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Musk Says Tesla is Working on ‘Grief’ from Collision Repair

Tesla owners with the misfortune of getting into a fender bender have also had the misfortune of repairing a Tesla. Collision repairs have been notoriously frustrating for both body shops and owners.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter this week that the automaker is ramping up its collision repair capabilities. He also said that owners with Tesla Insurance would likely have a smoother experience in the event of a repair.

“Tesla is building up collision repair capability to help address the grief that you went through, but usually insurance companies make you go their ‘approved’ collision repair partners,” Musk said in reply to a comment on Twitter. “Tesla Insurance will make it smooth sailing.”

Musk has been talking up improvements to collision repair for years. In 2018 he said that Tesla plans to bring most collision repairs in-house because “outside firms” take too long – weeks to months – to make repairs, which was driving Tesla owners and the company “crazy.” He said the company’s collision repairs operations are completing jobs within 24 hours, but the goal is to deliver repaired cars back to customers within an hour.

Tesla is currently offering an insurance product in California and is reportedly expanding to Texas, Illinois, and Washington, with plans to expand to markets around the world. It makes sense that a claim and repair could be easier if all handled by Tesla. It will be interesting to see Tesla can deliver on that process and if there will be enough value to lure customers to their homegrown insurance.

I wonder if the weeks or months had anything to do with lack of Tesla parts. Happened to me. No shop can turn a car around without parts. And Tesla still makes it difficult for them. Shop working on my car now isn't sure when parts will be available and they cannot find base pricing to allow them to mark up for profit. Tesla just publishes the retail price.
 
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doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
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I wonder if the weeks or months had anything to do with lack of Tesla parts. Happened to me.


Yeah, besides service being a sore point in general, it seems to me that parts are the main issue.

My right repeater camera stopped working in early December and I'm still waiting for it to be repaired. First mobile service showed up with the wrong part (guy expected to have a replacement right camera, instead they sent him with a left trim piece... go figure), followed by months of waiting for parts to come in. I got regular (weekly or so) automated emails about the status of parts ordered which seemed completely decoupled from what service claimed (via text message) to actually have on hand. And sometimes a part that showed as delivered in one email, would show as just ordered in the next. The parts are finally in, supposedly, and I have a mobile service scheduled in May (the earliest available), at which point it will have been 5 months. Fingers crossed on whether the person shows up with the correct parts.

Of course my car is perfectly drivable through all this, so it's not that big of a deal. But it does limit some features that were a considerable extra cost, and it's concerning that something this simple would take so long to be fixed.
 

merica

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Aug 28, 2020
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Austin, TX
I was VERY surprised to hear that Tesla Insurance was available in Texas in this article. Because it is not. Not on the website, not anywhere. It may be in the works, what with the Gigafactory and all, but it's not there yet. And, getting service through the Tesla Austin service center is a well-documented nightmare that takes *weeks* longer than they say it will. If I have any other good option for work I need done on my MY, I will pick that one over the service center every time. Outside of California, Elon's service game is fairly weak still.
 
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Merle

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Apr 5, 2019
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I wonder if the weeks or months had anything to do with lack of Tesla parts. Happened to me. No shop can turn a car around without parts. And Tesla still makes it difficult for them. Shop working on my car now isn't sure when parts will be available and they cannot find base pricing to allow them to mark up for profit. Tesla just publishes the retail price.

No.

Was involved in an accident recently and the Tesla repair center wouldn't be able to even look at the vehicle until May 7th. The accident was at the end of March.

If they can't even look at a vehicle to assess it, what is the likelihood that they're parts starved?
 

RealAutoBody

Local Vendor - SoCal
Mar 26, 2021
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Reducing cycle time from 15 days to 10 days "keys to keys" increases the capacity of a collision center by 50% and potential for higher profits. Most collision center owners/managers understand this and are actively trying to reduce cycle time everyday. Even though there are plenty of "bad apple" body shops to blame , most are not trying to store cars in their parking lot for months. If that was the case, it wouldn't just be Teslas. It would be every car brand.
 
No.

Was involved in an accident recently and the Tesla repair center wouldn't be able to even look at the vehicle until May 7th. The accident was at the end of March.

If they can't even look at a vehicle to assess it, what is the likelihood that they're parts starved?
Is this a "Tesla Repair Center" or "Tesla certified " repair center. In both cases I mentioned I was referring to an outside shop and not Tesla's own facility. The independents are the ones without access to timely parts. IMHO
 
Is this a "Tesla Repair Center" or "Tesla certified " repair center. In both cases I mentioned I was referring to an outside shop and not Tesla's own facility. The independents are the ones without access to timely parts. IMHO
I slightly damaged my model 3 mid December. The body repair shop I used said they'll go to Tesla SC and buy the parts. SC does not sell parts. He had to fill out an online application with some other documentation. 3 months later they were approved to buy the parts but they said SOME parts they can't buy, like the one that require welding. Tesla authorized repair shops I was told by my guy had to to provide a separate work area for Tesla only and had to pay a multi thousand dollar "membership free" or whatever you want to call it, other than that they said Tesla SC does NOT do repairs in house. Oh, and another nice tidbit. My SC CANNOT do state inspections. That's because New York State requires to you inspect ICE and EV cars.
 

merica

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Aug 28, 2020
30
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Austin, TX
I slightly damaged my model 3 mid December. The body repair shop I used said they'll go to Tesla SC and buy the parts. SC does not sell parts. He had to fill out an online application with some other documentation. 3 months later they were approved to buy the parts but they said SOME parts they can't buy, like the one that require welding. Tesla authorized repair shops I was told by my guy had to to provide a separate work area for Tesla only and had to pay a multi thousand dollar "membership free" or whatever you want to call it, other than that they said Tesla SC does NOT do repairs in house. Oh, and another nice tidbit. My SC CANNOT do state inspections. That's because New York State requires to you inspect ICE and EV cars.
This is 100% true from everything I've found. Best option is to go to your local Tesla owners' club (I found a good one on Facebook) and ask who the Tesla authorized body shops are, rather than messing around with anyone else who will have to get authorized before they can even order parts. But, even outside of body work, the SCs are terrible for minor repairs here in TX. And, you are also correct, inspections are tricky with Tesla outside of CA. Best advice, again, go on a local Tesla forum to find inspection stations that are willing to look at EVs, because not all of them are. I've had best luck with my old standard "loose" inspection station from my ICE days, but many have not.
 

Goblue2000

Member
Apr 12, 2021
6
6
Ann Arbor
I went through this. Took 7-8 weeks because I got swiped in the parking lot. Model 3 Rear quarter panel damage, paint, blending. $9,000. No electrical or drivetrain damage. I'm tired of the hyperbole from Musk. "He said the company’s collision repairs operations are completing jobs within 24 hours, but the goal is to deliver repaired cars back to customers within an hour." ??? Paint doesn't cure in an hour. What a ridiculous statement. The issue was 100% parts availability and part cost. It was 3 days work and took almost 60 days to complete.
 

azred

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,877
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Chandler, AZ
Musk’s comment that Tesla insurance may solve the alleged problem whereby insurers force one to use specific body shops is puzzling. I am no expert on auto insurance but believe that claim is pure nonsense and that in fact most states specifically prohibit insurers from imposing the choice of legitimate body shops on the customer.

Three weeks ago, I was hit by an inattentive driver who suddenly side swiped me. I wouldn’t have been shocked if the other driver’s insurance company had “suggested” body shops to me but they didn’t even do that. (I of course used the shop Tesla recommends and I doubt they are the cheapest shop in town.)

I know Musk tends to tweet without necessarily getting all the facts, but that is a pretty outrageous claim for a guy trying to push a new insurance option, if it is untrue.
 

Pyre

Member
Apr 10, 2021
162
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Syracuse, NY
I slightly damaged my model 3 mid December. The body repair shop I used said they'll go to Tesla SC and buy the parts. SC does not sell parts. He had to fill out an online application with some other documentation. 3 months later they were approved to buy the parts but they said SOME parts they can't buy, like the one that require welding. Tesla authorized repair shops I was told by my guy had to to provide a separate work area for Tesla only and had to pay a multi thousand dollar "membership free" or whatever you want to call it, other than that they said Tesla SC does NOT do repairs in house. Oh, and another nice tidbit. My SC CANNOT do state inspections. That's because New York State requires to you inspect ICE and EV cars.
Tesla HAS to do the inspections on our cars in NY?
 

kitlau3438

Member
Jan 24, 2020
11
2
new york city
I just been through hell with getting tesla parts, took my car to a non authorized Tesla body shop because I'm a regular there and had to replace the front bumper carrier and waited for a month. We called tesla part dept for updates and they alway says arrival date is TBD. I lost patience last week and instantly found and new one from a local ebay seller and picked it up the same day. From what i heard by the ebay seller, he got the same part within 2 days because his shop is authorized tesla body shop. I looked up tesla official site part catalog and this part have no sales restriction / over the counter and required no VIN for purchase. Perhapes Tesla is not releasing certain parts to non authorized shop on purpose... Nightmare!
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
2,866
8,836
MI
I just been through hell with getting tesla parts, took my car to a non authorized Tesla body shop because I'm a regular there and had to replace the front bumper carrier and waited for a month. We called tesla part dept for updates and they alway says arrival date is TBD. I lost patience last week and instantly found and new one from a local ebay seller and picked it up the same day. From what i heard by the ebay seller, he got the same part within 2 days because his shop is authorized tesla body shop. I looked up tesla official site part catalog and this part have no sales restriction / over the counter and required no VIN for purchase. Perhapes Tesla is not releasing certain parts to non authorized shop on purpose... Nightmare!
I certainly would NOT go to a non-authorized shop at this time if it can be avoided. I don’t care to add a layer of potential roadblocks.
 

zecar

Member
Nov 30, 2017
390
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Chicago
Musk’s comment that Tesla insurance may solve the alleged problem whereby insurers force one to use specific body shops is puzzling. .....

Especially since Tesla Insurance is underwritten and processed by other companies. The only advantage/disadvantage may be the insurers access to driving behavior.