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Buying Used MS Questions - Salvage Title Tesla Service plus AP questions

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by MitchJi, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

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    Hi,

    If we buy an MS with accident damage (body damage), and a salvage title and repair the damage, will Tesla maintain it for us?

    It should be pretty easy to have the AP Sensor Suite added to a used MS? If we do that, how hard is it to get the AP working?

    All late 2014 MS's and later have the AP hardware? What's the easiest way to determine if a particular MS has the AP hardware? VIN Number?
     
  2. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    They will NOT add an AP sensor suite. It's just too involved with wiring harnesses and such.

    There are quite a few threads here on salvage cars, inspection, and tesla support.
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Adding AP isn't possible - they made a number of other related changes at the same time (completely different brake system, for instance - that can apply the brakes 3x faster.)

    All cars built after September 22nd? - After a day in late September 2014 have AP hardware. There's probably a fuzzy VIN line (remember, Tesla groups cars for logistic reasons, so the VINs aren't in strict production sequence,) but I don't know where it is.

    I'd hesitate to buy a salvage car and assume Tesla will maintain or allow it - they've taken a fairly hard line with that and said that it has to be inspected at a service center and will only be repaired/re-enabled if Tesla's technicians decide it is safe/serviceable.

    Maybe it's fine, but maybe they'll take one look and refuse to have anything to do with it.

    If you have photos, the easiest things to find are the mirror mounted camera and the side looking ultrasound sensors (one beside each front and rear wheel, usually captured in the photos people take to show the rims are intact.) Be careful judging with the front camera, though - all Model Ss have a rain sensor in the same area - it almost looks like there are two cameras in a real AP car, one much bigger than the other.
    Walter
     
  4. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    Tesla's stance on salvage cars is that they don't exist. Your warranty is void (including the unlimited mile/ 8 year powertrain warranty), your service is void, supercharging is disabled, your onboard 3G/ LTE radio is disabled (usually) and perhaps the biggest hassle is the lack of firmware upgrades. The firmware the car is running now is the last version it ever will run. On a non-AP car this might not be horrible but on an AP car where the technology is ever-evolving, you're essentially boned. You wouldn't have received the summoning features or the AP improvements everyone else did yesterday. Taking it even further, Tesla won't fix or service the car even if you pay them. They will not touch it. This means that if you so much as lose a key and need it reprogramed you're totally out of luck. There are many scenarios in which you could have a relatively minor problem completely disable the vehicle because Tesla won't service it.

    There is one way to get them to service the car and that's to go through their redemption process. The process is kind of ambiguous and you'll run in circles collecting bits of info from various Tesla employees about what it entails but here's the gist of what I got. Initially there is a $1500 fee. Tesla takes possession of the car and then hands it off to one of their certified body shops who then tear it down and send Tesla a litany of pictures. The body shop I spoke to said that Tesla wants to see very specific areas of the car to make sure they a) haven't been damaged or b) have been damaged but fixed properly. If the car passes this inspection then they will re-enable the onboard radio, re-enable supercharging and allow you to get firmware updates. You can also pay to have the car serviced though your warranty is still void. If the car doesn't pass you're on your own. You've paid $1500 for the pleasure of being told that your car isn't fixed properly.

    I bought a fixed, running, driving 2013 S85 for $20,000. It needed a frunk liner, a few small sensors and plastic trim pieces under the hood but on the outside it looked great and on the inside it was like new. Despite that, I couldn't bring myself to own it without being in a constant state of panic. So I sold it to someone else and spent $30,000+ more for the same car with 17,000 more miles on it and a panoramic roof. To me the piece of mind in having the warranty was worth the difference in price, plus I made good money on the salvage car which helped pay for the one I bought.
     
  5. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

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    Thank You Walter!
    +reputation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Mike!

    If the car does pass you've paid $1500 for the not only the advantages you've listed, but you have added a lot more than $1500 to the resale value of your Tesla with the salvage title. I might try it, if I can find a certified body shop that I want to work with.

    Thanks Again!
    +reputation!
     
  6. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

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    Hi Mike,

    I'd like the name and phone number of the body shop that you mentioned. If you don't want to post it will you please send me a PM?

    Thanks!
     
  7. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    This is 100% a "your results may vary" question. You may get different answers from different places/service centers, but for the most part Tesla typically gives the cold shoulder to salvage branded vehicles.

    However, quite a few people here have repaired their teslas and have them functioning the way they like. A Tesla service center even agreed to swap a battery pack with one out of a salvaged car to get their customer on the road. This is rare but still a possibility.

    If you have the resources and keep at the back of your mind that it WILL be challenging, I urge you to try it and keep us posted. The more information the better for the community.

    Thats what Im doing :)
     

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