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Model 3 - Accident, Frustration, and Looming Repairs

DanH

Member
Dec 23, 2017
174
217
CA
Dear Tesla Friends,

In March 2015, we took delivery on our Model S. Best car we've ever owned.
In March 2016, we put our deposit down on a Model 3.

Finally, in August 2018, we took delivery of our Model 3 as our second car. All electric family (after trading in our 'almost' all electric volt, during normal usage).

One mile off the lot, with 6 miles on the ODO, a driver who just spaced out for a moment rear ended us while we were stopped in traffic. ~30-40mph, no brake application on the other drivers part.

I feel like we might have the lowest mileage M3 to be in an accident, but of course that's hard to say.

Pictures of some of the damage is attached. We escaped with no major injuries (a little bruised from the seat belts, but no airbag deployment).

The person who hit us went to the hospital, they were pretty shaken up, but will probably be ok in the end (though their car and pocketbook may not be...).

I'm already gathering my wits and resources for the looming fight with insurance. This ended up affecting 4 vehicles (hers, ours, and 2 up from us due to the force of the impact). It's unclear what limits she may have on her policy, but if it's the minimum for the state, or even average for the state, she will likely run dry.

Things I am concerned about, and if folks have thoughts, suggestions, or better yet, experiences (bonus points for being in the state of Maryland), I'd love to hear them.

1: Diminished value - BRAND NEW CAR, will never get to drive it actually new. Unlikely to be totaled. If the at-fault driver doesn't have enough insurance, that means requesting them to pay directly, or suing if they don't. :(
2: Damage repair times... (tesla parts... eep)
3: Car rental times - this is, less of an issue because we do have another car, and I work from home. But I do have places to go at times during the day, meetings, etc. Logistics aren't an issue here, it's just having to pay out of pocket if the other drivers limits are low, and 'my' insurance company only covers 30 days.
4: Loss of Use claims?

Ultimately, the good thing is that everyone is ok (or should be, I really think the woman who hit us will be alright). The Model 3 handled everything like a champ. The impact was greatly absorbed by the rear bumper, just as it should have been. The front of our car beat the crap out of the van in front of us, and took minimal damage (a small bumper crack and hood scrape).

I'm sad, pissed off, a little stressed, and just defeated after waiting for so long only to have what should have been the end of a journey, turn into the beginning of another thing I have to deal with.

Solidarity and all that, and thanks for reading.

I wouldn’t be surprised that she was hypnotized by such beauty and wanted an up close and personal view.
 
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eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,074
2,517
Beaverton, OR
Dear Tesla Friends,

In March 2015, we took delivery on our Model S. Best car we've ever owned.
In March 2016, we put our deposit down on a Model 3.

Finally, in August 2018, we took delivery of our Model 3 as our second car. All electric family (after trading in our 'almost' all electric volt, during normal usage).

One mile off the lot, with 6 miles on the ODO, a driver who just spaced out for a moment rear ended us while we were stopped in traffic. ~30-40mph, no brake application on the other drivers part.

I feel like we might have the lowest mileage M3 to be in an accident, but of course that's hard to say.

Pictures of some of the damage is attached. We escaped with no major injuries (a little bruised from the seat belts, but no airbag deployment).

The person who hit us went to the hospital, they were pretty shaken up, but will probably be ok in the end (though their car and pocketbook may not be...).

I'm already gathering my wits and resources for the looming fight with insurance. This ended up affecting 4 vehicles (hers, ours, and 2 up from us due to the force of the impact). It's unclear what limits she may have on her policy, but if it's the minimum for the state, or even average for the state, she will likely run dry.

Things I am concerned about, and if folks have thoughts, suggestions, or better yet, experiences (bonus points for being in the state of Maryland), I'd love to hear them.

1: Diminished value - BRAND NEW CAR, will never get to drive it actually new. Unlikely to be totaled. If the at-fault driver doesn't have enough insurance, that means requesting them to pay directly, or suing if they don't. :(
2: Damage repair times... (tesla parts... eep)
3: Car rental times - this is, less of an issue because we do have another car, and I work from home. But I do have places to go at times during the day, meetings, etc. Logistics aren't an issue here, it's just having to pay out of pocket if the other drivers limits are low, and 'my' insurance company only covers 30 days.
4: Loss of Use claims?

Ultimately, the good thing is that everyone is ok (or should be, I really think the woman who hit us will be alright). The Model 3 handled everything like a champ. The impact was greatly absorbed by the rear bumper, just as it should have been. The front of our car beat the crap out of the van in front of us, and took minimal damage (a small bumper crack and hood scrape).

I'm sad, pissed off, a little stressed, and just defeated after waiting for so long only to have what should have been the end of a journey, turn into the beginning of another thing I have to deal with.

Solidarity and all that, and thanks for reading.

Repaired cars are *never* the same. I would ask Tesla to expedite you a new identical car and then I would tell the insurance company that they owe you for the new car and I would sign over the old one to them.

Anything less than that is a loss to you. You deserve to be “made whole”.

This is the easiest way to determine what “diminished value” actually is since it is whatever they can sell the damaged (or repaired) car for.

Repaired cars all suck because everything is so tightly integrated these days. Unibody cars are damned hard to put back together and there is *nothing* like a factory weld.

Not to mention how horrible all the clips are on all the interior panels. Those things never go back together the way they should.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,497
15,504
New Mexico
If the claims are more than the insurance limit, how is the money divvied up ?

Regarding diminished value (DV), it seems readily apparent that the market does not value a car repaired to pre-accident condition anywhere near the value of that car pre-accident. I bet this is even more true with EVs.
 
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Msjulie

Active Member
Jun 26, 2016
2,439
1,747
Monterey Peninsula
So sorry this happened, good no one really hurt

Never be in direct contact with the other's insurance company. That's what your insurance company is for.

I have USAA and normally I would agree but a few years back someone side swiped me while trying to cut me off; I got the tag# and called 911 right away and the police identified him. I got all his info; his insurance company was quicker to respond than USAA in this case - they had a rental for me that day and took on the whole problem (lucky for me when confronted the other driver admitted everything).

Sucks you even have to be considering how to handle recovering from this nonsense..
 

zswilliams

Member
Dec 13, 2015
54
85
United States
Sorry for your loss. The car held up well considering. It looks like it is just the rear bumper cover not the quarter panels that need replaced. While that still stinks it looks like you could drive it until the parts come in.

Yeah, it's quite a bit more than the rear bumper cover. Liftgate, front hood, front bumper, rear bumper, floor pan storage caved at least, rear bumper reinforcement (and that's just what I could see). Very likely damage to quarter panels, most likely left side. Hard to say as I didn't take too much time to review the more questionable stuff yet.

I had to sue the person (though the insurance company is responsible for payment) to get DV. They’ll balk but it depends on whether it’s state law. At the time it was new in Texas. They finally settled before the court date. Your insurance should be paying for getting your car fixed. They’ll handle getting money from hers.

My insurance company will pay to get my car fixed, but they will not handle anything related to claims against her insurance beyond repair (DV, LOU, etc).

Indeed. That is the reason that you pay them all that money. They have attorneys on staff. Let them deal with the others. Just get the car to a Tesla Service Center....

See above, and yeah, already at an authorized tesla shop just a few doors down from the SC. I've insisted that if repaired, Tesla must go over the car with a fine toothed comb and sign off, or I will not accept.

I would start ordering another car. Sell this one and fight for whatever back, keep the 7500 tax credit too

Yeah, that's... tricky. I don't think I can take that financial hit, on the hope that I could recover.

Repaired cars are *never* the same. I would ask Tesla to expedite you a new identical car and then I would tell the insurance company that they owe you for the new car and I would sign over the old one to them.

Anything less than that is a loss to you. You deserve to be “made whole”.

This is the easiest way to determine what “diminished value” actually is since it is whatever they can sell the damaged (or repaired) car for.

Repaired cars all suck because everything is so tightly integrated these days. Unibody cars are damned hard to put back together and there is *nothing* like a factory weld.

Not to mention how horrible all the clips are on all the interior panels. Those things never go back together the way they should.

I definitely aim to push for totaling, as I do get a new car with my policy in the event of a total loss. But, that may be difficult given the value of the car and the repair costs. I'm waiting for word on some of that detail this week, so we shall see. I guessed $20k in repair costs, mostly labor ofc.


If the claims are more than the insurance limit, how is the money divvied up ?

Excellent question. I am told (by my insurance company) that it's divvied up pro-rata between the affected parties. No matter what, even if their insurance doesn't cover all of what my insurance spends, I get my deductible recovered and my car repaired, but this complicates any DV claims, as they would covered by the at fault party personally, rather than via insurance. :/
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,497
15,504
New Mexico
Excellent question. I am told (by my insurance company) that it's divvied up pro-rata between the affected parties. No matter what, even if their insurance doesn't cover all of what my insurance spends, I get my deductible recovered and my car repaired
I don't understand what 'deductible covered' means.
Are you saying that you pay your insurance your deductible and your insurance is on the hook for the difference between what they paid to make you whole (up to your insurance limit) and that received from the at fault driver's insurance ?
 
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trm2

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,074
1,664
CLE
I don't understand what 'deductible covered' means.
Are you saying that you pay your insurance your deductible and your insurance is on the hook for the difference between what they paid to make you whole (up to your insurance limit) and that received from the at fault driver's insurance ?

The claim is filed under the OP's collision coverage which will have a deductible. Once the OP's insurance company knows fault lies with another party, the deductible is returned. The car will be repaired (I don't see any way that will be totaled) and the OP's insurance company will deal with the At Fault Party's insurance company and cover anything that is in excess of their liability limit - either per person or per accident.
 
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zswilliams

Member
Dec 13, 2015
54
85
United States
First report from the adjuster.

Amazingly, the damage estimate is ~8k.

To answer a couple of (preemptive questions), yes, this is through a Tesla authorized body shop, and the labor rate is surprisingly reasonable at under $50/hr for body work.

There is an expectation of some unseen work, but they did pull off the rear bumper and got pretty well into it.

The big reason this is not more expensive, other than labor costs, is that the rear quarters were not damaged, and the roof rails were also not damaged.

So, at first glance, this looks far better than it could have been, considering the circumstances. I'll keep updating here, in case anyone is currently interested, or anyone needs some future support for this kind of thing.
 

Hkbruin

Member
Jun 27, 2018
190
132
Laguna Niguel
Glad to hear that it’s not nearly as damaged as you thought! Does your front bumper need to be changed as well? If so might as well try and put an Ascension upgrade bumper while you’re at it and have insurance cover it ;)
(Probably not possible realistically).
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,497
15,504
New Mexico
This has to be the first time I can ever remember that the estimate came in under the TMC consensus.
Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come and our collective Model S/Model X bias will need to be revised.
 

zswilliams

Member
Dec 13, 2015
54
85
United States
Glad to hear that it’s not nearly as damaged as you thought! Does your front bumper need to be changed as well? If so might as well try and put an Ascension upgrade bumper while you’re at it and have insurance cover it ;)
(Probably not possible realistically).

Front bumper is not cracked, it has a small dent and it's plastic, so they plan to repair and repaint. Doubt I can get anything changed out. :p

This has to be the first time I can ever remember that the estimate came in under the TMC consensus.
Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come and our collective Model S/Model X bias will need to be revised.

Yeah, this was very surprising to me too. I think the fact that the quarter panels were not damaged is a big reason for this. Under $50/hr labor rate is also significant. (For body work only, higher rate for some electronic related elements).

Still, I plan to post as much information as I feel comfortable sharing in the end, and I really do hope that the repair costs for minor things will be a lot better to address in the Model 3 vs the Model S.

I had a run-in with debris flying off a truck (retread came off in front of me, and was full length of the lane!), and that hit the front bumper of my model S. They replace the bumper, parking sensor, front grill, one under-rocker cover and the under bumper cover, plus some clips and such. It really wasn't much damage at all, and that came out to about $2800. So to think that this is not even 3x more, and they're to deal with a higher speed impact is pretty telling.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
6,873
6,490
Silicon Valley
First report from the adjuster. Amazingly, the damage estimate is ~8k. To answer a couple of (preemptive questions), yes, this is through a Tesla authorized body shop, and the labor rate is surprisingly reasonable at under $50/hr for body work.

There is an expectation of some unseen work, but they did pull off the rear bumper and got pretty well into it. The big reason this is not more expensive, other than labor costs, is that the rear quarters were not damaged, and the roof rails were also not damaged.

So, at first glance, this looks far better than it could have been, considering the circumstances. I'll keep updating here, in case anyone is currently interested, or anyone needs some future support for this kind of thing.

Where are you located... $50/hr labor rate is 1980's in the Bay Area.
The current labor rate is $125/hr for Tesla approved body shops :cool:
 

JChu

Member
Aug 27, 2018
6
4
LOS ANGELES
Where are you located... $50/hr labor rate is 1980's in the Bay Area.
The current labor rate is $125/hr for Tesla approved body shops :cool:


My car has similar damage to yours...plus my front bumper is damaged pretty badly. I just saw the insurance estimate and they are quoting from $105/hour (sheet metal work) to $165/hour (electrical work). They are quoting $55/hour just for the refinish work........ but haven't received the final verdict from the body shop if they have found any other damage under the bumpers.
 

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zswilliams

Member
Dec 13, 2015
54
85
United States
Where are you located... $50/hr labor rate is 1980's in the Bay Area.
The current labor rate is $125/hr for Tesla approved body shops :cool:

Well, this is just outside of Baltimore, west side. Electrical work is definitely $150, but the rest was lower.

My car has similar damage to yours...plus my front bumper is damaged pretty badly. I just saw the insurance estimate and they are quoting from $105/hour (sheet metal work) to $165/hour (electrical work). They are quoting $55/hour just for the refinish work........ but haven't received the final verdict from the body shop if they have found any other damage under the bumpers.

Gosh, I hope you get good news. Keep me posted, I'm interested to hear how things go all around.

As much as I want to believe that I suspect that the first supplemental is going to be a doozy...

Yeah, we shall see....
 
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