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I just totalled my Tesla!!!

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Charles Kim, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Charles Kim

    Charles Kim Member

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    #1 Charles Kim, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2015
    About a month ago, I was going through an intersection with a green light (going around 40-45mph) and this lady out of no where ran the red light and I hit her smack into her passenger side door. I didn't even have time to put on my brakes and basically I stopped by hitting her car. Due to the impact, I pushed her car about 30 meters into a telephone pole. I was initially in a daze due to the shock, but to my surprise, my face didn't hit the airbag. The sealbest basically saved my life and my face. (I didn't know the airbags get extremely hot and I susbsequently burned by hand received 3rd degree burns from the steam coming from the airbag).

    The other car was driven by a women aged between 50-60 and she had a passenger in the front seat. Due to the impact of the accident (I believe she was speeding to pass the red light), most of the people from other cars stopped to help us before the police arrived. Due to my amazement, she started to yell at me for running a red light!!! I couldn't believe my ears and I couldn't believe people would lie like during a time of stress. Despite her yelling, I had plenty of witnesses given other cars stopped at the red light!!

    The damage to my car was extensive to the front end, but I was able to open my door and get out. I believe Tesla saved my life and no way would I have walked out if I was in another car. Given the speed of the impact, I had relatively minor physical damage. The insurance company (State Farm) subsequently said my car is totalled and they would buy me out. The car is year and half old and I had 32K miles (enjoyed every minute). So, I'll be ordering my new Tesla this week, but now I have to wait 2 months to get my car. At the least the insurance company got me a great rental (Hyundai Elantra).

    20151109_115704.jpg
     
  2. Auzie

    Auzie Tree Hugger Member

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    Charles

    That's an awfully dangerous accident at high speed, it is great that no one was hurt.

    So glad to hear about the happy ending :smile: of your unpleasant encounter. Great that you are alive to post about your story, and you'll be in a new Tesla soon.

    It is possible that the other driver might genuinely believe that she was in the right.

    Few times I was in accidents that were not my fault but the other party would not readily admit to their fault, quite the opposite, they would defensively accuse me. That is quite unpleasant but not surprising. Luckily, I had independent witnesses in each situation, same as you, and that helped greatly to resolve liability. Without witnesses, it might be more difficult to establish the truth.

    To ensure ever-present witness to these murky situations, I installed BlackVue in my car. It had already paid for itself as I had to use my recording to prove someone's liability.

    I wonder when the dashcams will become standard in all cars.
     
  3. Vince Cobelo

    Vince Cobelo Member

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    They totaled the car for that damage? The picture must not do it justice.

    I agree with Auzi but I wonder if Tesla can enable the onboard cameras to do what Blackvue and others do. That would be a helluva software upgrade. Have the storage go to the USB port at the console.

    Glad you are ok...long wait for you new one but it will be better with Autopilot!
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Sorry to hear this and glad you are ok.

    Vince: my first Tesla was totalled with MUCH less damage.
     
  5. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Between he said and she said, how did you prove that this was not your fault?

    Did the witnesses help you with their statements to the police?
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    • Like x 1
  7. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    @efusco, who, what?
     
  8. GreenT

    GreenT Member

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    efusco ... their?
    and yup, per Ampster, who, what?
     
  9. Jool

    Jool Member

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    Woah, glad you're not seriously hurt! Looks like the Model S took the hit really well. I'm guessing there's a lot of extra little bits that were busted too, which would definitely warrant totaling the car out.
     
  10. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    Sorry Charles to know that your car was totaled.

    Agree with mkjayakumar....how did you prove that she was at fault....dashcam videos? witness?
     
  11. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    Has it actually been totaled by the insurance? Damage doesn't look to bad, probably $20k or so. From the looks of the damage any modern car would have protected you just as well.
     
  12. tinpandave

    tinpandave Member

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    cant beat a dash cam
     
  13. pimp-boy

    pimp-boy Member

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    No wonder insurance on Tesla's are so high. Look at it the wrong way and it's considered totalled. The car must have been designed to not be repair friendly. I hope I never hit or no one ever hits my car. With the difference in depreciation vs. buying a new one, it's a big delta. Wife wont approve getting a 2nd Tesla. Ugh!

    Glad youre ok. Broadsiding someone that 30-40mph, the front of the car looks like it was built pretty solid as it didn't seem to have caved in.
     
  14. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Glad you're OK. Welcome to the board.
     
  15. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Evan is talking about burns from air bags briefly mentioned by the OP. He's saying the burns are not from heat, but from the chemical on the air bag.
     
  16. cmu5p

    cmu5p Member

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    efusco was saying OP's hand burns were chemical (alkali) burns from airbag deployment. Although this source (Medscape: Medscape Access) implicates both thermal and chemical as culprits. Either way, glad you walked away from that hot mess. (See what I did there? :)
     
  17. Caligula

    Caligula Member

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    I don't think there's a car on this planet that wouldn't be totaled after t-boning another vehicle at 30+ MPH.

    Would also like to hear how those worked out legally for the OP.
     
  18. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    We don't know if there is structural damage esp. given the airbags went off. This is not a low speed parking accident (which might look similar in terms of external damage but without structural damage inside).
     
  19. Charles Kim

    Charles Kim Member

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    Yes, I had multiple witnesses who told the police it was a red light they HAD stopped but this lady decided to go. She was fined for running a red light by the police.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The insurance company (State Farm) decided the car could not be fixed. There was damage to the battery as well. I just received a check for $93K given I had it for over a year with 31K miles.
     
  20. Kandiru

    Kandiru Member

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    Holy xxxx, cumulative speeds of 110mph in town!

    Glad to hear you are OK. Bleed the bxxxx in the courts.
     

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