CLEVELAND — What used to take about a week for one car repair shop, now takes several and maybe more to get some Kia and Hyundai owners back on the road.
The cars were damaged either when stolen, or when someone tried to take them.
One body shop owner says parts are hard to get.
"Nice to see you again."
Javonni Blevins and Anthony Hodel have some unfinished business.
"Basically, we're waiting on a window that's going to be the holdup,” said Hodel, who owns Cleveland Auto Body.
Blevins is one of several of his customers who all have something in common recently.
"They typically break this side window; the passenger window is what we see a lot,” Hodel said. "Probably about a dozen to 14. It's a repeat event. You see a broken window and a peeled column."
He says parts have been hard to come by.
News 5 asked Hodel what part he’s having trouble getting now.
"Windows and columns and the plastic housing that goes around the column. It's getting really scarce now,” Hodel said.
In some cases, Hodel says they’ve had to interchange parts, so customers aren’t waiting four to six months.
“A window used to be $115 brand new from a dealer, now you call a yard because the dealers can't get them, they're on backorder from Kia or Hyundai and they're charging double or triple,” Hodel said.
Blevins hasn’t been able to drive his 2019 Kia since mid-November.
It was his drill weekend with the Army reserves.
"I was kind of like on autopilot and then and tried to start the ignition and next thing I know I see wires hanging,” Blevins said.
His back passenger window was broken. But says it was a failed attempt for those who tried to drive off with it.
"I don't think they knew what they were doing because I'm just looking into the car ... just looks sloppy, I'm like iPhone charger in my passenger; it looked like they got caught in the act to me,” Blevins said.
Blevins believes thieves returned for a second unsuccessful run the day it as getting towed to the repair shop.
All of this the last thing he expected, even knowing about the TikTok challenge.
"Then as time went on, they were getting people closer to me then they finally got me, I'm like dang,” Blevins said.
It’s not just parts that are delayed, Blevins says it took several weeks for an insurance adjuster to come out.
Hodel has this advice should this happen to you.
"Take it to a shop right away because we can facilitate and get an adjuster out or do a zoom call and say here it is and they've seen it,” Hodel said.
Blevins bought a steering lock for when he’s out of his rental.
"I'm working like every other American, then people trying to steal what I'm working for what, other people are working, for I just don't get it,” Blevins said.
It may be later, than sooner.
"It may take us three weeks to get the window,” Hodel said.
Hodel said Blevins was his first customer to ask about having his Kia de-branded.
Blevins said he wants to keep his car, but thought maybe it could bring more protection against thieves.
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