TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Business Insider issued a story today about the high cost for Tesla repairs

Discussion in 'Model S' started by swegman, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. swegman

    swegman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    962
    A story was printed today by Business Insider regarding the very high cost of repairing a Tesla. See A Child With A Baseball Bat Could Total A Tesla Model S - Business Insider . The article states a child with a baseball bat could total a Tesla with a few well placed hits. The article quotes a Tesla certified repair shop as stating that body work that would cost $3000 on a Honda and $6,000 on a Jaguar, costs $7,000 on a Tesla. The story was picked up by Yahoo. I am concerned that if this story gets spread among other "news" outlets, it could damage Tesla's reputation. There have been numerous reports in TMC regarding the extremely expensive repair costs for body work. Tesla needs to do something to get this under control if they hope to sell large numbers of cars in the future.
     
  2. PlanB

    PlanB Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    579
    Location:
    Oregon
    My insurance rate went up 20% last month because of the high cost of repair. Total BS. Tesla does need to get on this.
     
  3. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Location:
    USA
    As a Tesla fan and TSLA shareholder, allow me to say: good. Tesla needs to improve these costs, and publicity tends to raise priorities.
     
  4. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,662
    Location:
    Fairfax County Virginia
    I have insurance - bang away little child - if you do it enough - they will total it and I can get a P85D. :)

    Also the rates on insurance has to do with the number of deaths and serious injuries. Both of those numbers are uber low on a Tesla. Unlike cars like the Jeep, where 33 accidents yielded 62 deaths..
     
  5. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,282
    Location:
    California
    I believe there's already been mention by Tesla that their mass market car will not likely be aluminum body, therefore body work costs of the Model S and X may not apply to Model 3.

    I'd suggest that the problem is with those body shops that overcharge Model S customers and perhaps they should stop doing it out of moral and ethical obligation.
     
  6. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    It's already being copied and covered over two dozen sites just from the first few pages of Google search. The original article is not from business insider. It was from greencarreports over 6 days ago. Tesla Model S Aluminum Body: Why Repair Costs Are Higher

    Personally, I'm glad it's finally hitting the news. This should've hit the lime light a loong time ago. The more awareness of the high costs of repair the more pressure it puts on tesla to take control of the price gouging. It's insane they charge $11k where other highly reputable aluminum auto repair shops charge -$1k. That really puts the price gouging into perspective. I've sent a few emails about it to ownership and received 0 response so that route wasn't working. Got the silent treatment. The more media that pick this up the better.
     
  7. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,310
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Seems to me that the cost here really just comes down to a combination of factors.


    • Special equipment to be able to remove the battery if necessary. I can't think of any other vehicle you have to remove something from under the car that heavy.
    • Cost of training to meet Tesla's high standards for repair shops.
    • Cost of working with Aluminum (more likely to need to replace panels).

    And most importantly the relative rarity of the vehicle contributing to less vehicles to spread these costs across. Every vehicle Tesla sells helps reduce these costs.

    So if you're going to urge them to do something about it, what would you have them do?
     
  8. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    While true when insurance companies are questioned about why they raised the rates the answer is because of the insane repair costs, not because of any injuries. The statistics unfortunately show a high rate of accidents vs other similar car and extremely higher rate of repair more than any other car (excluding exotics like lambos and ferraris of course) so there you have it.
     
  9. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,310
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    What statistics? We've got anecdotal evidence from body repair shops that say they're seeing more Tesla's than other vehicles (wouldn't call that statistics). I haven't seen anyone post any concrete statistics that show that Tesla's are in more accidents.

    I really wonder if the anecdotes we have aren't just a factor of Tesla's only going to the Tesla certified body shops. Tesla supposedly doesn't sell some parts to non-certified body shops. That alone is going to push many people towards only using the certified shops. But also I'm sure there are plenty of shops that just don't want to touch it because it's Aluminum or because it has an electric power train they aren't familiar with.

    Even if you can find a shop that would repair it (and I'm positive there are plenty out there that would). I doubt very many owners would let their insurance do that. The only people (again anecdotal) that I've seen trying to do that are people that have bought salvage vehicles.

    I don't disagree with your premise that repair costs factor into insurance costs, in fact I entirely agree. But I haven't seen any concrete evidence that Tesla's are more prone to accidents. The insurance companies and Tesla probably have those numbers, but they're not sharing.
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    The insurance company statistics. More claims per 100 vehicles insured. Each company keeps their own stats which is why it can vary so widely including from within the same company but across states. There's so many factors into calculating the stats but what they are basically seeing is a higher rate of claims and that combined with really really absurdly high repair costs are driving up the insurance for everyone. Personally I believe it's because the ownership age is skewed towards the more affluent, "retired" age per say (I don't know how to word this politically correct). Old people can't drive. There I said it. They bump things. They are slow to react. They mash down the accelerator instead of the brake and drive through restaurants. Hell, there was some 90yr old guy the other day that mashed down the gas pedal and drove through a car wash at 50mph and destroyed all the machinery GTA style (that wasn't a tesla but sure was kind of funny to watch on YouTube). Anywho it's a large car. It's quiet (people don't hear it in parking lots). People can't handle its power and lose control. Yes combine all that with mostly older drivers and you have the perfect formula for high rate of accidents. And adding the in the high repair costs just makes it exponentially worse. On the bright side at least hitting potholes and rim damage and tire blowouts aren't claimable. Christ that would rocket the insurance rates so high it'd be cheaper to fly to Mars.
     
  11. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Location:
    USA
    Enforce some form of reasonable pricing for shops carrying the 'Tesla authorized' label. I don't mean making repairs cheap-just keeping them in line with other makes that service aluminum vehicles. The article and numerous threads on TMC have a plethora of examples where Tesla body repair costs are not even remotely in line with other makes, and in some cases with non-authorized shops doing the same repair on Teslas.

    I've also seen reference to the cost of Tesla parts (body panels, etc) to shops being well above the cost of aluminum panels from other makes. I don't know how true that is, and if it is true I imagine it's largely driven by Tesla's low volume and production-constrained circumstances.

    In any event, maintaining reasonable repair costs is one aspect of serving customers, and it does not appear that Tesla is serving its customers well in this area. Taking a hit on parts costs and subsidizing shop training and initial equipment purchasing would be a couple of options under Tesla's control that could help customers have faith that a minor incident won't total their car, and that insurance rates for Tesla vehicles won't continue to skyrocket.
     
  12. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,310
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Those are all fine theories but where are the numbers? As far as I know those numbers aren't published, which you seem to be aware of because you say the numbers vary from company to company. My point is that we don't really know what these numbers are. Most of the people posting about increased insurance costs haven't gotten answers as to why and when they do there's no way to know for sure that they got the real answer. I can guarantee whoever they asked isn't included in underwriting decisions.

    Maybe you're right and maybe you're not. But without real numbers we should challenge these assumptions on this forum.
     
  13. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,497
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    While that may be true (I have no data to confirm), it may also be the case that Tesla drivers of all ages are on the whole smarter, more responsible, and more careful drivers given the newness of the technology than your typical luxury sedan.
     
  14. swegman

    swegman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    962
    One thing Tesla can do is ensure that the authorized body shops don't mark up the material costs. There were several postings here of shops doubling (or even more) the price of the replacement parts obtained from Tesla.
     
  15. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    Georgia
    Is it possible the "authorized" body shops have so much invested in equipment and training, they are trying to recoup a large part of the investment with the very small volume of repairs. It seems understandable special training in dealing with electric cars and 300-400 volt battery as well as the aluminum structure. But the aluminum is no more challenging than my Audi A8 (which I had repaired) or the new aluminum Ford F150's. The answer may have been that not all the shops need the highest price specialized equipment, but that equipment could be leased from Tesla when the battery has to be removed. There has to be a way to gain some economies of scale.
     
  16. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,320
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    In a previous life I was an Insurance underwriter at one of the largest Auto Insurers in Australia and I saw the statistics in relation to age.
    Insurance for personal injury in Australia is heavily Government regulated and is purchased as part of the vehicle registration, so when you insure your car here the Auto insurance is only for damage to your car and other property you may hit. This makes premiums line up closer to the cost of repairing your vehicle.
    Ignoring other factors and only looking at age, the average policyholder became profitable in their early thirties and remained so until well into their 60's.
    Beyond this point, whilst the number of claims increased only slightly, the average cost of claim started to increase and they became unprofitable in their 70's nearly matching the under 25's for loss. Insurance companies carried the Auto loss as the older age group were profitable in other areas like home insurance, conversly not many under 25's held Home insurance.
    The reasons for the increase in claims cost can only be speculated, but anecdotal evidence indicated that many of the accidents resulted due to the older driver misjudging the speed of the oncoming vehicle when turning across oncoming traffic or entering traffic.
     
  17. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    607
    Location:
    Cary, NC
    I'm not sure where we got the idea that Tesla owner's were older? Older than Civic owners - sure. Older than Audi A7 owners - doubt it. Certainly most over 70 aren't ready to jump to a new technology. I thought the stats here were average age 43 - but I realize that isn't scientific.

    In my own world, 40's get Teslas, 60's get Audi's/Porsche/Corvette. Just like BMWs are 40's and MBs tend to be 50/60's.
     
  18. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    2,244
    Location:
    EU
    Fixing aluminium cars, though, seems to be more expensive - no matter the brand. As I understand it, it requires a separate working space as well as special training. At least where I live, getting an aluminium car fixed can't be done at any old bodyshop, if work on the aluminum parts is required.

    Of course Tesla may add a premium to all that based on rarity or pricing. Just commenting on aluminium cars in general.
     
  19. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,143
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    It's more expensive, but not to the level we see on the Tesla. My other vehicle is about 40% aluminum, and has a structurally-identical non-aluminum variant. Repairing the aluminum trim version is approximately 20% more expensive than its steel counterpart, and parts are between 10% and 20% more expensive. Many cars now have some aluminum substructures or sheet metal, so shops that can handle aluminum are becoming much more common.

    What I'm getting at is that aluminum is a factor in our sky-high repair costs, but likely not the main one.
     
  20. Luclyluciano

    Luclyluciano Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    Canada



    STATING THAT INSURANCE RATES ARE MAINLY DETERMINED BY THE FATALITY RECORD OF A PARTICULAR VEHICLE IS FALSE.

    Insurance rates are based on large amounts of data and information including
    the claims and loss experience of each insurance company. This information
    allows an insurance company to estimate the likelihood of a particular profile
    having a claim in the future.

    So, what are some of the factors that determine your rate?
    Where you live: If you live in the country, the odds are
    that you are less likely to have an accident than if you lived in the city
    because there are less cars on the road than in the city.

    Type of car you drive: New and/or more expensive vehicles
    may cost more to repair or replace.

    Use of car: How much and when you drive makes a difference.
    If you drive in rush hour every day to and from work, there are more vehicles on
    the road and therefore the odds of an accident are higher than if you only drive
    on the weekends.

    Driving history: The more driving experience you have is
    typically associated with better driving and a reduced likelihood of getting
    into an accident.

    Driving record: The more tickets and At Fault claims you
    have, the more likely you are to have claims in the future making you a higher
    risk for an insurance company.
     

Share This Page