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21" Wheel/Rim Damage (crack and leak) - Options?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by chang, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. chang

    chang Member

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    Location:
    Dublin, CA
    Hey everyone,

    I did some searching but couldn't find any recent active threads about this:

    After only 3000 miles I found one of my rear wheels deflated, and when I took it in for repair @ America's Tire (per Tesla Roadside's suggestion), they found a pretty bad crack on the interior side of the wheel/rim.

    I called my insurance AAA NorCal and they said it's not covered, nor do they have an option to buy coverage for this type of damage, because it's "Wear and Tear" and not a collision, vandalamism, theft, etc-- and this came as a surprise to me.

    Tesla Service says it's almost $1700 to replace just ONE wheel + tire... and I was speechless for a bit, but it's understandable knowing it's a $95k+ car... but they also don't offer any sort of insurance or warranty for the wheels anymore--- they USED to, but not anymore.

    So I really don't want this to happen again, or I would love some type of warranty/insurance if it does.

    -What are my options now?
    -Anyone's California-based insurance (other than AAA Norcal) cover road hazard damage? -- I might switch over if so and the rates are competitive
    -Any manufacturer/dealer/Costco (?) offer tire/wheel warranties?

    I'm even thinking about switching to the 19" - it's $2500 for a full set of 4... and less if I purchase it aftermarket (or completely different aftermarket wheels for that matter). But I'd love to stick with the 21" if at all possible and sustainable.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. island

    island Fairfield County / NYC

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    CT
    Sorry to hear about the damage. One thing I would recommend is going with a 19" / 20" set to give you that extra rubber in case of any crazy road conditions. My personal preference is 19" for my winter setup and 20" for my summer set. The tires are cheaper this way, plus you have more variety.

    21" & 22" look the best but they come at a price...
     
  3. randompersonx

    randompersonx Member

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    To crack a rim, you would have either had to have hit a pothole really hard, or the rim was defective.

    Did you hit a pothole hard? Was the tire damaged?

    If it was defective, I would press on tesla to absorb the cost. If it was a road hazard, I would check eBay or the classified section of this forum.

    1700 will go a long way towards aftermarket 21's that are better made.
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Best option is 19" wheels and tires. They look better and are far more reliable.
     
  5. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    If the damage was caused from hitting a pothole, then that is a collision loss (under Ontario definition) and insurance would cover the rim + a depreciated amount on the tire...however, this would be classed as an "at fault" loss, so you may see an increase in premium (depending on your coverage and rating)...
     
  6. theheff

    theheff Member

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    $1700 is a fair price for a 21" wheel and tire, since the 21" set costs $5500. You may be able to find one wheel from the parts for sale portion of TMC, but I imagine that would take longer.
     
  7. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I run 20" year-round on Avant Garde wheels. The 21s are notorious for blowouts/flats/wheel damage. Go with a slightly smaller wheel size so you have a little more sidewall. Heavy car + tiny sidewall + potholes = nothing good.
     
  8. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof Vendor

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    As one of the previous posters stated, a crack typically comes from a hard impact to a pothole or other road hazard, or, on rare occasion, a defective rim. If it was in fact from a pothole or road hazard, typically insurance companies in California treat that as a loss under your "Collision" coverage. As this is a very common practice among numerous insurance carriers, I don't see why AAA is hassling you.

    It's possible that your adjuster at the Auto Club is a new and doesn't know or isn't doing their job properly, so I would highly recommend pushing up the chain of command to a manager. Also a good idea to request a copy of your policy and check under the definition of "collision" coverage.
     
  9. chang

    chang Member

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    Thanks for everyone's help. I called AAA again and they will get back to me tomorrow from the claims department.

    Tesla inspected the wheel and said the tire looks intact but there seems to be an "impact" point on the wheel. I'm not sure what I hit, if anything at all. I generally drive in the Bay Area or sometimes to the Stockton/Sacramento area.. so it might be the mountain roads through the Livermore area.

    I'm looking into 20" wheels at this point.. the TSW Nurburgring or TSW Donington wheels look good so far.
     
  10. Bulletproof

    Bulletproof Vendor

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    Hope everything works out for you.

    Just a side note, since it seems you might have already had an issue with impact damage, be careful with some of the aftermarket cast wheel brands as they have a tendency to be less resilient than even the stock Tesla wheels.
     
  11. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    you should join the 'I ordered with 21" wheels not knowing that they would cost me my house in rim damage and blowout maintenance so I switched to 19" wheels' club. there's probably hundreds (if not thousands) of members by now. unless of course you have unlimited funds and don't mind being towed every now and then. otherwise, I highly recommend you switch to a more practical (and quieter and more comfortable) tire/rim combo like the 19s that you should have ordered in the first place.
     
  12. RyanT

    RyanT Member

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    I agree, switching should probably be considered. You could look at the 19's on other cars if that's the concern. I cracked a rim on my Porsche once. I was quoted about $2,500. Instead I was able to find someone to weld/repair it for $100. Most places wouldn't do it but I found a place that did. I didn't have a problem with it after the fix.
     

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