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Am I being petty about my repair? What would you do?

Around two weeks ago I was parallel parked while enjoying dinner with friends. My phone showed me the dreaded "Sentry Alarm has been triggered" (first time I ever saw this on my phone). I ran out just in time to see a dark SUV driving away as my alarm was blaring and lights were flashing. I did a quick look and didn't see anything damaged on my car, but it was also dark (around 9 PM).

The next morning I reviewed the sentry footage to see that a guy in a black GMC Terrain made an illegal left turn, then tried to park in the spot behind me. It took him, like, 8-10 tries to get into the spot, shimmying back and forth to get in. Then he hit my back bumper. You can see my lights flashing and he immediately started unshimmying his way back out to leave. I got his license plate and all.

Now that I knew someone hit my rear bumper, I checked my car in the garage and sure enough, there was a scuff. I was able to clean it up to where you really couldn't even see it, but the finish was clearly gone from that spot (about 5-6 inches long, maybe an inch or two high. Looks like his license plate hit it. Only I know it's there unless I point it out to people).

But I was still pissed. My car was less than two months old and had zero paint issues. And this guy hit my car and took off, no note or anything (honestly, I think he was drunk seeing how lurchy he was trying to get into the space and how often he hit the curb and how many tries it took him). I brought the footage to the police, and they got the guy for hit and run. I also reported it to his insurance. After seeing the video they immediately accepted responsibility and told me to get a quote.

I took the car to my detailer to see if he could do paint correction but he said there's a dent so he wouldn't touch it. Yesterday I took it to a Tesla-approved shop and they confirmed the dent and the quote came out to *gasp* $4,500. Apparently they have to remove the back seats and all the trunk trim and brake lights to get to all the screws and fasteners to remove the bumper, etc.

So now I'm wresting with two dilemmas:
  1. $4.5k seems like a LOT of money. They other guy's insurance would be on the hook, but it seems like such a waste for something you can barely see. But at the same time, every time I wash the car I'd know it's there (and I wash it by hand a LOT) on a car that's only 2.5 months old. Part of me is doing it out of spite, since the guy took off with complete disregard for any damage they may have done. Do you think it's worth it?
  2. Since they have to dismantle so much of the car, I'm afraid it won't be the same after it's reassembled. I'm also paranoid that the paint won't match (Pearl White). From their website it appears they have fixed a lot of Teslas (among other high-end luxury cars, it's Westchester county, New York). Would you have the same reservations?
Thanks for your input!
 
Take the $4500 check from the insurance and don't get it fixed.
Every time you wash the car and see the spot think about that extra $4500 you have in the bank. :)

If its just the clear coat that is missing (not sure what you meant by the finish is clearly gone) you may want to find another body shop that will re-spray the bumper with clear coat, it should not cost that much at all.

I agree with your concerns about the rear half of the car being taken apart because they never seem to put everything back together the same way as when it was originally built in the factory.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,773
22,183
Riverside Co. CA
You also dont know if there is something "deeper" under there, and NOW is the time to find out in my opinion. Maybe its petty (ok I know its petty), but if I was in your situation, I would want the charge to be enough to deter the guy from every even considering doing something like that again.

He parked behind you, hit your car hard enough to dent it with his big @#@R vehicle, then tried to get away, not knowing the car was being taped. The more of these situations that happen (with consequences) the more people will "be careful around tesla's".
 
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Take the claim check and then go to your service center (not a body shop) and have the bumper cover replaced. The service centers stock factory painted front and rear bumper covers (the rear one is $900 painted) and they will install it for about two hours worth of labor. I did this on our Model 3 except that I swapped the bumper cover myself.
 

duanra

Active Member
Dec 14, 2018
1,372
853
Montreal
Take the claim check and then go to your service center (not a body shop) and have the bumper cover replaced. The service centers stock factory painted front and rear bumper covers (the rear one is $900 painted) and they will install it for about two hours worth of labor. I did this on our Model 3 except that I swapped the bumper cover myself.
I think that is the way to get it fixed. I once asked for a quote from an Tesla approvef shop, and it was totally ridicoulous...
 
The service centers stock factory painted front and rear bumper covers (the rear one is $900 painted) and they will install it for about two hours worth of labor. I did this on our Model 3 except that I swapped the bumper cover myself.

Were you happy with the color match of the pre-painted bumper cover ? Just curious, as I've read some other threads in which some owners noticed some color variability with the white and red.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
19,958
49,964
Oregon
I took the car to my detailer to see if he could do paint correction but he said there's a dent so he wouldn't touch it. Yesterday I took it to a Tesla-approved shop and they confirmed the dent and the quote came out to *gasp* $4,500. Apparently they have to remove the back seats and all the trunk trim and brake lights to get to all the screws and fasteners to remove the bumper, etc.

So now I'm wresting with two dilemmas:
  1. $4.5k seems like a LOT of money. They other guy's insurance would be on the hook, but it seems like such a waste for something you can barely see. But at the same time, every time I wash the car I'd know it's there (and I wash it by hand a LOT) on a car that's only 2.5 months old. Part of me is doing it out of spite, since the guy took off with complete disregard for any damage they may have done. Do you think it's worth it?

You need to have them show you where the dent is. It sounds like it isn't on the bumper cover. Did they give you a detailed quote, or just the total estimated cost?
 
Were you happy with the color match of the pre-painted bumper cover ? Just curious, as I've read some other threads in which some owners noticed some color variability with the white and red.
They replaced the front and back bumpers due to delivery damage on my white one and they no longer match as well... It's not terrible, but it's noticeable if you care about those things...

OP: I'd take the check and live with the scuff, or replace the bumper cover, your prerogative. Don't feel bad about it either. Stuff happens, but he shouldn't have took off... That is why we pay for insurance for decades of non use...
 
Yesterday I took it to a Tesla-approved shop and they confirmed the dent and the quote came out to *gasp* $4,500. Apparently they have to remove the back seats and all the trunk trim and brake lights to get to all the screws and fasteners to remove the bumper, etc.
I really question what the body shop told you. The back seats do not have to be removed in order to remove the bumper cover. Your quote may have been unnecessarily inflated. As someone above suggested take the $4,500 check and go to the service center to get the bumper cover replaced.
 
Take the claim check and then go to your service center (not a body shop) and have the bumper cover replaced. The service centers stock factory painted front and rear bumper covers (the rear one is $900 painted) and they will install it for about two hours worth of labor. I did this on our Model 3 except that I swapped the bumper cover myself.

best advice
 
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holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,443
1,586
eu
Are you able to get the guy's contact info?

If so, you could negotiate a private settlement from him.

1- he's already dinged on his record for the idiocy
2- it would hurt him "directly", and yet it the OOP might also he less than his premium increase, so he would accept it
3- you get cash in pocket, for a repair you truly didnt need, without the anxiety over disassembly
 

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