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Looking to Purchase Rebuilt Model S


New Member
Aug 30, 2022
Hi everyone!

I am looking to purchase a rebuilt 2018 model S 75D. Car has ~30k miles on it and was recently repaired/rebuilt. There are no lights/faults indicated on the car and seems to be driving as it should and looks immaculate. The seller told me the car received suspension damage and some parts were replaced along with a new fender, hood, and bumper. He purchased the car at the auction (car was dismantled) because the body shop started taking apart the car and insurance ended up calling it a total loss. Negotiated price to ~$37,000 cash for the rebuilt car. Seller stated that the car was repaired at a Tesla-approved repair shop and car has passed HV recertification from Tesla. I know that rebuilt/salvage cars do not have access to supercharging, but car is intended to be used for local driving so I do not see an issue with that. Is there anything else I should look for? Only concern I have is that I have no images of the accident and all I can find are the ones listed in this post. If Tesla did the HV recertification, does that mean the battery etc. is not damaged (I ask because I see it removed).

What is everyone's thoughts? Pass or purchase?


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Data Technician
Apr 18, 2017
Intermountain US
Did the frame get repaired and or welded? Is it straight? If not, alignment may always be off. The battery is probably fine although maybe not cosmetically pristine depending on how they handled moving it.

How much do you trust the paint quality? Or the repair work in general? I’m surprised someone repaired that car considering how much is shown missing from the front end.
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Reactions: WilliamG
Check with Tesla and see if the HV recertification allows supercharger use.

No one can tell you if the purchase is right for you. You’ll get a lot of opinions about whether the purchase is right for each of those people responding but that’s not necessarily what’s right for you. As for me, this purchase wouldn’t be one I’d make.

Check used salvage car prices If you can find them. Also check used prices for a similar car that has not been totaled and repaired. Tesla will not stand behind any part of this car, as far as Tesla is concerned it became land fill at the moment it was declared totaled. You also want to check to see if it can get software updates. If you call Tesla to find out things about the car I’d call at least twice so you can confirm whatever you are told. Start a notebook and record date time, name and position of source, and exactly what you are told.

Next read every thread here dealing with repaired totaled Teslas. Chances are that if there’s a concern, someone has written about it. Once the check is written, any problems are your problems.

Take anything said by the seller as hugely biased toward you buying the car, so you must verify everything. Once the check is written, it no longer matters what he said. Have the car checked by someone who knows Teslas. Me, I’d try to hire a Tesla service manager, or senior technician,to moonlight for $1000 or so and take a damn good look at the car. What he tells you will be personal opinion and not an official opinion from Tesla.. If he tells you something that stops you buying it, that’ll be the best $1000 you ever spent.

Next make sure the car can be registered in your state. I don’t know this is a problem but I’d find out before dropping 37K. Check with your insurance company and make sure you can get the coverage you want.

Check the battery pack and make sure it’s the one that came with that car. You don’t want a pull from another possibly older car. Also if the battery pack was destroyed, it might tell you something about the severity of the accident. If the car is a Frankenstein put together from 2 or more wrecks, you want to know that as well. You want to know if the car is a patchwork of more than one year car.

Pull a Carfax, see if there’s more information there. Take Carfax report with a grain of salt, Carfax is in the business of selling Carfax reports, the integrity of the data is secondary to them. When you sell the car, that new prospect will pull the Carfax, you might as well know what’s in it.

Tesla’s can and do break, Tesla will never fix any part of this car. You’ll be on your own fixing it. If you don’t know a lot about fixing cars, you’ll want to be close to someone who does.

Good luck. If you do this it’ll be an adventure. We’d like it to be a happy adventure.


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