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Coyote vs. Roadster - Some Lessons Learned

I was heading to golf early one warm morning in November, doing about 75 in the left lane of Interstate 495 in Mass, when this dog-like thing came rocketing out of the grassy median right in front me. I didn't even have time to twitch. I felt the thud, then began to hear the crackling of carbon fiber particles raining against the windshield, and grinding of metal against pavement. Fortunately the airbags didn't go off, so I was able to pull over to the breakdown lane.

The nose of my Roadster (#201) was destroyed, and several other parts had damage but appeared to be salvageable. I decided I could limp home, grinding the pavement all the way, I managed to avoid all potholes, manholes and uneven pavement. (I later went back to the accident site and found coyote parts in the breakdown lane. Two things weird about that: 1. I've lived in Mass my whole life and I didn't even know coyotes lived around here; and 2. I was in the left lane when I hit it. The coyote had so much velocity that his body parts flew all the way across 3 lanes of traffic!)

Now for the lessons: My insurance company suggested I take it to a local shop, and fortunately they knew they could not touch it. "Tesla won't let us work on Teslas" he said. That rung a bell in my head. I had read on this forum somewhere that Tesla will only provide parts to authorized Tesla repair shops. I went back home and checked the web site. There was only one within 30 miles, so it was an easy decision. I got the insurance company to OK going to them, and I brought them the car.

To be honest, I had zero confidence this shop would be able to get its hands on a new front end. Tesla only made 2450 of these cars, and they threw away the spare parts when they finished the run. Note, this was only a couple weeks after the Gruber fire, where several of these front ends melted away, I gave them Medlock's information, knowing I might need to add some $ to make it worth his while to part with these precious components. I also gave them the direct phone number of the San Raphael service center, where members here have shown pictures of parts cars sitting out back.

In the end, they just asked Tesla for the parts and voila! Everything I needed was on site in about 2 weeks. It turns out none of the Roadsters people have traded in for new Teslas have been resold. They've been taken off the road and cannibalized to keep the rest of us on the road. Those of us who still have one of these awesome cars are the beneficiaries of this initiative. But with one caveat:

In order for Tesla to support your Roadster, it needs to have a clean title. If at some point Tesla or your insurance company has deemed your car "totaled", they won't provide parts for it. Fortunately, my damage was relatively minor, so my title stays clean. Note also that Tesla can consider your Roadster totaled for other reasons, such as bricking the battery, having repairs done outside the Tesla service network, or doing too much DIY. I, like many others who love the Roadster, am an engineer, and have enjoyed reading about those who have modified the charging system for high speed charging, or making it capable of using destination chargers without adapters. While these are impressive accomplishments, it might also make you ineligible to have a Tesla service center fix simple problems, perform PM, or provide other parts you might need down the road.

If you find yourself in this boat, your only hope is to reach out to Medlock or Gruber. Many people like one of these guys and don't like the other. Personally I like them both a lot, because when the day comes that Tesla can't or won't help me, they will be the only hope for keeping this awesome car on the road.
 

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Hi Bill,
Glad your car only had minor damage.
We see coyotes all the time here in Carlisle, we are right up the 495 a bit.
Did you check with Electrified Garage in
Seabrook, NH. They have an old roadster
Tech there and can do annual services. I was at the Watertown
Service center last week and they no longer work
On roadsters. The closest SC that works
On roadsters is Milford CT.
And I also agree it is nice to have both Medlock and Gruber.
Hope to see your roadster on the 495.
Lou
 
  • Like
Reactions: IslandRoadster
Hi Bill,
Glad your car only had minor damage.
We see coyotes all the time here in Carlisle, we are right up the 495 a bit.
Did you check with Electrified Garage in
Seabrook, NH. They have an old roadster
Tech there and can do annual services. I was at the Watertown
Service center last week and they no longer work
On roadsters. The closest SC that works
On roadsters is Milford CT.
And I also agree it is nice to have both Medlock and Gruber.
Hope to see your roadster on the 495.
Lou
Thanks Lou - Sad to hear about Watertown not being an option anymore. Once they loose their one guy whose been there since the beginning, they lose the capability that's essential to us. South Connecticut is a long tow truck ride if something serious goes wrong. Hope to see you out there!
 

Roadster

JdeMO Powered
Dec 10, 2016
1,658
1,427
SoCal
Sorry about your car but really glad to hear you're okay and the damage isn't too bad. We seem to be having lots more accidents in our Roadsters these days so it's probably smart to review our policies and increase coverage (continued kudos to @CM_007 for helping set the recent bar there).

On a lighter note, as I was reading your story, I could help but imagine there was something the coyote was chasing that made it run like that... ;)

giphy.gif
 
  • Funny
Reactions: eHorses
🤣 I can laugh about it now that it's good as new. After I went back to the accident scene, on the way home I saw more dead coyotes in the northbound lane, making me think they were a pack that was chasing one-another. No roadrunners!
The road runner always gets away if I remember correctly, no? (it’s been a while ….)

But seriously, glad to hear you were able to get it fixed! I once had to wait 3 months to get a replacement hood - no fun.
 

ViperDoc

Roadster 1305
Jun 24, 2011
436
220
Vermont
I don't know if Watertown is a completely no Roadster repair shop, as I just picked up my Roadster last week with a new 3.0 battery from them. If they stop all repairs, I guess it will be Montreal again for me once border opens. Glad your Roadster is back up and running!
 

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