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

Need Advice: Minor Ding, Incredible Body Shop Quote (insurance? options?)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Whom, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Whom

    Whom Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1 Whom, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
    The love of my life had a minor incident with a pole. The wheel well is scraped, and two dents on that small panel that surrounds the wheel. No door damage. To my eye, it seems pretty minor league.

    I call Tesla: Who do you recommend for a body shop? I am in North Los Angeles area. I take it to their Body Shop for an estimate:

    $11,000!

    To my eye, the estimate is extremely padded. It includes line items like "Ensuring Battery Remains Charged" (one hour labor @ $155/hour). $2000 in parts.

    So I took it to some non-Tesla recommended shops (highly recommended by local owners of Mercedes and Audis). One said they wouldn't dare work on an electric car, the other gave an estimate of: $1850. They would pound out the minor dents, and repaint like any other luxury car. But they are not approved or authorized.

    My deductible is $1000.

    I am considering not involving insurance to avoid the inevitable rate hike, and paying the extra $850 myself. Or I can involve insurance, take it to the recommended place, and watch my rates skyrocket. If it were anything other than very minor damage I would of course go the insurance route, that's what it's for. But it's such a stupidly small scrape and dent.

    Any advice? Anyone know how much rates go up if you make a collision claim?
    10717703_10153177786298098_1639877366_n.jpg 10716087_10153177786188098_1736669901_n.jpg
     
  2. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    yep. it's a well known fact that tesla certified shops are raping insurance companies with their insane labor rates. these shops are trying to charge as much as possible without it being deemed a total loss regardless of the work just so that they can laugh all the way to the bank. malpractice if you ask me. or fraud. whatever, I'm not a lawyer. but that's why it's becoming increasingly popular to see Tesla salvage vehicles for sale with absolutely nothing wrong with them other than minor cosmetic damage. I've seen quotes for cosmetic with with no structural issues as high as $48k from these shops. a lot of insurance companies refuse to pay it and will just deem the car a total loss now. it's very unfortunate and Tesla is doing nothing about it. lots of good road worthy cars that could keep their good titles if Tesla took control of this 'certified shop price gouging' situation. plus it ends up putting the owners out of a car and arguing with insurance companies to get a decent value of the car instead of just having reasonable quotes and fixing the car. this is one of the reasons why I sometimes claim the Model S to be the most expensive car to maintain of all cars ever made (which is the complete opposite of Tesla's marketing). the car is great as long as you never have to have it repaired at a certified shop. and if you do, you're basically screwed as you are just now finding out.
     
  3. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,142
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Aluminum is quite difficult to work with (and easy to make worse than you started), and without seeing the damage I'm a little skeptical the shop thought they'd be able to pound it out and repaint it for $1800. I wouldn't take it to a normal shop. Find one that has experience with aluminum: you're looking for places that work on Porsches, high-end BMW/Mercedes, supercars, and the like. I suspect the actual damage is somewhere between the two.

    "Ensuring battery remains charged" at one hour of labor. Asinine. Even if they kept the car a month it'd require, what, 2 minutes of work to maneuver it close to a plug and to plug it in. Otherwise it'll consist of someone poking their head in and going "Yup, still charged" for weeks on end without any intervention required. Ridiculous.
     
  4. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,405
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I think this is what happens when there's a very limited number of shops that are certified. I got a quote for $8000 for some fairly minor cosmetic damage because they seem to be replacing anything that is anywhere remotely near the areas of damage. Probably easier to get away with because the money doesn't come directly from the owner. Hopefully, more shops are certified as time goes on and pricing becomes more competitive.
     
  5. swegman

    swegman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    962
    Can you post a picture so we can see what the damage is? I wonder how much it would be for a shop to buy a new body panel, slap it on the car and paint it. I agree that aluminum is harder to work with to repair from steel, but swapping parts should be basically the same regardless of whether it is steel or aluminum. Any decent shop should be able to do that.
     
  6. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    Sadly, you're screwed unless you go the cheap route and hope they don't suck.

    I had my front corner bumped at maybe 3mph. It was something like $3,000 and they only replaced the headlight (with a used headlight no less because insurance balked at the cost of a new one), everything else was just a buff and repaint.

    A friend dented his rear quarter panel on a pole and it was around $10,000 as I recall.
     
  7. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,780
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I scraped my rear quarter panel on a pole and the repair was under $2000 at the Tesla-approved shop in Austin.
     
  8. skboston

    skboston Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    Wilmington, MA
    This is the problem with having so few places, where you can go to repair your car. You can't convince me that because it's aluminum made part, it costs thousands to repair or re-paint. It's something that Tesla should deal sooner rather than later, when they start mass producing Model 3 or even X.
    Imagine what the insurance rates would be then, knowing that a simple bump in any part of your car is going to cost thousands of dollars. We're lucky so far on insurance rates, since the Insurer's are don't have enough data to justify the price hike, that will follow. Once they realize that a repair/re-paint job that costs $1000 on a regular car is $10000 on a Tesla, nothing good follows for the consumer.

    Aluminum alloy is not a newly discovered, nor Tesla is the first manufacturer to use it in building cars, nor the paint is something special manufactured on Mars and delivered to Earth with Space X rockets or Souiz capsules.
    I'm hoping that once Tesla cars become mainstream prices for repairs will drop to reasonable level, there is nothing special about the body of the car when it comes to dings and simple repair job.
     
  9. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    The repair costs are insane. At the costs being charged, a kid with a baseball bat could total my car in 8 swings, one on each quarter panel and each door.
     
  10. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    470
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Does Tesla give any sort of insurance/guarantee associated with their affiliated shops? In this case, the repair shop does not need anything (parts, paint) from Tesla, correct? What do you get from the Tesla approved shop that the others can't offer, besides a higher price?

    I used to have a Honda Insight, aluminum, people told me that there are aircraft body places that were good.

    When the aluminum F150 comes out it should really start to mainstream aluminum repair.
     
  11. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    4,734
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    I think this is why my car ended up being totalled. Had mostly some front end damage, but the body shop's estimate was at $45k and rising!!!

    Contact Tesla and escalate. Escalate as high as you need to. Not only are Tesla customers getting ripped off left and right--not only are insurance companies getting ripped off left and right--but this could seriously harm Tesla's future if this doesn't get under control. Tesla should decertify these crooked shops. People won't continue to buy Model S if repairs are ridiculous like this.

    Not sure why Tesla isn't realizing how much this jeopardizes their potential for future sales.
     
  12. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,479
    True. It could also be written off in a hailstorm, as one of my cars (mitsubishi soccer-mom car) once was. It functioned perfectly, but every single panel had multiple dents.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Srsly? Not many insurance companies are losing money, and they're certainly not complaining about the cost of repairs to the repair shops. It's true that their customers are being ripped off, but the insurance companies are at best co-conspirators.
     
  13. CliffG

    CliffG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I wonder how much variation there is in charges for similar work across the country. If it's significant, fora like TMC could provide comparative reports, and that could lead to more..... more road trips!

    Seriously, though, (apologies in advance for the pun) these repair problems will (maybe already have) put a real dent in Tesla sales. And if this isn't addressed soon, nobody will buy Model3s - not if repair costs are as much or more than the cost of the car.
     
  14. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Messages:
    573
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    I had less damage than that and the bill was over $9K. I get the impression that repair shops just charge insurance companies out the wazoo. I don't know if they get a below the line discount or what.
     
  15. aja2460

    aja2460 Old Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Woodinville, WA
    Like everything else, always get more than one quote. I had two Tesla approves body shops look at a small ding in my front bumper. $2200 at the first, $1600 at the second.
    I had it repaired at a high end shop (not yet Tesla approved) for $800. The Job was perfect. I think that it takes a Tesla approved shop to buy complete panels that have to be welded or completely replaced.
    There was a very mall mark on the black plastic under panel that I could barely notice that the first shop wanted to replace. Six months later, I can't find that spot anymore.
    My work was on the front plastic bumper which is not different from any other car. They removed the bumper and repainted and clear coated the complete part.
    Just my experience...
    Alan
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    4,734
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    If your deductible is $1k, and repair is $10k when it should have been $2k, then the repair costs the insurance company $9k instead of $1k, no?

    It is true, of course, that eventually this cost is passed to the consumer through either higher premiums for the claimant or higher insurance rates for the car (or all customers). But the higher rates are a symptom of the ripoff, regardless of whether the insurance company is profiting or not.
     
  17. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    While I completely agree with you in spirit, Todd, show me the data that supports this? Can you show me something that demonstrates that these practices have hurt sales or have resulted in a significant number of people who can't get their autos insured? (Not anecdotal evidence...)

    I think that until there is an actual slowing of sales that is directly attributable to these practices or some demonstrable evidence that people can't get insurance, the body shop gouging won't be laid to rest quickly.
     
  18. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    Until Tesla's supply grows substantially, it'd be hard to judge what impact something like this would have since demand could drop and still not drop enough to dip below supply. Conceptually, this would eventually cause a significant rate increase in insurance rates which affects TCO and could dissuade buyers.

    I guess it's not entire conceptual as I know there have been a couple folks that posted here saying they got large rate increases and their insurance companies claimed Teslas had higher costs or accident rates or some such.
     
  19. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,310
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    Just got my Model S this week. My old insurance company wanted a very outrageous price to insure the Tesla. Changed insurance companies and got a very good rate. I couldn't get a good explanation from my old company about why they wanted so much. I talked to them several times since I was fairly happy with them but paying 4 times what I'm paying now just wasn't an option. I have to wonder if some companies haven't had poor experiences like this and have already started reacting by raising rates sky high.

    If I had to pay the prices my old insurance company wanted I would have probably canceled my order and eaten the deposit.
     
  20. Ven Rala

    Ven Rala Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Montgomery County, Md
    I am getting my front quarter panel replaced due to a hit and run and the tesla approved shop in Maryland is charging my insurance about $2300
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1411791703.308037.jpg
     

Share This Page