that you have the vehicle back to full safety...geeze...let's do that just total em all, and shut down all the shops...... Rolling Eyes It's ridiculous to think that a vehicle in a collision (I'm not talking about train wrecks) cannot come back to pre loss condition...


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