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Carbon Fiber Roof : Can it be repaired?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by John W. Ratcliff, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. John W. Ratcliff

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    When I bought my Roadster is came with the carbon fiber hardtop roof. This isn't something I actually have any use for, since I will never drive my car in winter and pretty much only drive it anywhere with the top down. It was just taking up space in my garage.

    A few weeks ago a friend of mine bought a Roadster as well. He wanted a carbon fiber top, so I agreed to sell him mine. I had the roof professionally packed and shipped. I also paid for insurance coverage.

    Even with all of that, the roof arrived damaged on the corners. Now I'm fighting with the insurance company about this. My first thought is there would be no way to fix this so it looks as good as new. The insurance company will only pay for a repair and requires that I provide an estimate.

    My question is, are there shops which can fix something like this, and have the result look 'as good as new'? The buyer is in Santa Clara, California.

    Here are some pictures of what the damage looks like:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    If it was painted it could be fixed. But with it being the clear carbon fiber it is likely more challenging.
     
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  3. cswolfe

    cswolfe Member

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    I've never personally heard of -unpainted- carbon fiber being repaired like that, so best wishes dealing with your !@#$#@$ insurance company. Really sorry. :/
     
  4. John W. Ratcliff

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    Hmm.....so..if it can't be fixed, I guess I could refund the $3,000 the buyer paid for it, have him send it back to me, and then *I* could get it painted myself, red to match my car, and keep it. That would be pretty sucky though.

    I haven't called any body shops or Tesla yet, I was hoping first someone here might be able to point me to a good starting point to make my first calls.
     
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  5. cswolfe

    cswolfe Member

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    Here's to hoping you find a miracle worker who can repair with the CF look. Just sorry you have to deal with all this, bec yes, that would work, but sadly, as you point out, "sucky" it is. :/
     
  6. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    Here, in Minnesota, we have canoe repair specialists, they mainly work on carbon and Kevlar canoes that have clear coats and get just that type of damage from hitting rocks.

    I can't think of anyone else that might have the skill to fix that.

    A lame idea would be to repair it functionally, but not cosmetically, and have a simulated carbon wrap put on it.
     
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  7. MileHighMotoring

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    My take on this would be to report back to them that you've contacted five places and none of them can fix it. Then send them this link and demand a check for $3,000 and they can have the broken part.

    Tesla — Carbon Fiber Hardtop
     
    • Like x 1
  8. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    You can repair the top layer with a clear epoxy and clearcoat, but once the internal carbon fibers break away from their original bond, they turn white from the air trapped inside. Go after the insurance company for the full amount plus shipping. Just tell them to buy you the $5K new one from Tesla, and they should jump at $3K.
     
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  9. John W. Ratcliff

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    So, I don't know yet of the insurance company is going to be straight with me but, regardless, the buyer doesn't want the top. So I've just refunded his money and now I'm stuck with a carbon fiber top that I didn't have use for in the first place, and have even less use for than I did before.

    I suppose I could sell it to someone who is willing to take it in this condition. It's still functional, but nobody would want to accept cosmetic damage for a car like this. I suppose it could be patched and either painted or wrapped, so maybe it is still worth something in that respect.
     
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  10. MileHighMotoring

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    #10 MileHighMotoring, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    Just curious WTF insurance is for if they won't cover an item damaged in shipping? It's not worthless - they will pick it up after issuing you a check. They can have it repaired, painted, and sold online. That's not your job if you insured the shipment and they damaged it. In my very humble opinion, after 20 years of shipping with UPS/FedEx and doing dozens of claims over the years. (I worked in a shipping dept)
     
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  11. John W. Ratcliff

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    Well, I shipped using one of those little shipping shops. This one was called 'Postal Plus'. I paid for them to 'professionally' pack it, but clearly it wasn't good enough. I also paid for full coverage insurance but, at the time, I didn't ask for details. I just said "I'll pay the insurance", which I figured was with FedEx.

    Well, the insurance was not with FedEx. FedEx essentially told me to f**k off. The guy who packed it didn't put a sufficient amount of corner protection, and it was the corners which got damaged.

    He uses some 3rd party insurer and *he* has been filing the claim on my behalf. I've yet to directly have contact with the insurer at this point. The insurer keeps asking for all kinds of pieces of documentation, which I have provided, but they want a repair estimate and I can't get that because I have yet to find anyone who claims it can be fixed.

    I have some sympathy with the insurer, I'm sure people try to run shipping scams on them all of the time. However, I'm not trying to run a scam, I just want to get reimbursed for this situation.

    I strongly suspect I'm going to have to get an attorney involved before this is over with.
     
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  12. MileHighMotoring

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    It may not seem like it - but you not packing it up is a mark in your favor. If the insurer denies the claim, the blame falls onto whomever packaged it. I would make Postal Plus deal with the insurance directly, with you out of the loop. And if they can't get their own insurance company to approve the claim, they have to reimburse you themselves. That's their cost of doing business if they want to use a cheaper 3rd party company instead of official insurance.

    Anyway, good luck, and please let us know how it goes.
     
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  13. mookhead

    mookhead Member

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  14. John W. Ratcliff

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    So, that shop said they wouldn't give an estimate on the part alone. I already refunded the buyer his money and he's shipping it back to me. I will just have to deal with an 'estimate' once it gets back here. Hopefully I can just get a shop to write up an estimate that says "Item cannot be repaired" and the insurance will accept that.

    I smell a threatening letter from an attorney on my behalf it they don't make this right...

    What the heck is shipping insurance good for if they won't honor it? And I didn't pay for 'repair' insurance, I insured the entire value of the item and they accepted that.
     
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  15. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    Chilton Auto Body in San Carlos is the authorized Tesla body shop out here. They do Roadster repair.
    San Carlos | Chilton Auto Body

    They will tell you if it can't be done.
     
  16. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    Chilton Auto Body in San Carlos is the authorized Tesla body shop out here. They do Roadster repair.
    San Carlos | Chilton Auto Body

    They will tell you if it can't be done.
     
  17. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Another option ... contact Calfee Carbon Repair Service
    They are the carbon fiber repair experts in California :cool:
     
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  18. SpitzNV

    SpitzNV Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
    I'm the buyer of said targa top and am hoping I can find someone to repair it as it looks awesome.
    Calfee didn't reply to my email, but I'm not surprised as they're a bike shop, not an auto shop.
    Visited Chilton today - they took photos and will get back to me.
    Plan to visit Dell later this week.
    Fingers crossed! 13839948_1323047267709920_751708616_o.jpg
     
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  19. cswolfe

    cswolfe Member

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    Fingers crossed. It really does look good on that silver.
     
  20. peter_wallace

    peter_wallace Member

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    Carbon and silver is one awesome combo indeed!
     

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