This is an insurance job so the owner could care less how much those rivets cost. The repair is at over $18,000 right now on a $55k car. There is a very good chance we are going to be using a 100 of those $17 rivets!
This is the odd thing with the insurance companies out there right now, they are walking a thin line between doing things exactly as the manufacturer says and wanting us to do jack crap work and use jack crap parts to save them money, its' a VERY thin line they are walking.
On one side they have seen the insides of a court room over using sub standard parts, or seen other insurance companies (one lost a hundred million dollar suit). All the while there are lobbyist and consumer action groups fighting for the "consumers" use of these cheaper parts instead of the auto manufacturer holding them hostage with their high prices.
While all this is happening the manufacturers are adding more and more verbiage to their guidelines that state things like a frame can't be repaired it must be replaced to all the components in an air bag system need to be replaced in a deployment to no used or aftermarket parts because their integrity could compromise the cars safety features designed into it.
We are replacing parts such as a quarter panel or other weld on components just as the manufacture says so. Something we once would have done like sectioning a frame rail on a car may now be prohibited by the manufacturers guidelines and the car is deemed a total loss because of this. Where we would have repaired it two years ago using general repair guidelines set forth by someone like ICAR I-CAR - Collision Repair Training
which is a recognized leader in proper repair training the manufacturer is now getting the trump card and when they say "do not cut or splice" a frame rail, we can't or the insurance company will be liable along with us. So they say go by the manufacturers guidelines and the car is a total loss because replacing the entire frame rail requires a lot more labor, including removal and reinstalling the motor.
And ICAR has changed too, you go to a class today and you will hear over and over and over "Refer to the manufacturers guidelines". I am not kidding, they are hardly teaching a thing because they will say this over and over as if what they are teaching isn't even right and you have wasted your time. I have a study manual right here in my computer hutch from an ICAR class on advanced systems like air bag and ABS and I wrote in the book every time the guy said "Refer to the manufacturers guidelines" and this statement is written on just about every page in that manual!
I see it all the time, we have a Chrysler Pacifica in the shop right now with very localized frame damage we are talking 1" of the end of the frame rail is collapsed and it may total this perfectly good car.
Things have gotten very odd, the AM parts industry has sold the insurance industry a sock of poop and they bought it hook line and sinker. There are AM parts made for your late model car that would blow you away. How would you like your insurance company saying you had to use an aftermarket radiator support in your 1 year old car? A radiator support made in China on your car that you are making payments on? I don't think so, not when you can see very clearly that the part is sub standard. The other day I got an AM bumper in for a GMC Jimmy that was much lighter, I weighed it against the OEM bumper, AM was 10.5 lbs and the OEM was 16! I don't want this kind of crap on my cars, but the insurance industry has bought the AM industries lies that they are the same! They are EXACT, no kidding. It is up to the shop to trial fit and weed out the junk. So the insurance company says USE IT, but then out of the side of their mouth they say "But we want you to repair the car properly so it's up to you to tell us if this part is substandard, if it is then buy an OEM one because we are just like that, we are a wonderful insurance company of the highest integrity and we would never want you to use a part that put our insured in danger or damaged the value of their car"
But at the same time they BEAT US UP over our AM numbers being down. They MAKE US (we are talking companies we have a contract with for "direct repair") buy and trial fit parts we KNOW aren't going to work.
Oh there you go, you got me started on the insurance industry and AM parts!