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Side Skirt Question

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I took my Lexus IS250 into a a body shop to get its rear bumper fixed after I was rearended. About four days later, I noticed that underneath the driver's side side skirt, there was something hanging underneath. So, I looked under the vehicle and saw what appeared to be a broken plastic clip like thing hanging from some foam. This piece appears to be part of the side skirt and unfortunately, I don't know excatly what it's purpose is. There appears to be two of the same types of clip looking things on each side skirt about the same distance from the front and back tires. The other clip (closer to the front wheel) that isn't hanging that is on the same side skirt as the one that is (closer to back wheel), sits inside a pocket and the clip isn't any lower than the height of the side skirt (at exactly the same level), meaning that it doesn't appear than anything can get caught on it when driving.

So, I don't think I hit anything that could cause the clip to break off pretty cleanly and dangle from a foam. I can push the clip so that friction holds it up inside the pocket (at least for a while until it falls back down). In fact, I never hit anything on the road and I don't think some mini flying debree could cause it to snap like that. And if anything larger hit it, there would be more damage to the vehicle. In other words, I did nothing to cause the damage.

So, I took my car to a Lexus dealership to see if there was a part that could be replaced. But, when I got there he told me the whole thing is one piece and clips are part of it, so you would have to replace the entire part (the side skirt) to fix just the broken clip. Then I told him about the body shop and he was like they could have done it because he said he used to work in one, and sometimes when they need to remove parts they have to clamp the vehicle or lift or whatever (can't remember exactly).

What I'm wondering is 1) What the hell are those clips and their purpose? 2) What could the body shop have done such that they could have broken the clip?

Any car experts out there?

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