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Damaged trunk, need advise

VRUNNER

Member
Sep 18, 2019
72
60
NJ
So after only having my car 3 weeks someone bumped my car. He was driving a lifted Jeep with a brush guard so instead of hitting my bumper he hit the edge of the trunk putting two creases on the edge... Ironically he denied hitting me... it was very obvious he did.

So after some research I have three options:

Tesla approved body shop: he looked at it and said the trunk will need to replaced and the whole back of the car needs to be repainted, up to the back doors, removing glass and such, shutting the car down, recalibrating sensors... all at a cost of about 9k to 10k... at first I thought he was joking, no joke.

Local body shop: unfortunately over the past 20 years I have been hit 3 other times. Fortunately I have always used the same body shop for repairs and they do very nice work. They are a certified Audi, BMW, etc. I also had to go there for my insurance estimate, they operate from this shop. I know the manger and asked his opinion. He agreed the first estimate was excessive and said I will have a fight on my hands with the insurance companies, while they may ultimately pay for it, I will pay for it later at renewal. He said the best option was to fix the existing trunk, pull out the dents, keeping the original is better and would allow for less color blending, Estimated cost of 2000-2500.00.
The insurance adjuster also gave about the same amount for repairs.

Or...

Replace trunk lid with new one off another Tesla (salvage). so knowing parts can be a bitch to get from Tesla I was looking to see availability of salvaged parts, just in case. I came across another 2019 red Tesla that had front end damage, 400 miles on it, but trunk lid is perfect. I would have to drive to pick it up, obliviously it’s a gamble as far as color match. It’s a 5 hour ride. I am thinking I should just go, worst case is it doesn’t match and I fall back on the repairs. Maybe it’s a pipe dream...

Accidents happen but 9k is crazy and seemed very excessive. It’s pricing like this that causes rates on Tesla’s to be high... 2500.00 from my local shop is reasonable given the damage. No need to mess with any sensors or Tesla tech, so I am not concerned about them doing the work. I am a bit concerned about color matching regardless of who does it after reading some horror stories with color matching red paint.

But it would be awesome if the salvage lid matched, unfortunately no way to know unless I go pick it up.

So looking to see what others would do. Thanks!
 

VRUNNER

Member
Sep 18, 2019
72
60
NJ
Was the guy in the jeep uninsured? No sentry mode or rear dashcam footage of the incident?

He was insured, just denying it was his fault. Ultimately it will go through his insurance. And no recordings as I didn’t have it set up... it is set up now.
 

gecko10x

Member
Jan 22, 2018
265
165
WV
I've been through this exact scenario, approximately 9 months ago. I wrote it up here: Body Repair Costs and Timelines

Short version is I used an approved Tesla body shop, and the total cost was around $4k.

Personally, given that I now have a noticeable crappy paint blend job (at least when it's clean and shiny), I would suggest trying the salvage lid first. If that doesn't work, get another quote from a different approved body shop.
 
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Garlan Garner

Banned
Mar 31, 2016
11,351
7,526
Chicagoland
So after only having my car 3 weeks someone bumped my car. He was driving a lifted Jeep with a brush guard so instead of hitting my bumper he hit the edge of the trunk putting two creases on the edge... Ironically he denied hitting me... it was very obvious he did.

So after some research I have three options:

Tesla approved body shop: he looked at it and said the trunk will need to replaced and the whole back of the car needs to be repainted, up to the back doors, removing glass and such, shutting the car down, recalibrating sensors... all at a cost of about 9k to 10k... at first I thought he was joking, no joke.

Local body shop: unfortunately over the past 20 years I have been hit 3 other times. Fortunately I have always used the same body shop for repairs and they do very nice work. They are a certified Audi, BMW, etc. I also had to go there for my insurance estimate, they operate from this shop. I know the manger and asked his opinion. He agreed the first estimate was excessive and said I will have a fight on my hands with the insurance companies, while they may ultimately pay for it, I will pay for it later at renewal. He said the best option was to fix the existing trunk, pull out the dents, keeping the original is better and would allow for less color blending, Estimated cost of 2000-2500.00.
The insurance adjuster also gave about the same amount for repairs.

Or...

Replace trunk lid with new one off another Tesla (salvage). so knowing parts can be a bitch to get from Tesla I was looking to see availability of salvaged parts, just in case. I came across another 2019 red Tesla that had front end damage, 400 miles on it, but trunk lid is perfect. I would have to drive to pick it up, obliviously it’s a gamble as far as color match. It’s a 5 hour ride. I am thinking I should just go, worst case is it doesn’t match and I fall back on the repairs. Maybe it’s a pipe dream...

Accidents happen but 9k is crazy and seemed very excessive. It’s pricing like this that causes rates on Tesla’s to be high... 2500.00 from my local shop is reasonable given the damage. No need to mess with any sensors or Tesla tech, so I am not concerned about them doing the work. I am a bit concerned about color matching regardless of who does it after reading some horror stories with color matching red paint.

But it would be awesome if the salvage lid matched, unfortunately no way to know unless I go pick it up.

So looking to see what others would do. Thanks!

You should create an insurance claim against his insurance company.

Then have your car fixed at an approved Tesla Body Shop.
 
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Oct 28, 2019
463
535
Texas
so just to get this right.... a modified Jeep (lifted + brush guard... wonder if his insurance knows about that...) doesn't pay attention and rear-ends you - damaging your trunk..... and you want to go "cheap", drive 5hrs to pick up salvage parts to do a budget repair?

sorry - his insurance has to pay. with rear ending the guilt question is pretty obviously answered... TeslaCam or not.

half-assing the repair with some salvage trunk or denting the damage out, mediocre paint job is what i would do if it's my fault and the car is old.

replacing an entire trunk / repainting rear panels is $$$ so I'm not too surprised with the quote. frankly - a certified BMW / Audi / Mercedes bodyshop wouldn't be cheaper.
 
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gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,484
4,049
San Diego
Agree with just getting this done at a Tesla certified location as long as it’s the other party’s insurance. The one reason, I’d consider a non-Tesla body shop would be to get your repairs done quickly. But, you could demand a loaner equivalent from the insurance- Enterprise rents Teslas
The salvaged trunk would work with the non-Tesla body shop installation and paint check. But, that’s a huge hassle that you have no obligation for
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,014
4,692
McKinney, TX
His dime? Got to Tesla. It's his insurance company's headache, not yours. You're already spent more mental bandwidth that you should have to. If you ever want to trade it in to Tesla to get another Tesla, you'll have a much better time of it if the repairs were performed at a Tesla certified body shop.

And take lots of pictures of the damage for your diminished value claim. Tons of info on the forum about making a DV claim. No need to mention it until after the repairs are completed, though, so as to not taint any discussions that might need to take place about the initial repair.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
You have essentially a brand new car (3 wks old) and the accident wasn't your fault. Absolutely go the route of filing against his insurance. I'd also contact Tesla, tell them you were rear ended and do they have video from that. The TeslaCam flashdrive now that we have rear camera in addition to side cams would have made things much easier and should be a word to everyone out there not using it.

You need to be made whole. As for your local body shop I have no doubt he'd like to still keep your business but if he's not an authorized shop (he could get trained and certified to be) and something goes wrong with the car later in that area, remember this car has a lot of electronics throughout, you may find yourself being a victim again but by your own choice of shops to do the work. I'm sure your local guy is qualified to do the body work but I'd venture a guess that he hasn't worked on Model 3s and might not catch a problem. Some others have had work done by an uncertified shop and when a problem crept up later in that area they weren't covered under warranty. New car. For me it wouldn't even be a second thought. Never know what could be underneath or if sensors get affected. You want the repair done right. And if you are in a State where you can file a diminished claim against his insurance, do so after the repairs. I'd be willing to bet his negligence just cost you a considerable amount of value to your new car. It will be listed on Carfax now too.

BTW so sorry to hear about your car. Glad no one was hurt.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,162
5,318
MA, NH
Pics would help.

Friend backed his Model 3 into a mailbox his first week (getting used to creep off). He creased the top edge of his trunk. $1000 to fix, local body shop, not Tesla approved. His was Solid Black, might be easier than other colors. Looks Perfect.

If you put in a claim (regardless of fault), also look into diminished value. Because it may likely end up with a CarMax report on it.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,753
3,487
Maine
I'd go for the replacement trunk lid off the salvage, and pocket the difference. But, it's just my habit to like to do things myself.
 
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St☰v☰

Member
Aug 27, 2019
837
587
Texas
Agreed. Factory paint (even Tesla's) is likely to be more durable than a respray in the long run.

Wait, what, Tesla paint durable... NOT! Paint from the factory has to be some of the cheapest and thinnest paint I've ever seen on a car. Same paint/color from the factory but applied by a Tesla authorized body shop might be better.
 

ivy_

Member
Sep 25, 2019
144
142
Michigan
Wait, what, Tesla paint durable... NOT! Paint from the factory has to be some of the cheapest and thinnest paint I've ever seen on a car. Same paint/color from the factory but applied by a Tesla authorized body shop might be better.

...but with a trunk full of body filler.
 

VRUNNER

Member
Sep 18, 2019
72
60
NJ
So to answer some questions, he didn’t receive a ticket, he said I backed up and I said he bumped me. History dictates he should be found responsible, however there are no guarantees, it was a busy intersection, the cop couldn’t care less as the damage was minimal.

The Tesla repair shop would be acceptable IF I could simply file a claim with his insurance but since he stated it wasn’t his fault and no ticket was issued I will have to go though my insurance, then they will go after his. If the repair amount is excessive, and 9-10k is excessive, it will be debated and eventually lead to higher premiums. When I got the quote he seemed giddy like he just struck pay dirt.

I did pick up the trunk lid and put it on, pics below. Looks fantastic at night, under direct light and LEDS. I will see what it looks like in the morning. If it works then I retained the factory paint, no filler, no respray and no 2-3 months waiting for Tesla replacement trunk lid at the Tesla repair shop with an outrageous repair bill.
 

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Last edited:

03DSG

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,153
2,522
Ontario
I did pick up the trunk lid and put it on, pics below. Looks fantastic at night, under direct light and LEDS. I will see what it looks like in the morning. If it works then I retained the factory paint, no filler, no respray and no 2-3 month waiting for Tesla replacement bumper at the Tesla repair shop with an outrageous repair bill.

LONG day man! Looks amazing. All is well.
 
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