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New Buyers Beware / Negative repair process

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by y2kcurt, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. y2kcurt

    y2kcurt Member

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    First and foremost, I love my model S! Definately the best car ever made. This said, there is at least 1 thing I wish I had know prior to buying, which may have disuaded me (may), which I thought I would share with other new prospective buyers.

    I was rear ended about 2 2/2 months ago. Not much damage, mostly cosmetic. As a result I had to take in for repairs. The process is nowhere near as positive as it is buying a car nor is it even close to the semi crappy experience of getting a traditional internal combustion engine repair; unfortunately much worse.

    1- Tesla doesnt perform body repairs so you are reliant on third part repair facilities
    2- There are only 2 certified repair facilities in a 60 mile radius (Denver/Boulder)
    3- The repair facilities have no inventory of parts and must order from Tesla whenever they do a repair
    4- Tesla does not have parts readily available and it can take weeks (in my case at least 5/6 weeks) for a simple quarter panel.
    5- Tesla does not provide the certified repair facility with any ETAs so you are left in the dark

    Because of only having 2 repair facilities available, it took me 3 weeks just to get an appointment for repairs. The repair facility has had the car for 1 month and no eta on when they will be done. So be warned, even a simple dent on a Tesla could you filling your rental for months...all while you are stuck making monthly payments, watching the car depreciate in value.

    There are definitely opportunities for improvement in this area if Tesla wants to compete on a bigger stage (ie Model 3). Lets hope they make some investments.
     
  2. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Yep, Tesla's "no dealership" model is great for buying cars, but for everything else it sucks-bad.
     
  3. xborg

    xborg Member

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    sorry about your experience.
    Did they provide a loaner?
     
  4. Config

    Config Member

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    Shouldn't the insurance (either their's or your's) cover the rental?
     
  5. y2kcurt

    y2kcurt Member

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    Yes, I have a rental from the insurance company, but 1) it requires gas (ouch) and 2) once you go Tesla, having to go back to any other car is like getting married to Jennifer Lopez, then having to spend romantic time with Rosanne Bar.
     
  6. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    great analogy
    as long as Tesla maintains their "lock" on replacement parts horror stories like this will become more prevalent.
     
  7. DougH

    DougH Active Member

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    It's a lame common problem.
     
  8. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    Before I got my S, I had an Audi Q5. That was once involved in a traffic accident, and I had to take it to a body shop. Insurance paid, including the rental from Enterprise, but Audi took so long to ship parts (from Germany even!) that I exceeded the 21-day maximum insurance would pay for the car rental, and wound up having to pay an extra 2 weeks on my own. It was a total of like 45 days to get car repaired.

    (At the time I was planning a huge nationwide road trip, so I took the rental car. When I returned it to them, it had 7000 more miles on it. :)
     
  9. TTT

    TTT Member

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    If it is just cosmetic, why not keep driving the car until the parts are in? This may even give Tesla an incentive to deliver the parts more quickly so they don't have a damages car driving around.
     
  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    It should also be noted that most insurance policies have a limit to how long they'll cover a rental for, and I'm pretty sure it's not enough for many of the repair stories I've heard for Teslas.
     
  11. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    The Tesla certified auto body shop near me is actually looking to get CPO Tesla's as repair loaners precisely for this reason. The repair process for a Tesla is very exacting and basically a rebuild. With a relatively low volume, this is just some growing pains as there are fewer auto body shops that have invested the considerable up front cash into the equipment and training/certification. Now with many more vehicles coming with aluminum and other materials, auto body shops will feel a lot more impetus to change their ways.
     
  12. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    This will have to change with the Model 3. Everyday buyers want convenience as well as a good experience. Tesla will have to change and I expect they will.
     
  13. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something, but I've never understood what aluminium has to do with it anyway. Do you know any body shop that actually does metal work? I don't. They simply remove and replace panels, nobody "fixes" a body panel, so what difference does it make if it's steel, aluminium, carbon fibre, plastic, or gummy-bears?
     
    • Like x 1
  14. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    The sole certified body shop in New Mexico has three certified Tesla technicians on staff.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the staff, including the reps you deal with, and the underlings who take the cars into the service garage from the visitor parking lot, and then return the cars when finished, don't know how to drive Teslas, even to just turn them on. I suspect this is a pretty widespread problem, nationwide?

    It's so easy a fix --- 5 minute instruction to entire staff how to drive the car...,
     
  15. mmccord

    mmccord Member

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    If you're claiming against your own policy, sure. If someone else is at fault they can't put arbitrary limits like that on it. My insurance pays 30/30/900 (max $30/day * 30 days), but I had a rental for 25 days @ 45/day (roughly). The other guy's insurance paid the rental in full.
     
  16. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Because aluminum requires very specific tools and processes. Same with my NSX. You just can't take it anywhere.
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    But what part of it requires different tools and processes? surely there's nothing different about bolting a new piece on in place of an old piece. and if you refuse to do sheet-metal work anyway (as all body shops I've ever found do) what does it matter what material it is?
     
  18. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    can you say uni-body? other than the doors, frunk door, rear hatch and pano roof there I don't think that there are any other parts that snaps off with bolts.
     
  19. ChadFeldheimer

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    Many of the body panels are assembled with adhesives and welds. Welding aluminum is much more difficult than welding steel.
     
  20. Carl Leermakers

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    "Horror stories"? I can imagine the average US consumer is more "spoiled" (in the positive sense) than the European one but I can also imagine worse things than driving an ICE loaner for free while waiting for my MS to be repaired (and the MS losing a lot less value than the loaner). I can also imagine the integrity of the battery pack is a very serious issue and that not everyone is allowed to "fix" an MS chassis, for that reason. I have had three Alfa Romeo's (all very fun to drive) but could tell some stories about how repairs of an Alfa Romeo, euuh, "work", which would put this discussion in another perspective :).
     

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