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Alternatives to Tesla collision repairs?

pepper's S

Member
May 3, 2019
10
3
Seattle
Last week we were rear-ended in our 2018 S100D. Our vehicle is still drivable, but the rear hatch gaps on the passenger side (vehicle's right side), there is a dent in the bottom of the rear hatch, and the lower bumper has been damaged. I have read about the high costs of repairing aluminum cars. We have good insurance, but of course the Tesla certified repair shop wants to replace the entire rear hatch.
When I backed my my 2004 Sienna with 215k mile into a concrete wall, forgetting that i had the rear door elevated, I brought it to a local 2 person body shop. For about $300 they realigned the hinges, bent some steel, and it has worked great ever since.

So, my question is, are there alternative to throwing out the entire rear hatch? Are there alternatives to these exorbitant charges?

Thanks, all. Looking forward to your thoughts.
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David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,432
1,180
USA
You must have a lot of hidden damage given the way the hatch doesn’t fit. The actually bumper (inside the plastic bumper cover you see) is probably flattened, along with parts of the frame and likely the hatch anchor point and surrounding structure.

it’s going to be expensive. You should flush dreams of $300 repairs from your mind. If I’m right about the hidden damage, you’re looking at a 5-figure repair.
 

pepper's S

Member
May 3, 2019
10
3
Seattle
Thanks, David. I realize that $300 is silly, but I have to admit that it was sweet to get my old beater minivan functioning again with such a minimal cost!
My estimate from a Tesla certified repair shop is just about $10,000. I was concerned about hidden important structural damage. The Tesla did great, given that we were hit pretty hard by a Chevy Silverado with towing rings protruding from the front bumper. (He said his antilock brakes didn't function well!) Also, we have the rear child seat, so that involves an extra steel member in the rear gate.
Again, Thanks for the feedback.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,432
1,180
USA
I’m a RFS user also. It would be useful to other owners if you could describe / post pictures of how much intrusion there was into the rear area (where the kids would sit). It’s a big topic of discussion... did you get an estimate of how fast the truck was going? Did his/her or your airbags deploy?
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,432
1,180
USA
I don’t see any options for you for the repair - you will need structural body parts and Tesla only sells them to authorized shops.
 

RAW84

Member
Oct 6, 2014
614
314
Boston
I HIGHLY recommend sticking with a certified body shop. These cars are very expensive to repair and dealing with Tesla to get parts (when they inevitably find more damage) can be a nightmare. The car still looks drivable, so I’d implore the shop to get all the necessary parts it can discern before bringing it in.

The last thing you want to do is to be at shop that’s not used to dealing with Tesla who’s tryna learn these ropes while your car sits dismantled in their garage for weeks waiting on parts. This is why you have insurance. Get it done the right way.
 

isracing

Member
Aug 2, 2019
157
50
Bay Area
If you're OK with whatever underlying damage there might be, try to source a hatch off a wrecked car that's already painted white that you can just bolt on. That's what I'd do... Lots of wrecked cars out there being parted out, you just have to find the right parts for you. In my case I'd buy a hatch and bumper and slap them on and call it a day.
 

pepper's S

Member
May 3, 2019
10
3
Seattle
I’m a RFS user also. It would be useful to other owners if you could describe / post pictures of how much intrusion there was into the rear area (where the kids would sit). It’s a big topic of discussion... did you get an estimate of how fast the truck was going? Did his/her or your airbags deploy?
No airbags deployed. The photos I posted show all of the discernible external damage. There was no intrusion. I suspect that the hatch could be hammered out and the hinges re-adjusted, but I will let the certified shop overcharge the insurance company. Both vehicles were completely drivable afterwards.
 

BigNick

Infamous Fat Sweaty Guy
Dec 3, 2017
1,204
1,446
Pennsylvania, USA
I realize that $300 is silly, but I have to admit that it was sweet to get my old beater minivan functioning again with such a minimal cost!
Your Tesla is not an old beater minivan. It's made from aluminum, and despite the best-selling vehicle in North America (F150) now being made of aluminum, still requires a certified shop to repair properly.

Maybe Ford dealers and their body shops/technicians should investigate the possibility of becoming Tesla certified?
 

DVCLIFFORD

Member
Apr 4, 2013
21
24
Bonita Springs, FL
Take a tip from me....I was rear-ended and after $11K damages to my 2012 Model S Sig, I filed a claim for diminution of value against the at-fault's insured. FL and many other states have regs to make you "whole". After you get repairs, you will get a hit on the trade-in value of your car on Carmax, even if Tesla does the repairs. After they paid $10,800 for the repairs, I got an additional $6,800 for DV of the car. (not that I would ever sell mine).
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,740
885
US
If your open I have a few shops I can recommend that are Tesla certified repair facilities. I'm in the autobody parts business and I deal with all body shops in western Washington.

Premier Collision in tacoma
253 722 5225

Paramount Centre Collision Services in fife
253 896 4400

I've seen there work and I would recommend these shops over most for tesla repairs. Good luck.

And if it turns out you need a rear reinforcement for your third row seating I may be able to get you one. ;)
 

pepper's S

Member
May 3, 2019
10
3
Seattle
Thanks, PWlakewood. I'm letting Metro Auto Rebuild do it, as my insurance carrier has a deal with them. They are Tesla certified. They said I will be getting the reinforced rear hatch.
I am, however, interested in getting a replacement for my driver's side pearl white mirror. I hit a mailbox while backing in. It works fine, but the top (white) and bottom plastic shells are broken.
Daniel
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,740
885
US
Thanks, PWlakewood. I'm letting Metro Auto Rebuild do it, as my insurance carrier has a deal with them. They are Tesla certified. They said I will be getting the reinforced rear hatch.
I am, however, interested in getting a replacement for my driver's side pearl white mirror. I hit a mailbox while backing in. It works fine, but the top (white) and bottom plastic shells are broken.
Daniel
I know there are a few people in the for sale section parting out white model S so if you want A complete mirror you might want to check it out sooner than later. Good luck and let us know how the process and repair goes.
 

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