A year? I helped a friend rebuild a Dodge dually diesel that was hit so hard it pushed the engine and transmission back a foot. It destroyed the firewall which we cut out and replaced. My job was to rebuild the smashed heater box with a used one and switch parts to make a dual zone unit. I also welded the pulling tabs to the frame and replaced broken parts on the front of the engine. We had to remove the engine and transmission for access to the firewall. With pulling the frame and repainting, the entire job took three of us just over one week.
It sounds like your body shop is using your car to fill in during slow periods to save you money. Here in Wisconsin no license is required to do bodywork, but if the car was totaled by the insurance company and "salvage" is on the title, the completed car must be inspected by the State Patrol before it can be registered. All they look at is if all the outside lights work and all the safety equipment such as air bags and seat belts are functioning properly. They don't look at the frame or the quality of the bodywork.
The dealer I used to work for often bought auction cars from rental agencies, and some had been crashed and repaired. Dealers were allowed to perform their own inspections under the assumption they wouldn't want to risk their reputation by selling a car that had problems from the crash. I'm only aware of one complaint in my ten years there, and there was nothing wrong with the car. The new owner was just angry that it he didn't know the car had been repaired. In that case the dealer didn't know either because the damage was very minor.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011 AT 4:55 PM