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Now THAT's a frunk dent

photo 2 (1).JPG


Welp, THAT happened. I was stupidly going too quickly around a curve and the car fishtailed. The traction control came on and I thought I had the car in line again, but just when I thought, "Whew, close call," the car swerved sharply so I had to try to counter that and I ended up hitting a cement barrier at a pretty high speed, if you can't tell from the photos. The good news is that everyone walked away fine and thank god I didn't hit anyone! The only injuries were some scrapes and bruises, and I jammed my pinky on the steering wheel but nothing was broken.

When they say it's a safe car to get into an accident in, I now believe them! Now, I most likely wouldn't have been going so fast around the curve if I had been in any other car, so there's that.

The crash was so bad that the car completely turned off after ten minutes of "pull over to the side of the road" message. It was unfortunate because I couldn't get the car into neutral after that, so it took another tow truck in addition to the one that came first to pull the car in line enough to get it onto the flatbed. Because of timing issues (I wanted to get the car out of the lane it was blocking as soon as I could), Tesla roadside assistance couldn't help me much, but AAA came through, even though the AAA tow truck driver didn't have much experience towing the car.

I towed it to the Van Nuys service center because the body shop that Tesla roadside assistance recommended was closed and I didn't want to tow an inoperable car to my house only to have to tow it somewhere else again. Luckily, the service center folks were so helpful and accommodating throughout the whole situation. They even helped get it off of the tow truck by getting a truck and chains to pull it, since the car wasn't about to roll off the flatbed in the shape it was in. I was about to cab it home after getting it all sorted out at the service center, but one of the service guys offered to drive me home in one of their loaners. Wow, such customer service! They definitely made the stressful day a lot easier.

A month later, after insurance declared it a total and some back and forth regarding the total loss package, I got a replacement car. I was really bummed at not having a dolphin grey car anymore. The new grey was a little too dark for my preference, so I got my second choice: pearl white. I went to pick up the car today and this is what met me at the service center.


tesla_bow.jpg


The people working there certainly have a sense of humor. Oh Tesla, not only are you selling safe, fast, electric cars, but you're also selling excellent customer service. Throughout the whole ordeal, everyone I talked to who worked at Tesla were so accommodating and such a pleasure to talk to. It's great to be back in the family (did I ever leave it?) Now I have to remind myself NOT to gun it.
 

swegman

Active Member
Mar 27, 2012
1,580
1,645
Why was it totaled? Was the frame damaged. From the photo, it looks like the rubber facia/nosecone, hood and one (maybe both) headlights are damaged. The fender looks ok, as does the wheel. Did the airbags deploy? I'm not certain from the photo.

Enjoy the new Tesla. Nice color.
 
Why was it totaled? Was the frame damaged. From the photo, it looks like the rubber facia/nosecone, hood and one (maybe both) headlights are damaged. The fender looks ok, as does the wheel. Did the airbags deploy? I'm not certain from the photo.

The hood and front bumper was damaged. The dashboard inside the car actually had plastic parts popping off, the glovebox was broken. Not shown in the pictures was the passenger side of the car was swiped. The rear brake disc also broke and was stuck through the rims -- not sure how THAT happened. The insurance adjuster who took a look at the vehicle said the rear axel was also bent.
 

tga

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,240
3,465
New Hampshire
Lift throttle oversteer? See wikipedia: Lift-off oversteer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With regen braking, I'd expect it could be worse in a MS than ICE engine braking, especially if regen is on the normal/higher setting. But then I've never pushed a MS that hard, so I don't know how it would behave. Now on my 911, that's a different story...
 
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scottm

Legacy account
Jun 13, 2014
3,070
2,374
Canada
When the impact moves through the car and busts stuff in the rear, from a frontal hit.. the car is done, and has done its job well.

I have full replacement insurance on mine too. Although "Get a new one"... sounds nice, it is not the answer.

Or our insurance rates, which for me is lower than insuring a new Honda Accord... will go up with the number of claims as people take their 2nd car replacement.
 
Hmmm...the lift throttle oversteer sounds like what likely happened. It did seem like the more I left off of the throttle (and regen kicked in), the more the car's rear was trying to fly out. Glad to hear there's a term for it.

As for insurance, yes, ouch! I had a really good rate b/c I was a flawless driver for 15 years before this, but now my rate went up 50%. But considering what had happened and no one was injured, it is a cheap price to pay.
 
Hmmm...the lift throttle oversteer sounds like what likely happened. It did seem like the more I left off of the throttle (and regen kicked in), the more the car's rear was trying to fly out. Glad to hear there's a term for it.

As for insurance, yes, ouch! I had a really good rate b/c I was a flawless driver for 15 years before this, but now my rate went up 50%. But considering what had happened and no one was injured, it is a cheap price to pay.

I learned from hours of track time that braking or lifting off the throttle before entering a turn is a good practice to avoid throttle oversteer. You should be on the throttle through the turn at the proper speed so braking or throttle release is not necessary. Slow in, fast out is the rule. Otherwise it might be fast in, never out.
 
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tga

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,240
3,465
New Hampshire
Hmmm...the lift throttle oversteer sounds like what likely happened. It did seem like the more I left off of the throttle (and regen kicked in), the more the car's rear was trying to fly out. Glad to hear there's a term for it.

More here: Understeer and oversteer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most road cars are set up for understeer. It's also a byproduct of front engine/front wheel drive, which makes the car front-heavy. If the driver hits the brakes in the turn, the weight shift will cause a transition from understeer to neutral or mild oversteer, which is still controllable. Try that in a tail heavy, rear engine, rwd car (911, corvair, beetle), and you'll transition from oversteer to OH-MY-GOD-WHAT-IS-HAPPENING!!! oversteer, and likely spin/leave the road backwards. Over the years Porsche has tried to tame some of the oversteer with suspension tweaks, but that's why you see a lot of wrecked 911's with rear end damage.

You generally can't brake hard, turn, and keep the car under control. I learned that one in my 20's driving a junker Geo Prizm* service loaner. I was behind a little old lady on the interstate who decided to lock up her brakes at 60 (for no apparent reason) at precisely the moment I looked over my shoulder to see the left lane was clear. I tried to break and swerve into the (empty) left lane. Fishtail left, overcorrect, fishtail right, overcorrect, fishtail left again. I knew I was doomed when I was looking at the right shoulder and guard rail through the windshield. I pirouetted across the right lane (behind my nemesis), and stopped perfectly centered in the right shoulder, parallel to the lane, facing oncoming traffic, unscathed. Wait for a break in traffic, then do a quick 3 point turn and away we go!

* Obligatory Tesla content: Guess where the Geo Prizm was made - a combined GM/Toyota factory in a place called Freemont, CA. Imagine that!

I learned from hours of track time that braking or lifting off the throttle before entering a turn is a good practice to avoid throttle oversteer. You should be on the throttle through the turn at the proper speed so braking or throttle release is not necessary. Slow in, fast out is the rule. Otherwise it might be fast in, never out.
I have a video somewhere that you could call "a bit too fast in, never out until the tow truck showed up.":mad: Actually, I would have been fine had the tie rod not decided call it a day. It's really hard to keep the car pointed in the right direction with one of the front wheels flapping in the breeze.
 
I learned from hours of track time that braking or lifting off the throttle before entering a turn is a good practice to avoid throttle oversteer. You should be on the throttle through the turn at the proper speed so braking or throttle release is not necessary. Slow in, fast out is the rule. Otherwise it might be fast in, never out.
Indeed. Track days are good for more than just fun. :smile:
 

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