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My First Dent and Two Surprising Estimates

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Francis Lau, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I got my first dent that damaged the side panel, bumper and taillight. See pics below. :crying:

    2014-04-24 13.21.20-1.jpg
    2014-04-24 13.21.37-1.jpg
    2014-04-24 13.21.46-1.jpg
    2014-04-24 13.21.54-1.jpg

    What was surprising were the 2 estimates I got. One was from Tesla's Official Repair Shop - Bel Red Auto Rebuild and another from a high-end shop Queen City Auto Rebuild. Queen City was not Tesla certified but does high end aluminium work for Porsche, Audi, Ferrari etc.

    See the 2 bids below. One was double the other. Wow! You can spot all the things that make it double.

    BelRedAuto.png
    QueenCity.png

    I thought I share this with everyone so we can all watch out for such craziness. I am going with Queen City even though my insurance is paying for it.

    Has anyone experience this?
     
  2. GDH

    GDH Banned

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    Oh
    My
    Gawd

    $7K!.....that is crazy.

    Was this your fault or where you hit?
     
  3. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    A pole hit me :)

    Seriously, here is a pic of where it happened.

    DaPole.png

    The light pole is in a perfect position where it was in my blind spot for side mirrors and also not seen in the rear cam before I backed up. But at the end of the day, if I paid more attention, I probably could have avoided it. Oh well, that is why I have insurance.
     
  4. GDH

    GDH Banned

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    This is why I love my parking sensors!, these cars are boats!

    It happens, don't beat yourself up over it =)
     
  5. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I recently learned a little bit about what it means to be Tesla certified. I would choose the Tesla certified repair if at all possible.
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Ick. Bummer, man. :(
     
  7. Zextraterrestrial

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    were you looking at the rear cam when you backed up? I only use my side mirrors and rear camera in the S when backing and flip between the two

    ouch. not the worst damage but still pricey
     
  8. carrerascott

    carrerascott FUEL FTR

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    For that price, you should get parking sensors added. Seriously. ;) If insurance would cover it...
     
  9. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    I'm surprised the Tesla-approved shop doesn't insist on replacing the quarter panel. That would drive the cost way into 5-digit territory.
     
  10. youlikeadajuice

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    While the Tesla approved estimate is high, this is actually one of the lower estimates I've seen for that kind of work. I had a small scratch I wanted to get repaired (no denting, just scratched paint about 2"long and thin), and Tesla's approved body shop here in NJ quoted me over $8000! I've heard several other quotes like that from folks here in NJ...ridiculous.
     
  11. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I use the rear cam but I looked away to the front to make sure my front bumper would not hit the car on my left. It was bad timing but I did not expect the pole there so I was visually checking the wrong area.
     
  12. GDH

    GDH Banned

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    Just as long as you go to a shop that works on aluminum cars you should be fine. I wonder if that is going to bring your car value down?....to bad you couldn't sue the pole for diminished value LOL.
     
  13. captain_zap

    captain_zap Electron tamer

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    I had Queen City do some work on the front of my car and they did a perfect job. The cost was very reasonable, and they matched the Signature Red perfectly.
     
  14. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    The big difference is in the Labor! $56 vs $130 for body labor.
     
  15. howardc64

    howardc64 Member

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    #15 howardc64, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
    I recently had a foot long shopping cart creases, door ding and a softball size dent taken out by paintless dent removal for $700. You might consider asking them if they can take it out in your case. They basically use these tools to go from behind the panel to take out the various dents. They use a highly precise reflective light pattern with grids on it to make absolutely sure the curvature is perfect to the eye as they gently press it back. The paint scrapes are pretty easy to take out too. I took mine to a little shop next to Park Place Motors in Bellevue and he took out a few major scrapped off paint areas on the bumper for $375. They do this for all the Luxury car lease returns in the area (Park Place, BMW etc...)

    As long as it isn't near where the panel folds back completely (like edge of a door) due to stamping... I think they can take it out. Probably much cheaper than grinding + repainting the panel. The bumper is plastic so that probably need to be replaced and painted if dented. But if scrapes only, you can probably get it out for much cheaper. Again, the little shop that services lease returns can probably do it for you much cheaper. Shop is at

    Steve's Custom Cars and The Wheel Wizard

    I know a couple of paintless dent removal guys that work on Tesla's aluminum panel in the Seattle area if you want to have them look at it. PM me if you are interested :)

    Take a look on youtube to see what they can take out. Pretty amazing. Just search for "PDR dent"

    Imagine all the lease return cars with their bumps, dings, and scrapes... yet the used car lot on luxury car dealers have all vehicles with perfect body panels... these guys are the ones that get the car to those conditions without the dealer taking it to a major collision shop.
     
  16. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    thats not surprising for corrupt NJ. the one and only repair shop in NJ rapes everyone on their pricing because they know they are the only certified shop and they can charge whatever they feel like it, right up to just below the level where an insurance company would declare it totaled so that they can collect all the money and laugh all the way to the bank. seriously. one other owner got into a minor front end accident and that shop quoted $45k. yes thats right, $45k for minor damage. MOB-like shop that's for sure. honestly if the battery costs $40k in itself you might as well just buy an entire brand new "shell" from Tesla off the production line and just swap your battery pack in as that'll be a hell of a lot cheaper than paying $130/hr in labor to a corrupt repair shop.
     
  17. ajw

    ajw Member

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    techmaven....is there a telsa certified repair shop in Richmond?
     
  18. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    The estimates are surprisingly similar. The major difference is one uses $130 an hour for labor and the other $56 ($95 for 8 hrs of aluminum repair). $5000 of that first estimate is labor. I don't know what body repair labor usually is, but $56 seems really low. As a somewhat similar reference, Tesla charges $175/hr for their mechanics. Some Internet searching shows that $60-$90/hr is typical for independent shops, and dealers over that.

    So, seems like a decent deal on that second estimate. And the first one is high.
     
  19. Parzival

    Parzival Member

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    Were these quotes based on paying cash or with the negotiated insurance discounts?
     
  20. alset

    alset Member

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    I observed the same in Boston - shops that work on high end cars were half the price of the Tesla approved shop. And for similar damage to this, there is no need for the Tesla approved shop at rip-off labor prices. If it was a serious fender bender, I would go the the approved shop that likely has better aluminum equipment and technicians.
     

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