TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

My Tesla Model S P85 Accident - Is it REPAIRABLE or TOTALED?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by dvn222, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. dvn222

    dvn222 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Mayo
    #1 dvn222, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    The thing that Tesla doesn't tell you when buying their vehicle is that it can only be repaired by a Tesla authorized repair shop. Tesla does not sell parts to the public (ie, other non-authoized Tesla repair shops). I did not know this until I was notified by both my insurance and my mechanic.

    In the video below, the master mechanic believes that the front end of the vehicle is completely compromised and that the structural integrity is lost. (The car was the very last car of a 3 way car accident, hitting a Ford Explorer, while going about 60mph.

    In Southern California, there are only 4 shops - Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Costa Mesa and San Diego. I'm not confident with any of the shops they recommended.

    I'm worried that if I bring it to one of these authorized shops they will say that the car is repairable because they don't want to lose out on a big paycheck for repairs. (For the vehicle to be totaled, I believe that either (1) the total estimated repair bill must 70-75% of value or (2) there is structural damaged causing the car to be unsafe).

    From the video and pictures below, do you think the car is repairable or totaled?

    VIDEO



    PICTURES

    Below are a pictures of Tesla Model S P85 before, during, and after a tear down.

    2013-12-13-11-59-32.jpg


    2013-12-13-12-01-14.jpg


    The main point of impact was the front end of the vehicle, with the passenger side absorbing much of the impact. Both airbags from the steering wheel and foot compartment are deployed.


    2013-12-13-11-50-42.jpg


    imag1017.jpg

    The strut tower is pushed back about 6-7 inches and there are cracked aluminum fragments from the body as seen above.


    imag1021.jpg


    The impact was so sever that it caused the connecting middle crossmember to nearly split in half! Even FIREWALL CRACKED! There is a visible 1 inch split (pointed out in the video).


    imag1007.jpg

    Both left and right aprons are gone. In addition, A-pillar is extremely damaged.

    imag1011-e1388899818973.jpg


    Notice the two red dots on the top of the picture. Originally, they held the batter wires on the front end of the vehicle. Now notice the third red dot in the middle of the picture. That is positive battery wire displaced from its original position. This wire could have been in contact with other parts of the aluminum body.

    Luckily, everyone walked away from the accident unharmed. However, in the expert opinion of the Certified Master Mechanic, "the whole front-end is completely compromised... the structural integrity of the front end.. is completely lost."

    Do you think the car is repairable or totaled? (More pictures can be found here: My Tesla Model S P85 Accident | Pictures and Videos of My Tesla Model S Accident)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    11,923
    I'm no mechanic, but I'd say that Tesla authorizes specific shops for a reason, and I'd hope part of that reason includes integrity.
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
  4. Moparposterchild

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    From what I understand, most of the time airbags deploy on a car, the car will be totaled. Hard to believe they wouldn't total that considering the pics you've posted. Good luck. Glad everyone is ok.
     
  5. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,475
    I agree, I think it's a goner. But I wanted to say that we had some minor touchups done at Amato's in San Diego, and while they were expensive I was very happy with them.
     
  6. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,486
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    It looks like the frame/safety cell did its job by sacrificing itself to protect you and any occupants you might have had.

    Total loss, for sure. I would never want to drive that car if it was "repaired".
     
  7. ibcs

    ibcs Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ohio
    I worked with an authorized service repair in Ohio and they were completely reputable. Sounds like the Model S did it's job and gave itself up for the occupants. My guess is you will be ordering a new one. Good luck and I'm glad everyone was safe and sound.
     
  8. MarkR

    MarkR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Messages:
    893
    Location:
    N. Scottsdale, AZ
    Looks to me that you'll soon be in the market for a new Model S. The accident is certainly sad and emotionally traumatic, but also a testament to the car's safety . . . no injuries in the MS from a 60mph accident!

    There is clearly a downside to Tesla's unwillingness to sell parts to just any repair shop, but, as a stockholder, I wouldn't want the Tesla brand to take a hit to their reputation from a repair in a shop that doesn't know the finer points of such a sophisticated car.
     
  9. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Seattle
    Totalled make sure your insurance adjuster appropriately estimates value so you can get a new one.
     
  10. Cestevenson

    Cestevenson Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Dallas, tx
    I would also think with a tight rein on parts and distribution, parts would be less desirable to be bought and sold through questionable sources and easier to track. Would that cut down on black market (chop shop) and thereby make the car even less desirable to steal? Would think insurance companies would appreciate that.
     
  11. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    611
    Location:
    UK
    Looks like the car worked as designed and saved the occupants from injury, glad you are ok! The pack would have been physically disconnected on impact, so HV shorts should not happen unless the pack itself is compromised.

    Anyone know what that large cylinder in the frunk is for?
     
  12. Musterion

    Musterion 18h 03m 37s −24° 23′ 12″

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    M8
    In the video, interesting, I have not seen this cylinder before in under-the-frunk photos (e.g. What's hiding under the Frunk?) or looking at cars being manufactured. Possibly a ballast tank for the air suspension?
     
  13. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    580
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    If you want to take the worry about a disreputable shop, have a service center estimate the repair/loss. That can be done, right?
     
  14. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,667
    Location:
    South Florida
    I say if key front structural components are damaged then your S may be considered a total loss. Good Luck and I hope the outcome is a good one for you.
     
  15. 772

    772 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    712
    Location:
    Iowa
    I think they will probably 'total' it, too. However, from the one interior pic you posted, it looks like the onboard computer system is still working. Amazing, after an impact like you described. Perhaps it can eventually be repaired to street worthiness by someone as the damage appears to be mostly structural.
     
  16. dvn222

    dvn222 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Mayo
    I would like to thank everyone here for their concerns and advice. Grateful that everyone walked away unharmed and it is a testament to the car's safety features. I will probably get another Tesla if this vehicle is considered totaled.

    However, I would need to deal with Geico first, which I've heard can be difficult. I will update you all on the claims process.

    That is true, but I'm not sure if service centers generally deal with body work repairs or just extensive repairs in general. I will call them tomorrow morning.
     
  17. tom66

    tom66 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    622
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Besides structural damage, several wiring harnesses appear to be damaged, an expensive component to replace/repair.
     
  18. GHmagic6

    GHmagic6 Sig #610

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I had my "S" repaired at Avio Coach Craft on Pontius Avenue (near the 405/10 interchange) in LA. Tons of Teslas being repaired, and a great overall experience. If you haven't looked them up, I'd highly recommend them.
     
  19. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,675
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    I think the car is toast. Given the damage to the frame and the airbag deployment I have to believe that your insurance company will declare it a total loss.
     
  20. GlennAlanBerry

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    It is pretty simple. From a claims adjuster and auto insurance perspective, the total repair costs, plus loss of use during the repairs have to be more expensive than the fair market value of the vehicle minus the salvage value. It really comes down to dollars and cents.

    If you really want the car to be a TLV, tell the adjuster that right up front. Then help supply documentation to make it easier for the adjuster to make that decision and sell it to his superiors. I would get a repair estimate from a good shop (to negotiate down from), and I would also try to the local Tesla Service Center to weigh in on the expense and difficulty of the repairs due to the structural damage. Perhaps the SC might think that it is impossible to economically repair the car.

    I would then try to get some information about the salvage value of the Tesla (which might be pretty high if the battery pack is intact). You want the salvage value to be high.

    You also want to gather evidence about the fair-market value of your Model S before the accident. How old was it and how many miles are on it? You want to look for comparable sales if possible, trying to find the lowest ones possible.
     

Share This Page