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Collision repair advice in MD, Tesla vs Third Party: 2016 S75D hit, lost rear wheel, etc

TigerNinety

Member
Jun 22, 2016
190
138
Silver Spring, MD
Hello,

I won't pain you (actually, me) with reciting all of the details, but in brief, our Tesla was hit Saturday night on the rear right quarter by someone who'd stolen a car and was evading police at 100MPH. We were doing 50-55, and they tried to sneak between the jersey barrier and our car in the breakdown lane; not wide enough. Our wheel was ripped off, his front left wheel was ripped off, he limped down the road and then fled on foot into the woods. Infrared helicopter and K9 search did not turn him up; police are still working on it.

No airbag deployment and (per photos) there's almost no visible (yeah, I know) damage to the car beyond the right rear quarter, wheel, and door (I'm sure there's more somewhere).

Our insurer, GEICO, will be doing the adjustment hopefully tomorrow. My plan has been to have the car taken to the Tesla Body Repair Center in Rockville, MD.

UPDATE: The Tesla app says that the earliest appointment at the Rockville location is FIVE WEEKS from now.

So, a few questions:
  • my sense is that my next step is to try to schedule a "collision repair" in the Tesla app, does that sound right?
  • any opinions on the advantages or disadvantages of going through a Tesla shop vs one of their certified partners?
  • any experience with this particular Tesla Body Repair Center? WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE APPOINTMENT DELAY?
  • any other advice?

Thank you,

Todd

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imsachin

Member
Mar 19, 2019
30
13
New York
Ouch! Glad you are OK.

You don't have to take it at an SC, in fact the SC near me in NJ can only deal with minor dents and dings. Look up a Tesla approved body shop on this page: Body Shop Support

Call a bunch and ask which one take Geico. I think most will do and take it here. The shop will deal with the Insurance, most will even bring a rental to you if it's covered.

When my MS was sideswiped, it was repaired in 2 weeks at an approved body shop and I didn't have to pay a thing but my deductible. All I did was drop my car off, pick up a rental there, then when it was done, drive the rental over there and picked up my car. Shop took care of everything else.
 

DavidB

2010 Roadster Sport || 2013 S85 || 2017 X100D
Jul 8, 2013
758
765
Silver Spring, MD
As @imsachin said, take it to a Tesla approved body shop. Don't take it directly to Tesla.

The wheel almost had to have been rammed against the battery pack, and I'd be surprised if the battery pack isn't damaged. Near 100% sure that it will be totaled.
 

miketc

Member
Oct 30, 2018
108
121
Maryland
I went to Kenwood Auto Body in Rockville. They are a certified Tesla Auto Body shop and have actually been around prior to Tesla being there. In fact, Tesla in a douchebag move opened a collision shop right next to their shop. I've called both shops and the new Tesla body shop offers nothing additionally. The only caveat is that if anything is related to the battery, only Tesla is allowed to perform those repairs.

In any event, they (Kenwood) had availability to look at it right away. I would also take what they say with a grain of salt because once your insurance appraiser gets there he will most likely have a very different estimate. It doesn't take much to total a Tesla. Mine was totaled for seemingly less damage than yours.

Also you probably don't want to be driving a heavily repaired Tesla so at this point you should be hoping for a Total. I'm still fighting for the FMV on my totaled car so be prepared for a long fight.

If you don't have rental coverage for a long time I'd look at another car (if you don't have another one) because repairs / replacements will take a long time.
 
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JimmyB

Member
Sep 7, 2014
105
69
Washington, DC
Yikes - glad no one was hurt.

If it is totalled, please do the community a favour and post the VIN. When I was looking I came across several cars advertised as “accident on record due to minor parking lot incident” or something, and when you googled the VIN you often ended up with pictures from Copart and the like showing damage far worse than yours.
 

BigNick

Disaffected Member
Dec 3, 2017
1,146
1,391
Pennsylvania, USA
Replacement of a quarter panel alone will top $10K, and you will be without your car for at least two months.
You will be left with a diminished value from a major accident repair as well.
There is likely damage you can't see until the car is on a lift and/or partially dismantled.
 

T3SLA90D

Member
Jan 5, 2017
190
96
York, PA
Kenwood auto did a good job on mine in the end but be prepared for the repair to take 2-3 months for “delayed parts”, “parts damaged in shipping”, and blame game between them and Tesla on who’s responsible for the delays.
 

BigNick

Disaffected Member
Dec 3, 2017
1,146
1,391
Pennsylvania, USA
I had a delay waiting for a quarter panel, and when it finally got to the body shop, they couldn't use it as the taillight "bucket" was attached improperly. When the test-fitted it, there would have been a half-inch gap between the lamp and the body panel.

So that part (roughly $850 for the panel) became $2 worth of scrap aluminum and added another six week wait.
It seems Tesla still doesn't have their "sugar" together when it comes to stocking replacement parts for collision repair. (A Tesla will never crash, our robotaxipilot software is more robuster than FreeBSoD's TCP staq!)
 
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