Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Lift Gate Damage

Catbiscuits

Member
Jan 22, 2020
282
328
Montclair NJ
I did a search but didn't find anything on this topic. Back in March, the Drive suggested that the design of the Model Y would create the possibility for very expensive repairs for minor collisions.

Fast forward to last week when my wife dinged the lift gate on our Model Y by driving into my Model S. It's pretty bad and it seems like we should get it repaired. I imagine they'll probably just replace the whole darn liftgate and that'll cost $5-6,000 (that is just my guess). Meanwhile, my Model S didn't even get a scratch. You could say I'm relieved but that area could have used a new paint job whereas the Y was flawless until now.

Yeah, I could be one of those guys who says "well now I really love my car, there are no anxieties anymore about the first scratch." Yeah right.

I made an appointment with Tesla's service center but the earliest they can see us is January. Should I look at local body shops?

And maybe in the future I should get something like this? Hitch Step - Black 3" Rhino! Hitch Step 2" Receiver - Go Rhino # 360T | eBay


EoaVQfsXcAQ7KPy
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,957
2,069
Orange County, CA
I don't understand. You GUESS that your specific repair will require replacement of the liftgate. How about providing pics as well as an update when you get the actual repair estimate?
 

Srad600Volt

Member
Sep 28, 2020
336
224
Southern California
I would show that to one of those PDR (paintless dent repair) places and see if they can fix it. The trunk hatch is hollow, so they may just be able to push that out. It's on a body line though, so that may make it more difficult. Anyway, my MY needed bodywork, and the SC just sent it out to a local body shop, so likely your SC will do the same.
 

Catbiscuits

Member
Jan 22, 2020
282
328
Montclair NJ
I would show that to one of those PDR (paintless dent repair) places and see if they can fix it. The trunk hatch is hollow, so they may just be able to push that out. It's on a body line though, so that may make it more difficult. Anyway, my MY needed bodywork, and the SC just sent it out to a local body shop, so likely your SC will do the same.

I think the body line is going to be tough. The SC reached out to me and said that this looked serious enough that they'd send me to their body shop straight off so we are going to send them the info.

The second post seemed rude and off-kilter, but reading between the lines, maybe the image didn't show up? I'll try again with another host.

IMG-5388.jpg
 

jsight

Member
Apr 5, 2018
763
567
Charleston
I think the body line is going to be tough. The SC reached out to me and said that this looked serious enough that they'd send me to their body shop straight off so we are going to send them the info.

The second post seemed rude and off-kilter, but reading between the lines, maybe the image didn't show up? I'll try again with another host.

IMG-5388.jpg

The original image definitely didn't show up for me. This one does though. Good luck, I hope that a cheaper option works out for you.
 

Ldub22

Member
Mar 1, 2015
174
133
Kirkland, WA
The important thing is the paint isn’t damaged. I know your model S didn’t get a scratch, but don’t fool yourself: she hit it pretty good, and thinking that it was a design error on Tesla’s part that steel bent …
But the good thing is it’s steel. Easier to repair than Aluminum. Can’t wait until we get bird’s eye view. My wife and I are paranoid about garage accidents! They always are worse than you think, and they are always not covered by collision! Bummer.
 

Aikidoka

To increase range put the bike in the car
Apr 29, 2020
63
34
Vero Beach, FL
I just had an almost identical dent in my hatch lift gate. The local high end body shop said that due to the way the bottom of the lift gate is connected to the aluminum backing that's up a few inches it can't be pulled out and made to look and fit right. The local body shop also said that they couldn't order Tesla parts and that I would have to do so or go to a Tesla certified shop. I contacted the West Palm Beach service center and they suggested I call the Tesla certified body shop near them. The Tesla certified shop was able to evaluate the damage with a LOT of pictures and a video. They also happened to be an adjuster and certified body shop for my insurance company, Safeco. Two days after submitting the photos and narrative to the body shop and Safeco the repairs were approved and the body shop ordered the parts. My cost if I paid cash for the repairs would have been about $5,200. This is scary high but they will most likely have to paint the bumper and the panels on both sides of the lift gate for color matching.

My hope is that they will do a great job next week. My prediction is that insurance for Teslas will go up over the next year due to high repair costs.
PXL_20201112_213102484.png
 

mac9899

Member
Aug 27, 2019
127
91
Florida
I think the body line is going to be tough. The SC reached out to me and said that this looked serious enough that they'd send me to their body shop straight off so we are going to send them the info.

The second post seemed rude and off-kilter, but reading between the lines, maybe the image didn't show up? I'll try again with another host.

IMG-5388.jpg
Get a quote from a reputable paintless dent repair, the hatch itself has a lot of dead space which should make it possible to fix, I took apart mine to fix a taillight issue si I can attest there is space for their tools, a decent dent repair place should be able to take care of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rxlawdude

Catbiscuits

Member
Jan 22, 2020
282
328
Montclair NJ
The original image definitely didn't show up for me. This one does though. Good luck, I hope that a cheaper option works out for you.
Yeah, I used the link from Apple Photos which still showed up even after I logged out of Safari. But it seems to ONLY work in Safari. In Chrome it doesn't. Thanks, Apple.
 

mac9899

Member
Aug 27, 2019
127
91
Florida
I just had an almost identical dent in my hatch lift gate. The local high end body shop said that due to the way the bottom of the lift gate is connected to the aluminum backing that's up a few inches it can't be pulled out and made to look and fit right. The local body shop also said that they couldn't order Tesla parts and that I would have to do so or go to a Tesla certified shop. I contacted the West Palm Beach service center and they suggested I call the Tesla certified body shop near them. The Tesla certified shop was able to evaluate the damage with a LOT of pictures and a video. They also happened to be an adjuster and certified body shop for my insurance company, Safeco. Two days after submitting the photos and narrative to the body shop and Safeco the repairs were approved and the body shop ordered the parts. My cost if I paid cash for the repairs would have been about $5,200. This is scary high but they will most likely have to paint the bumper and the panels on both sides of the lift gate for color matching.

My hope is that they will do a great job next week. My prediction is that insurance for Teslas will go up over the next year due to high repair costs.View attachment 614589
Well *sugar*...
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,062
2,567
USA
i agree on finding a GOOD PDR guy in your area. PDR is an art as much as it is skill. A GOOD guy will assess and can tell you upfront what his success rate may or may not be before he starts. And a GOOD guy will sometimes say "if I cant get it to my full satisfaction, I will only charge a fraction of the normal price I charge".

So its at least...worth a call
 
  • Like
Reactions: rxlawdude

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,957
2,069
Orange County, CA
Get a quote from a reputable paintless dent repair, the hatch itself has a lot of dead space which should make it possible to fix, I took apart mine to fix a taillight issue si I can attest there is space for their tools, a decent dent repair place should be able to take care of it.
And there would certainly be nothing to lose to try that before a potential $5,000 fix that would replace that, anyway.
 

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,957
2,069
Orange County, CA
I think the body line is going to be tough. The SC reached out to me and said that this looked serious enough that they'd send me to their body shop straight off so we are going to send them the info.

The second post seemed rude and off-kilter, but reading between the lines, maybe the image didn't show up? I'll try again with another host.
Post was "rude and off kilter" because there was no picture. Thanks for posting one. I agree with others that there are probably less invasive options to fix this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catbiscuits

N1L CO2

Member
Jul 10, 2020
451
284
OC, CA
So, I had a really good look at the bare structures in the lift gate while I was DIY'ing the trunk kick sensor. I can tell you that OP's (red Y) damage/dent would be quite accessible from the inside. Since there is no break in the paint, a good PDR guy should be able to make it look 90% if not better. Toughest part would be restoring the body line. A lot of hammer/dollying would be needed I would imagine.

As for the second picture (blue Y), that's a little too close to the edge of the panel where it folds over to the adjacent panel. Since there's damage in the outer perimeter where it is folded (thus stretching the metal), it would be near impossible to get the shape back, not to mention the break in the paint. PDR guy would shy away from this repair because if he had to use glue pin to pull the panel, he would risk pulling the chipped paint off with the glue.
 

tomagucci

Member
Jul 21, 2020
140
133
San Francisco
Yeah, recommend looking up the best PDR guy in your area (try surfing some other forums like BMW/Mercedes/Porsche to see if they have recommendations). I’m guessing no electronics were damaged and the trunk opens and closes normally otherwise?
 
  • Like
Reactions: rxlawdude

ArtK

Member
Jun 1, 2020
195
169
NYS
When my MY was a couple of weeks old, Long Island had a storm which was accompanied by 60 mph winds. As luck would have it, a large branch landed on my left rear quarter panel, creating a crease that almost brought tears to my eyes. I checked Yelp and found a PDR guy -- who goes by The Dent Guy -- with superb evaluations, and he spent 90 minutes performing sheer magic. The bruise is completely invisible, and it was around $200.00 (although I can't remember the exact amount). He also repaired a dent in my Prius in a location with no posterior access utilizing a series of hot glue dent pulls followed by little taps with a hammer guided by a plastic awl. His work was flawless, and like the others, I strongly recommend a local PDR expert.
Resized_20200808_114207.jpeg
Resized_20200811_131613.jpeg
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top