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Model S Accident TOTAL THE CAR or REPAIR?

RiatGray

Member
Jun 16, 2020
11
3
Fairfax, VA
Tesla Fam

I’m heartbroken. Never ever in my life I thought I’d be writing this, but I got into a car accident. Last Sunday morning, a lady failed to stop at the Stop at the Stop Sign and wrecked my baby. In 12 years of driving I’ve never had a ticket, never ran a red light, not even a single scratch - I drive like a granny. It is in the shop now, and they are deciding between repairing the car or just deem it a total loss. Both doors on left passenger side are now gone and need to be replaced. After the hit, airbags deployed and I was “Oh $hit” 😩 No injuries. And that’s great.

I’m emotionally attached to the vehicle. I’m only 27, but for three years I was saving up every penny, hustled on the weekends and finally was able to buy the car. And now, she is gone. I’m a mess.

insurance has been great (progressive) they sent the guy a few days later and he estimated 18k in damage.

the Tesla approved body shop said it’ll be around 28k before teardown. The process will be finished this Tuesday and they will give us a final estimate. I’m 100% sure it’ll be more than 18k stated by the insurance guy.

So please help me. What do I do:

1) do we just total it and I fight with the insurance to get the correct amount
2) do I authorize repairs and wait 8-10 weeks for parts etc

I do have a rental. I don’t want to buy an ice vehicle :(

I know I’m going to loose FSD upgrade... that’s was 7k last summer. I bought it late. And I don’t think I’ll be able to buy another MS (don’t have that kind of money right now). Max I’ll get from insurance probably around 38-42k...

Late 2017 Model S 75. FSD. MCU2
 

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gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,379
3,718
San Diego
So sorry about your experience.
you fight to get the correct amount from insurance. After doing so, the car may need to be totaled and you get another Tesla that you will have an emotional attachment. Making sure insurance covers your loss is not an option
 
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RiatGray

Member
Jun 16, 2020
11
3
Fairfax, VA
So sorry about your experience.
you fight to get the correct amount from insurance. After doing so, the car may need to be totaled and you get another Tesla that you will have an emotional attachment. Making sure insurance covers your loss is not an option
I know I know... and it’s alright - I’m not going after that. It’s just so crazy how you work so hard and it can be taken away in just a matter of seconds...
 
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drdonger

Member
Jun 12, 2021
159
469
Texas
Tesla Fam

I’m heartbroken. Never ever in my life I thought I’d be writing this, but I got into a car accident. Last Sunday morning, a lady failed to stop at the Stop at the Stop Sign and wrecked my baby. In 12 years of driving I’ve never had a ticket, never ran a red light, not even a single scratch - I drive like a granny. It is in the shop now, and they are deciding between repairing the car or just deem it a total loss. Both doors on left passenger side are now gone and need to be replaced. After the hit, airbags deployed and I was “Oh $hit” 😩 No injuries. And that’s great.

I’m emotionally attached to the vehicle. I’m only 27, but for three years I was saving up every penny, hustled on the weekends and finally was able to buy the car. And now, she is gone. I’m a mess.

insurance has been great (progressive) they sent the guy a few days later and he estimated 18k in damage.

the Tesla approved body shop said it’ll be around 28k before teardown. The process will be finished this Tuesday and they will give us a final estimate. I’m 100% sure it’ll be more than 18k stated by the insurance guy.

So please help me. What do I do:

1) do we just total it and I fight with the insurance to get the correct amount
2) do I authorize repairs and wait 8-10 weeks for parts etc

I do have a rental. I don’t want to buy an ice vehicle :(

I know I’m going to loose FSD upgrade... that’s was 7k last summer. I bought it late. And I don’t think I’ll be able to buy another MS (don’t have that kind of money right now). Max I’ll get from insurance probably around 38-42k...

Late 2017 Model S 75. FSD. MCU2
You can make her insurance pay for diminished value, then total it and get into a new car. I would try to get 8-10k diminished value and then 40k or so from your insurance.
 

slainla

Member
Jul 25, 2018
142
95
Los Angeles
I understand there's sentimental value with the car but the best thing would be to total it. Even the best body shops can't turn it back to original factory condition. You'll always know it's been in an accident too.

Since used car values are so high right now, it may be advantageous to get a payout. Remember to have them look at comps with FSD. You should also print out some listings should you ever have to fight with your carrier. However, you'll have to find a similar car so hopefully you can upgrade without spending too much more. I'm not sure about Virginia but at least in California, insurance payouts includes sales tax on the car value so that can increase the payout a bit.

And a tip, trying getting quotes immediately from used car dealers (e.g., Carvana, Carmax, Shift, Vroom, etc.) for your car based on pre-accident condition to get a baseline value. The insurance payout must be higher than that or they're trying to rip you off.
 
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RiatGray

Member
Jun 16, 2020
11
3
Fairfax, VA
I understand there's sentimental value with the car but the best thing would be to total it. Even the best body shops can't turn it back to original factory condition. You'll always know it's been in an accident too.

Since used car values are so high right now, it may be advantageous to get a payout. Remember to have them look at comps with FSD. You should also print out some listings should you ever have to fight with your carrier. However, you'll have to find a similar car so hopefully you can upgrade without spending too much more. I'm not sure about Virginia but at least in California, insurance payouts includes sales tax on the car value so that can increase the payout a bit.

And a tip, trying getting quotes immediately from used car dealers (e.g., Carvana, Carmax, Shift, Vroom, etc.) for your car based on pre-accident condition to get a baseline value. The insurance payout must be higher than that or they're trying to rip you off.
very helpful - thank you so much. Used car market is insane right now! Oh wow, I had no idea. I’m thinking about just reinvesting the money and wait a few months...
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
495
288
HOU
You can make her insurance pay for diminished value, then total it and get into a new car. I would try to get 8-10k diminished value and then 40k or so from your insurance.

Disagree for a couple points:

A) Diminished value applies only when a vehicle is repaired, not when a vehicle is totaled. Can't do both.
B) Except in GA, no state allows recovery of DV from a first-party insurance claim (last time I checked anyway, maybe there has been a case law precedent update).
C) DV damages would need to be determined by a professional appraiser; 8-10k may or may not be the actual number.

Now, if you are advising, "mention to the other driver's insurance that you will be pursuing DV, so it is in their interest to total the vehicle now rather than spend money repairing and face a DV lawsuit", that course of action I'd agree with.
 
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Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
223
67
Burton-on-Trent
Gutting.

I'd be wanting it written off and getting a new car. Otherwise you'd always know its been damaged and would affect your resale too.

Maybe Tesla would be sympathetic given it wasn't your fault and might transfer the FSD over to any new car. If not you've got to be looking at getting the value of the car with FSD from the payout.
 

slainla

Member
Jul 25, 2018
142
95
Los Angeles
very helpful - thank you so much. Used car market is insane right now! Oh wow, I had no idea. I’m thinking about just reinvesting the money and wait a few months...
And if there aren't comps with FSD, push for the $7k you paid since you actually have a receipt for that. You can also remind them it costs $10k more now.
 

SoCal Buzz

Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2018
484
388
Orange County, CA, USA
Very sorry to see this. I got into my first Tesla after brand new Audi was totaled when someone ran red light; so some good came from that. Glad you were not injured.

I may be wrong, but unless the cost to repair + DV vs. total is reasonably close, you may not have choice. You can't simply request it be totaled and get a higher value if the repair is doable and much less. That being said, I would just make sure you have a great body shop and good estimate to see if the damage is more cosmetic and can be repaired. Per comments from others, you could get it back good as new, assuming no frame or battery damage (which would likely lead to totaling anyway).
 

csanders90D

Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2016
125
172
San Diego, CA
The calculation should be: cost to repair + salvage value + DV vs. car value. Considering that Teslas often have salvage values of 20k+, your car will very likely be totaled. Be ready to fight with the insurance company over the value of your car, and get whatever documentation you can. If you bought from Tesla, your account on tesla.com should have documents including the full options you purchased. I went through this recently, and posted some notes on this thread: If you car is totaled, beware CCC One Valuation Report
 

vicfosho

Member
Jun 28, 2021
6
8
Los Angeles, CA
I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you.

I'm in a similar boat where I got hit by car that was doing an illegal left turn across a double yellow line. :mad:
The adjuster told me today that my 2018 Tesla MS 75D w/ FSD is a total loss, and they are working out the value now. I tried asking her if I need to bring up some comparable cars for them, but she told me the estimator will do the due diligence determining the payout value. I have Tesla Insurance, so I am hoping they understand Tesla car values and will give me a fair payout.

Anyone mind sharing experience or tips on negotiating the car's value with insurance?
 

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