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Concerns regarding Tesla's approved partners

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Nancy, May 15, 2015.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy New Member

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    I've had my Model S since October, 2014 and love it. It's the best car I've ever had and Tesla's support has been excellent. But I'm not so sure about their authorized partners. I've two experiences now and the experiences have not been that good.

    The first was their recommendation for an electrician to install our charger. The job seemed pretty simple. Tap into the junction box inside the garage, run wiring up the wall, over the ceiling and down to the wall next to the garage doors. Tesla recommended Woodson Electric which came out to the house in Naples, FL and after inspecting the situation gave us a quote for a flat $2,000. My husband thought this was far too expensive and called another electrician, Custom Electric. They did not know we had already received a quote and after inspecting our garage gave us a quote for $425. A few days later Custom Electric installed the charger which took about 1.5 hours. Their final bill was $415.00 and the work seems excellent.

    My next experience with a Tesla approved-partner was after I had a minor fender bender in which the left rear door and panel were damaged. My husband told me that aluminum is hard to repair, but to me the damage looked pretty minor. See the photo. Tesla recommended 1st Class Auto in Pompano Beach, FL as an authorized Tesla body shop. This was a two hour drive for us to deliver our damaged Tesla. To make a long story short, the repair took over two months with negotiations between 1st Class and two insurance companies as well as delays getting parts from Tesla. What amazed me was the final bill, $21,199.44. This is more than what we paid for my daughter's new Chevy Sonic that she got for college graduation. Seems really exorbitant to me. Yes, the insurance company paid most of this. But these high charges are going to raise all of our insurance costs.

    I don't know if our experience was unusual, but it seems to me at least some of Tesla's partners are really over-charging their customers.
     

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  2. Bj Clean

    Bj Clean New Member

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    Hi Nancy, that certainly doesn't look like $21,000 of damage to me. I live in San Francisco and recently had repairs done at a Tesla Approved Auto Body Shop, Alioto's Garage. I had damage to my passenger rear quarter panel. Mine needed to be changed, as well as damage on the door and bumper. It was definitely expensive compared to work I had done before ($13,000 repair for my Model S), but a lot less than you are talking about. And that's in San Francisco! I do understand that aluminum is different and more expensive to repair. The person at Alioto's took time to explain the difference and show me another Tesla they were working on. All I can say is there's a reason Tesla chooses these shops. Alioto's Garage work is flawless. I whole-heartedly recommend Alioto's for anyone needing repairs in San Francisco or the Bay Area.
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Nancy, is there a breakdown of the bill?

    A few years ago, I loaned my Prius to my son to go visit his dad. And his dad backed into the driver's side, leaving what appeared to be a small ding in the driver's door. He was mortified (you have to understand, he freaked over a scratch on our 4x4 in the past - and this was MY car that he hit! hahahah ... was awesome, actually) and of course said he'd pay for all damages. We both thought it was around $1000 worst case, and were both hopeful that it could just be popped out.

    But nope. It was about an $5k repair. I took it to three places & all came in close to each other. The breakdown of work to be done was helpful in understanding how the final estimate got so high.
     
  4. Tdriver

    Tdriver Member

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    Nancy.......the fact that neither you nor the insurance companies apparently got an upfront quote is a big big mistake. The word Tesla excites many vendors. Never mentioned the word Tesla to any of the vendors if you can avoid it. I just had some electrical work done including a Tesla Wall connector. The prices were $3500, $1650, and $875. Guess which one i picked.
     
  5. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    It's going to remain this way until Tesla drops the Apple walled garden approach and sells parts to anyone just like every other auto manufacturer does. By not selling parts to anyone keeping the number of authorized body shops to a minimum, Tesla has created a monopoly on two levels. The result is exactly what you've seen.

    That said, you don't have to get the repair done at an authorized Tesla body shop as long as the body panels can be repaired and painted.

    Tesla shouldn't be allowed to with hold parts except for their monopoly players. Does this violate some FTC regulation?
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I agree it's always a mistake not to have an upfront estimate. But without seeing a breakdown of the charges, it's unfair to assume that the price was jacked up because they heard the word 'Tesla'. There could be other damage that doesn't show up in that photo. More panels might have required painting, the door internals could have been damaged, if it was wrapped, much of that could have required being redone ... I dunno. But that's the point. We don't know. The photo looks like minor damage. But the breakdown will tell the story.
     
  7. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Two things:

    1) make sure you tell Tesla about the terrible electrician's quote.
    2) run the estimate by Tesla, although there is a long history of shops gouging Tesla customers. Wish Tesla would get a handle on this.
     
  8. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Why does it seem like every time I see a comment from you, you are in some way disparaging Tesla?
     
  9. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    Rather than be so critical on the person who posted the message, do you disagree with what Sorka said? Do you feel it is in the best interest of Tesla customers that Tesla limit who they sell parts to?

    Mercedes sells their parts to just about anyone. So should Tesla IMHO as otherwise you are inviting a monopoly to gouge prices and increase the insurance premiums for everyone who owns a Tesla. For minor damage you should be able to take the car to a body shop you trust and know and they should be able to order the necessary parts.
     
  10. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    #10 JohnSnowNW, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
    I simply asked a question. Do I wish Tesla could make their parts more available, and thus cheaper, sure. Who wouldn't? Tesla isn't doing this so 3rd parties make more money, and owners forced to spend more. Tesla is a small company, with a vehicle that has specific needs that others manufacturers don't have. Using Tesla verified service partners protects the company and the consumer.

    Tesla isn't the only company that does this. The Rav4EV has to be serviced at certain dealerships in California, and the Fiat 500e can only be serviced at specific dealerships in CA and OR.

    My question revolved around Sorka's seemingly serial disparagement on a number of threads and topics concerning Tesla.
     
  11. Nancy

    Nancy New Member

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    Thanks everybody for your comments and suggestions.

    One of the insurance companies, Allstate, did check out the damage and gave use an itemized quote for the repairs. It totaled $1,007.21 and was based on filling in the damage and not replacing the rear quarter panel. This was also the estimate 1st Class Auto gave us when we dropped the car off for repair. 1st Class Auto then did the proposed repair and it did not come out well. Even the insurance company agreed. So they had to replace several parts and the final cost was $21,199.44. Since the insurance companies were paying everything but our $500 deductible, we didn't follow up on the costs as the repairs progressed over two months.

    When the car arrived it was in great shape, no question, and 1st Class delivered it saving us the two hour drive. But we were astonished by the $21,199.44 repair cost. We bought the Tesla partly to be environmentally friendly. Spending that much money on what seems a simple repair seems incredibly wasteful.
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I feel kind of obvious pointing this out, but you/the insurance company/the repair company all agreed that the 'simple repair' didn't turn out well. So it wasn't so simple.

    The final bill does seem high ... but what did they do for that kind of money? Without knowing that, there is absolutely no way to render an opinion regarding the charge. If several parts had to be replaced, paint had to be matched, etc. .. yeah, the bill can climb pretty darn fast.
     
  13. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    So long as the Model S continues to protect its passengers extremely well, as it has proven over 2.5 years, our insurance rates will stay moderated. After all, people cost a whole lot more to repair than cars.
     
  14. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    That's intriguing advice, but I can't quite figure out how to get a body work quote without the estimator knowing that it is a Tesla.
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    No, it doesn't, and many of the devices you have in your home will be the same way, if you tried to get parts for it. Manufacturers are allowed to set up whatever service model they deem is appropriate.

    Some will point to the "right to repair" law in MA, but as written, it doesn't apply to Tesla.

    Do I agree Tesla should sell parts to its customers? Yes.
    Do I agree that Tesla should be forced by mommy government to sell parts to its customers? No. Let the market decide. Tesla will lose some customers, I'm sure, and it also provides fodder for the dealership lobby.

    By the way, I've exchanged a number of e-mails with the charging team at Tesla over the past few years, and they want to know if an electrician they're recommended is screwing you. Send an e-mail to servicehelpNA _-at-_ teslamotors -_dot_- com.
     
  16. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    #16 sorka, May 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2015
    Because you're not looking at the comments where I'm praising Tesla or coming to their defense because someone posts something asinine.

    What does this have to do with the topic? Did I say something that is unlikely to be true.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, but I can walk into any dealership and order parts for a Rav4EV. Why don't you stay on topic ?
     
  17. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    Unfortunately, that is not a simple repair, per Tesla's standards. Tesla requires that the quarter panel be replaced, even for minor damage, and this is a labor-intensive process. $21k does seem a little bit high, but it seems like any quarter panel repair at any Tesla-certified shop is a minimum of about $15k.
     
  18. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    Nancy, for future reference, Tesla will sell parts to non-authorized body shops if no structural damage (beneath the sheetmetal) is involved. This would certainly have applied to your situation. A good rule of thumb is to seek out a body shop that can handle an Audi A8—another all-aluminum car. Your area Audi dealer should be able to direct you to one.

    There's no question that authorized body shops are charging unusually high prices for repairs. Part of the reason for this is that Tesla requires authorized shops to make a substantial investment in equipment specific to the Tesla—in the neighborhood of $250K. With relatively few Tesla's on the road (outside of California) it will take awhile to recover that investment.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Actually, if you go back and read the original post, the authorized shop attempted to repair her car without replacing the panel. It was only after that turned out badly that the cost rose.

    I really wish we'd at least be given a list of the repairs done. I've pointed out a few times in this thread that we still don't know. The OP hasn't supplied that information (nor does she need to - but without it, we're all just reacting to a single photo). And I'm not arguing that $21K is a reasonable cost for the work done.

    I'm only saying that until we know the work done, it's impossible to say it was a complete rip-off, exorbitant, 'seems excessive', reasonable, or a bargain.
     
  20. JMG

    JMG Member

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    I can speak from some experience, as I am in the same boat. Mine (6 days old) was backed into in a parking lot right into where the rear quarter panel meets the bumper. All new bumper, new quarter panel, repaint the surrounding areas to fade in (door and trunk), and my estimate from the Tesla Authorized Shop and the insurance company's adjuster (who had experience in Teslas) were within a few hundred dollars of each other. Total repairs come in just under $10k. I agree that seems like alot, but perhaps because you have to replace the door as well, maybe that is where some of the extra costs are going?
     

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