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How to order parts for Model 3? Tesla lambasted body shop

molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
Girl backed into my car and did driver side damage.

My local body shop quoted and I authorized them to proceed.

They figured they could get it done without the parts, but were going to order just in case. Got this email after the body shop attempted to get parts...

I’m sorry but [body shop name] will not be able to do the repairs to your vehicle. I have been in contact with Tesla, & they have refused to sell ANY parts to a non-certified Tesla repair facility. In fact the were getting very “nasty” about the whole ordeal. I know we discussed repairing the vehicle without using any parts, but I was a little concerned about straitening the fender so I wanted to have 1 on hand just in case we needed it. Tesla will have no part of it. They even went as far as suggesting your vehicle warranty may be in jeopardy if we even touch the vehicle. I have been in the business for almost 20 years & never experienced anything like this.

I responded by apologizing for Tesla's response and received the following...

I totally agree. It’s just a fender for goodness sake. I really don’t understand what their problem is. I called the 3 dealerships in the area, & they all referred me to Tesla USA. When I spoke to the rep. she completely shut me down.(I didn’t get her name). My main concern was the vehicle warranty, & I didn’t want to have the vehicle sitting around waiting for a part that may never come. If you don’t mind keeping me in the loop that would be great. I strongly belive these vehicles are going to be the future of the automotive industry. Shops either need to adapt or die. Thank you so very much for understanding.

On a side note, I really appreciate that the shop realizes electric is the future and is doing it's part to provide continuity to it's business by handling repairs on electric vehicles.

So first question is how can I get part(s)... the ones on the estimate were:

1) LT Fender (ALU) 1081401E0C
2) LT Outer Panel 1081439S0A
3) LT Water Shield 109214600B

I know about the delay in getting parts (potentially), but I kinda thought that was more/less cleared up as of late (for items not backordered). We're not talking about a bumper or something... these are relatively straight forward items.

I've used this shop before and they do great work - no reason why I should have to take it to a "certified" shop (also they were more than 4x the price).

Which brings me to question two... whoever he talked to floated "your warranty might be void." Anyone know of anywhere in the warranty that "voids" coverage if a "certified shop" is not utilized? All I see in the warranty is this...

Although Tesla does not require you to perform all service or repairs at a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility, this New Vehicle Limited Warranty may be voided or coverage may be excluded due to improper maintenance, service or repairs. Tesla Service Centers and Tesla authorized repair facilities have special training, expertise, tools and supplies with respect to your vehicle and, in certain cases, may employ the only persons or be the only facilities authorized or certified to work on certain parts of your vehicle. Tesla strongly recommends that all maintenance, service and repairs be done at a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility in order to avoid voiding, or having coverage excluded under, this New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

My read is they'd have to prove it was an improper repair if they had a hope of voiding the warranty. Otherwise, everything continues as it was. It's basically there so they don't have to fix a car under warranty that a mechanic caused.

Anyway, just curious on thoughts and hopefully a contact to obtain parts.

Thanks for the assistance.
 
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davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,821
1,964
San Diego, CA, US
This is one of the downsides of Tesla's refusal to support a dealer network. For any other brand, there is always a dealer somewhere willing to make a buck by selling factory parts to third parties. It may ultimately require legislation to break this very unreasonable policy.

Edit: It wouldn't surprise me if refusing to sell parts to third parties is against the law in some jurisdictions now.
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,281
8,935
San Diego
Why not just buy the parts from a junkyard?
Legally they have to prove that the improper repair caused the problem that you're trying to get them to warranty. For example they can't claim that replacing a front fender caused a rear drive unit failure. Personally I wouldn't worry about it.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
8,839
9,435
SF Bay Area
And what if a sensor or something else is damaged undeneath? Not sure what your situation is but when my husband’s MS was damaged down the quarter panel and bumper by a careless commercial vehicle driver, his sensor needed to replaced ultimately. If you have a non- Tesla shop do the repair, what then if you have additional issues and it comes out the outside shop did the panel work?

If the shop wants to repair Teslas maybe they should get trained on them. Let’s face it Teslas aren’t like other cars.

If some chick caused the damage, her insurance company should be paying for you to use a certified shop.
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,821
1,964
San Diego, CA, US
And what if a sensor or something else is damaged undeneath? ...
So what if it is? The shop could either replace the damaged sensor themselves, or you could have the Tesla service center do that part of the repair while letting the body shop of your choice do the body work. It happens every day with other brands. The body shop finds mechanical damage, and has the car towed to the dealer (or another shop) for that part of the repair, then gets it back to finish the body work.

Allowing Tesla to enforce a monopoly on parts is not acceptable.

P.S. Yes, this means that Tesla should also be required to sell diagnostic equipment to third parties so they can diagnose and test all the systems in the car.
 
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molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
Why not just buy the parts from a junkyard?
Legally they have to prove that the improper repair caused the problem that you're trying to get them to warranty. For example they can't claim that replacing a front fender caused a rear drive unit failure. Personally I wouldn't worry about it.

At this point, I'm not opposed to it. There was another poster on here that said he had access to parts so I'm going to see if that's still viable. I'm definitely not worrying about it, since it will only hurt Tesla by doing silly things like this.

What really hurts is that the individual the body shop spoke to was essentially very rude. What if he was considering a purchase now or down the road. Do you think Tesla is at the top of his mind now as his next purchase? And it's a shame because he totally sees that electric is the future and yet there are folks out there that are damaging that by their failure to simply say, "This is the process" or "We are unable to sell to body shops" or whatever. Planting the "you may void the warranty" potentially did the most damage to him wanting to do the work. Obviously he may be less inclined to do the job now even if everything else lines up. (I would be.) Though I did pass on to him that the warranty does not read how the unintelligent/biased individual he spoke to indicated. Nothing worse that folks who do not know what they are talking about talking like they do know what they are talking about to people who are inquiring (ie seeking knowledge).
 

molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
And what if a sensor or something else is damaged undeneath?

If the shop wants to repair Teslas maybe they should get trained on them. Let’s face it Teslas aren’t like other cars.

If some chick caused the damage, her insurance company should be paying for you to use a certified shop.

Fair points and I don't necessarily disagree.

That said, a "Tesla authorized" shop should not be 4x the price and tell me I could be without my car for 30+ days and it could be thousands more. The guy there made it sound like the world was ending... I wouldn't take anything there to be repaired. I want a fair price for the work that needs to be done - they couldn't offer that.

For the insurance, the responsible party had minimum limits - $5k property damage (NJ)... the whole ordeal was in another post... she left the scene and I only "caught" her because I have a camera at my house. If I was to go any other route, I have to turn in to my insurance carrier which I would rather not do especially since it's only a few thousand repair plus rental, etc.
 

sceptic

Member
May 5, 2019
305
131
california
I just don't get how Tesla keeps employees who have no apparent interest in making customers happy with essentially no effort. This rates up there with the employees at a local sc (and the manager) refusing to spend 10 minutes helping me to avoid me returning my car on day 6 - I"m still shaking my head at their "just return it" response:rolleyes::oops:o_O
 

molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
Allowing Tesla to enforce a monopoly on parts is not acceptable.

I do suspect it's not their "direct" intention to have a monopoly but it's difficult to manage a supply chain and further a network of repair facilities.

That said, they do need to do it, because otherwise they are damaging their brand on top of ending up with angry customers. While there may not truly be any competition now for BEVs, when angry customers look for another vehicle in a few years, the chance of real competition may be greater. Repeat customers are far better than new customers.
 

molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
I just don't get how Tesla keeps employees who have no apparent interest in making customers happy with essentially no effort. This rates up there with the employees at a local sc (and the manager) refusing to spend 10 minutes helping me to avoid me returning my car on day 6 - I"m still shaking my head at their "just return it" response:rolleyes::oops:o_O

I'm all for the company - car is awesome and they are doing great things.

Unfortunately it's your weaknesses that bring you down/hurt you and Tesla definitely has them - most of us just overlook them or vent on TMC! If you never have ancillary needs, the car will be great. Unfortunately, that's probably the exception, not the rule.
 

molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
Edit: It wouldn't surprise me if refusing to sell parts to third parties is against the law in some jurisdictions now.

I really thought I read somewhere that you had to get a "certificate" and then you could order parts. Trying to track that down. There's no reason why you can't buy parts from Tesla direct. They sell clothing and all already... add a parts catalog.
 

BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,397
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
Honestly I have to side with Tesla. I had our 2015 P85D's front bumper repainted (no actual physical damage except some ugly scrapes) by a 30+ year old reputable but non-Tesla Certified body shop. The day after I picked it up got an error that an Autopilot sensor had an error disabling Autopilot. Took it to Tesla who confirmed the body shop had moved the forward looking radar position and one or more of the ultrasonic sensors in the front bumper. OUCH. Tesla gladly re-calibrated it at no charge since I was under warranty and had purchased both the Maintenance and Extended Service Agreements.

Replacing fenders on vehicles without Autopilot or other obstacle sensors shouldn't require special skills or Certification. Teslas however are a completely different animal. Remember you're driving a computer with an array of sensors connected to a network of data cables... not just a "dumb" ICE car.
 
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molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
I really thought I read somewhere that you had to get a "certificate" and then you could order parts. Trying to track that down. There's no reason why you can't buy parts from Tesla direct. They sell clothing and all already... add a parts catalog.

Looks like there may be a process... though I can't tell if that is to be an actual "authorized shop" or simply the minimum to show proficiency with working on Teslas.

https://service.teslamotors.com/sit...sla_Body_Repair_Program_Training_Overview.pdf

Forwarded to the body shop and will see what materializes.
 

molder101

Member
Mar 12, 2019
87
175
NJ
Replacing fenders on vehicles without Autopilot or other obstacle sensors shouldn't require special skills or Certification. Teslas however are a completely different animal. Remember you're driving a computer with an array of sensors connected to a network of data cables... not just a "dumb" ICE car.

I don't necessarily disagree, however the affected area is not the front bumper or the rear bumper. For those areas, I do believe I would want tesla to handle because of the electronics in it.

This is side door damage and should be able to be fixed by any body shop.
 

BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,397
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
I don't necessarily disagree, however the affected area is not the front bumper or the rear bumper. For those areas, I do believe I would want tesla to handle because of the electronics in it.

This is side door damage and should be able to be fixed by any body shop.

Re-read the OP's initial post. He states "It’s just a fender for goodness sake." and lists LT Fender (ALU) 1081401E0C. Are there sensors in his Model 3 LF fender?

Here's more support for Tesla insistence on Certified Tesla Body Shops... and why Tesla now has their own "in house" body shops in selected Tesla Service Centers. Bumper dent repaired... now no ultrasonic (proximity) sensors :(

I had our rear bumper replaced by Tesla Body Shop inside the Tesla Pomona (Walnut) Service Center in 5 business days. Fabulous experience, especially after the run around, LONG waiting time to get my Tesla fixed, NON-fixed "fluid" cost estimates from the Tesla Certified Body Shops. Tesla's in-house body shop guaranteed my total repair cost and had my 2015 P85D back on the road before the Tesla Certified Body Shops could even accept my car.
 
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CharleyBC

Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
1,381
1,555
Talent, OR
We got a taste of this. In February I was in a minor (but heart-stopping) collision that wiped out the passenger side mirror. Tesla in Rocklin, CA referred me to their approved body shop, also inconveniently in Rocklin. That same company has a shop in Sacramento, so I called them. They wouldn't touch it, and pointed me back to Rocklin. I called a different company we'd used in the past with good results. They said they weren't Tesla-certified and wouldn't touch it. So I went (by phone) to the body shop in Rocklin. To even get an appointment for an estimate I had to book over six weeks out. It was unclear how long after that to get the actual work done.

I bought the necessary parts from Tesla, the paint from a third party, and did it myself. But this didn't involve sensors, though it did involve electronics and motors that make the mirror do its stuff. No, I'm not recommending everyone do their own body work. I'm just illustrating that the limited selection of body shops (one in our region) is a significant problem in them even being responsive or timely.
 

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,281
8,935
San Diego
Replacing fenders on vehicles without Autopilot or other obstacle sensors shouldn't require special skills or Certification. Teslas however are a completely different animal. Remember you're driving a computer with an array of sensors connected to a network of data cables... not just a "dumb" ICE car.
What does a Tesla have that a Prius doesn't? Most cars have radar, ultrasonics, and cameras these days...
 
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BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,397
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
What does a Tesla have that a Prius doesn't? Most cars have radar, ultrasonics, and cameras these days...

Yes but that doesn't mean any body shop who hasn't been trained by Toyota to repair their Prius models with radar, ultrasonics, and cameras knows how to repair them without causing issues like I had on my 2015 P85D front bumper repainted by a 30+ year old quality but non-Tesla Certified body shop. Autopilot stopped working after bumper wasn't reinstalled correctly requiring the Autopilot to be recalibrated. FACT not conjecture. I then had the complete opposite experience up when I had Tesla's own "in house" body shop replace our rear bumper after being rear ended by a motorcycle. ZERO issues.

YMMV but IMHO the technology in a Tesla far exceeds any other vehicle on the road. Taking your Tesla to any body shop that hasn't invested the $$$ to train their employees the correct way to repair Teslas and purchased the necessary tools to do it correctly will certainly increase the odds you'll have issues after you get your Tesla back from your non-Tesla Certified Body Shop.
 

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