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Buying a damaged Tesla and repairing it without the help of a Tesla SeC?

Joniwest

Member
Jan 30, 2020
5
0
Frankfurt Germany
Hello Tesla Community,


I‘m considering buying a used facelift Tesla Model S which was in a minor accident. It collided in a parking lot with an SUV. There is damage to the hood, minor damage to the bumper (Tesla unauthorized Bodyshop told me the bumper can be fixed without replacing it) and a deployed steering wheel and dashboard airbag. A Tesla authorized Bodyshop quoted 15k€-20k€ to repair it, which would be way to expensive.

I‘m now considering buying it and repairing it with used parts and the help of an unauthorized workshop. There are three questions I couldn’t find any information about online:
  1. The dealership who wants to sell the car told me that it does not run and drive because the airbag are deployed. Is the car really locked in park when the airbags are deployed? Shouldn’t it start when I bypass set pyro fuse? Can I somehow bypass that to see if it runs before I buy it?
  2. Is it necessary to replace the deployed airbags by Tesla or can I buy used airbags and delete the crash data from the airbag control unit?
  3. I read that Tesla sometimes lockes the car after an accident. Getting it recertified by Tesla seems to be a nightmare I don’t want to go through. How can I check if they locked it?
The accident took place at the dealerships after they brought it to the car detailer to prepare it for selling. The car wasn’t insured at this stage so the dealer can’t get anything from the insurance. That’s why he’s nor repairing it...

Sorry for my sloppy english. I’m from Germany but I thing the german Tesla community is to small to find any help concerning my questions...

I really appreciate your reply’s!


Cheers
Jonathan
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,382
1,141
USA
“Minor accidents” don’t cause air bag deployment. There is some magical thinking here. Or just old fashioned lies.

If it was driveable, you can see if you can use a Tesla supercharger. That will show if it’s already blocked. By the way, they call that “not supported”.

Once it’s been labeled as salvage, many things go away. You can’t supercharge. You can’t buy parts. And, just because you can supercharge today doesn’t mean that Tesla won’t figure it out and block it later.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
467
272
HOU
“Minor accidents” don’t cause air bag deployment. There is some magical thinking here. Or just old fashioned lies...

I will slightly disagree with your first statement. Airbags deployed in the collision of my S when I would not have expected. The speed at impact was in the 20 mph range, my coffee didn't spill, and I was in my stationary in my seat when the steering wheel/kneepad bags went off (i.e. there was a brief moment of me looking forward before the airbag deployment, and I was not moving forward so I did not impact the bag). All told, I would have described the collision as "minor", even though the repair price tag was not.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,382
1,141
USA
The speed at impact was in the 20 mph range, my coffee didn't spill, and I was in my stationary in my seat when the steering wheel/kneepad bags went off (i.e. there was a brief moment of me looking forward before the airbag deployment, and I was not moving forward so I did not impact the bag).

this could all be an indication that the energy absorption engineered into the car worked fantastically. Not that it was truly minor. The high cost of the repair indicates it was not minor...
 

Joniwest

Member
Jan 30, 2020
5
0
Frankfurt Germany
“Minor accidents” don’t cause air bag deployment. There is some magical thinking here. Or just old fashioned lies.

If it was driveable, you can see if you can use a Tesla supercharger. That will show if it’s already blocked. By the way, they call that “not supported”.

Once it’s been labeled as salvage, many things go away. You can’t supercharge. You can’t buy parts. And, just because you can supercharge today doesn’t mean that Tesla won’t figure it out and block it later.

Thanks for your reply but the first statement is just not true. A deployed airbag doesn't tell you anything about how bad the accident was.The front bumper is still in a quite good shape but it was probably just hit at the spot where the airbag sensor is located (look at the picture). And no, nothing has been replaced yet...
IMG_8878.jpg

I drove a BMW i3 which was rear ended with >20mph. The car was completely destroyed but non of the airbags went off.

The problem is that it's currently not driving. Another community member told me that the HV Fuse ist probably blown. If that's the case it will be impossible to test drive the vehicle prior to buying it because someone would have to remove the main battery. And this would probably even void the battery warranty...
 

seclinton

Member
May 25, 2015
387
270
Newark, CA
You'll be surprised at the damage once you remove the bumper cover. It's aluminum, and deforms easily. There's also two radiators just behind that bumper, and the whole mounting can be broken not to mention the frame rails could be shifted. I'd stay away if I were you. Could be $10k or more to repair and Tesla will treat you like a bastard stepchild. Your only hope would be a certified repair center ordering you parts "off menu".

Yes this can be done. My P85+ didn't have RFS, and my certified repair center was able to order me the restricted parts off menu by searching under different config. It's not a big deal, but Tesla is known for being a prickly little bitch about this stuff
 

mba83

Member
Jan 10, 2019
82
25
Portland, OR
If airbags blew, that will definitely take over 10K to repair at a shop. But based on the picture, doesn't seem like there is any frame damage underneath. "Easy" fix. But these parts in the front add up quick.
 

TheRev

Member
Sep 23, 2019
78
42
Hayward, CA
To OP not sure if you bought the car or not, but tesla blacklists salvage title cars, not cars that have been in an accident. If the car was insured and the airbags deployed but for some reason the insurance company wanted to fix the car, then you would have the car back just like before. Because the car you mentioned never went thru insurance, it is still considered a clean title car, therefore can be fixed and brought back just as new with used parts on the car. At least thats how it works here in the U.S.
 

VictorDot

Member
Dec 30, 2018
111
16
Toronto
Get the car and fix it, you can reprogram the airbag module for 40$ on ebay. The issue is that the tesla's airbag sensors are installed in the areas where it gets impacted very easy. Look here and see airbags aren't always coming out even when the accident is bigger than your car got onto. Working on this X right now
 

VictorDot

Member
Dec 30, 2018
111
16
Toronto
You'll be surprised at the damage once you remove the bumper cover. It's aluminum, and deforms easily. There's also two radiators just behind that bumper, and the whole mounting can be broken not to mention the frame rails could be shifted. I'd stay away if I were you. Could be $10k or more to repair and Tesla will treat you like a bastard stepchild. Your only hope would be a certified repair center ordering you parts "off menu".

Yes this can be done. My P85+ didn't have RFS, and my certified repair center was able to order me the restricted parts off menu by searching under different config. It's not a big deal, but Tesla is known for being a prickly little bitch about this stuff


I wont argue with you, but most of teslas with minor accidents could be brought back to life for a fraction of a cost Tesla's authorized garage quotes.
 

Tad2009uk

Member
Oct 4, 2020
11
0
United Kingdom
Hello Tesla Community,


I‘m considering buying a used facelift Tesla Model S which was in a minor accident. It collided in a parking lot with an SUV. There is damage to the hood, minor damage to the bumper (Tesla unauthorized Bodyshop told me the bumper can be fixed without replacing it) and a deployed steering wheel and dashboard airbag. A Tesla authorized Bodyshop quoted 15k€-20k€ to repair it, which would be way to expensive.

I‘m now considering buying it and repairing it with used parts and the help of an unauthorized workshop. There are three questions I couldn’t find any information about online:
  1. The dealership who wants to sell the car told me that it does not run and drive because the airbag are deployed. Is the car really locked in park when the airbags are deployed? Shouldn’t it start when I bypass set pyro fuse? Can I somehow bypass that to see if it runs before I buy it?
  2. Is it necessary to replace the deployed airbags by Tesla or can I buy used airbags and delete the crash data from the airbag control unit?
  3. I read that Tesla sometimes lockes the car after an accident. Getting it recertified by Tesla seems to be a nightmare I don’t want to go through. How can I check if they locked it?
The accident took place at the dealerships after they brought it to the car detailer to prepare it for selling. The car wasn’t insured at this stage so the dealer can’t get anything from the insurance. That’s why he’s nor repairing it...

Sorry for my sloppy english. I’m from Germany but I thing the german Tesla community is to small to find any help concerning my questions...

I really appreciate your reply’s!


Cheers
Jonathan

I’m having first issue, did you solved ? car won’t start after airbag deploy, where is this pyro fuse ? As my tesla is with new fuse-board location.
 

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