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Our Tesla Crash

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
719
431
Basildon
It's in the manual ;)

(But I only found out when it wouldn't stay off the first time my wife was away at her mothers :) )

Pah who reads manuals these days, its much quicker to write a long post on a friendly forum (without searching first of course) to get the answer.

To be completely honest I did read the manual a few times before I got the car, but can't say I remembered all of it.
 
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Glad everyone is all good. Just had a car crash into the side of my M3. Wish I didn't have to deal with insurances. Dashcam footage is amazing and proved straight away that I am not at fault. However I am up in Glasgow and I have been told, without inspection, that parts could be up to 2-3 months. They also can't take the car in for storage until then as Tesla Approved Repairer doesn't have enough charging facilities.To make matters worse, they couldn't source an electric car.

Hopefully if they are sourcing parts within 2 weeks for you, I won't be as long as 3 months for mine. Don't want to be without it for that long!
 
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So. A fortnight ago our Tesla was involved in an RTA. Or, I like to think, had an RTA inflicted upon it. (There’s a more detailed description of what happened below.)

My wife and I were returning from a festival and were hit by a BMW X3. We’re (physically) fine – our Model 3, not so much, but of course that’s the right way round. The NHS lease company were great – we were a couple of hundred miles from home, so – after a few hours sitting in a Highways Agency compound – they sorted us a long-term courtesy car (a Mercedes EQA – anyone fancy a compare and contrast review? Though the quick summary would be, the Tesla is much better).

We arrived home 12 hours after the crash (I drove most of the way, trying to apply the ‘Get straight back on the bike’ principle) and I spent the next few days filling out forms and whatnot. Our insurance company are clear I did nothing wrong and the good lady doctor and I are starting to feel a bit more normal at last. However, it was the first crash I’ve been involved in since I was a kid, so I thought I’d put a few quick thoughts (some Tesla-specific, some not) down here.

  • The shock of the crash was huge. If you’re involved in an RTA, be prepared to forget EVERYTHING. Not that it’s a sign of common sense, or anything, but we have four educational degrees between us, and we both sat there like zombies for a while. We simply couldn’t figure out what to do. It then dawned on me, I’d made sure there were a range of numbers – breakdown, recovery, the lease company – in both of our phones, and one of these was for emergencies like this. If you haven’t already made sure you have access to any number you might conceivably need, if you were to crash, I’d advise you sort this straight away.

  • We know people are more important than cars. Remember this when the adrenaline finally kicks in. Especially if you’re travelling with others, remember that one side of the car is likely more dangerous than the other. Don’t just fling open a door because you need to see what the damage is – you could cause another accident. Make sure you and any passengers are OK – everything else can wait.

  • Make safety your main priority. Our accident happened just off the M1 – there’s a huge amount of work going on in the area, with temporary traffic lights, diggers and piles of earth as far as the eye can see. However, this did then mean that there were cones everywhere, so we could cone the two vehicles off before the traffic cop arrived. We then stood as far away from the traffic as possible. (Because of the roadworks, we were in a free recovery area, so said – very nice – officer was able to get both vehicles moved away pretty quickly. He also swept away glass and did a visual inspection of the temporary traffic lights.)

  • You will forget everything, part 2. I couldn’t immediately recall if there was a vehicle in front of me while we were waiting at a red light, or if there was anyone in the next lane along. Don’t speculate too much on what happened. Instead, when the time comes, you will – hopefully – find that the Tesla cameras recorded the whole thing. My advice would be to turn off the sentry and remove the USB stick as soon as you can. (Alternatively, you can make some recordings yourself, when you’re safe, and then remove the stick. This is what I did in the compound. I literally recorded the videos being played back on the Tesla’s screen with my phone, just in case something went wrong when I removed the USB stick.) I ended up sending all the dashcam files – two minutes before the accident, four cameras, and two minutes after – to the insurance company. They concluded the other driver was entirely at fault. It was also useful to be able to prove who was driving the other vehicle, as there is footage of someone getting out immediately afterwards.

  • Your other priority is, I suppose, to record all the evidence you can. (We were fairly confident the dashcam would be useful, but, in case of some problem with it, probably should have taken many more photos than we did.) And make sure when you swap details that you get name, address and email address. And preferably an incident number, location and a badge number from any traffic officer who arrives.

  • Just a general observation. The two or three recovery trucks in the Highways Agency compound were almost constantly in use. Other vehicles, and people, arrived after us. There is a graveyard of wrecked vehicles at the back of the compound. I got chatting to the security guy on the gate, and he said almost everyone walks away from these crashes. However – and for once in my life I’m trying not to make a political point – a huge number of RTAs seems to be the price we’re paying while we keep expanding and widening our roads. (I think they’re also rolling out smart motorways on the M1.)

  • Hopefully you (and your stuff!) will eventually get home safely. I guess we all react to this differently. We were OK the next day, but then it starts to mess with your head a bit (especially as I kept having to review the footage to submit my ‘report’). What if I’d been driving fractionally faster? (The BMW would have hit the drivers’ side of the vehicle at ninety degrees instead of smashing through the front.) There were moments when both of us got a bit emotional. Last week, we both felt ill, though there seemed to be no ‘physical’ cause. If you’re involved in an RTA, find a way of being kind to yourself. A Tesla Model 3 can be replaced (probably). You can’t.

  • You might find your priorities change a bit after a crash. I certainly don't care any more about the two stone chips on the bonnet or the kerbed alloys...!

Any other (Tesla-specific) tips for RTAs? Naturally, I’m hoping I/we never get involved in anything like this again, but, just in case… This is some of what I’ve learnt.

Oh, and the crash itself. Long story short, we’d just supercharged at Northampton and were approaching a busy/part-built light-controlled roundabout just off the M1. We were in the lefthand of two lanes and stopped at red lights; an Amazon van and another van had stopped in the other lane. The sliproad to the M1 was the first roundabout exit but we were intending on taking the second exit (the Teslacam footage shows the road markings quite clearly). Our lights changed to green and I started to drive forward, as did both vans. I was slightly in front of the Amazon van, but not going very fast as I did not know the area and recognised the complexity of the junction and the impact of the roadworks. The BMW must have come through a red light to our right and (after presumably passing in front of the Amazon van) hit the front end of the Tesla, at speed. We were pushed onto the slip road, coming to rest behind the BMW (whose passenger side airbags activated). The Amazon van, and the other van, continued on their way. The BMW driver and her passenger said that their light had been green, but I’m suspicious of this. The attending traffic cop watched and inspected both sets of traffic lights and told us that he saw no evidence that they were out of synch. Indeed, the video footage shows traffic coming in front of us (from the right) while we’re waiting at red, then a pause, and then all three vehicles beginning to move (on our green light). I’m almost across the slip road when the BMW seems to come out of nowhere to hit us. There was nothing I (or the car!) could do to avoid the collision. As I said, it’s all recorded on the Tesla dashcam, and I’m pleased to say the other drivers were unhurt too.

Stay safe out there, peeps. View attachment 852036
Wonderful you both are not physically injured. That is a powerful photograph. I am unfamiliar with the terms RTA and Highways agency. If you get a chance could you explain? Thanks, Chuck
 
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Wonderful you both are not physically injured. That is a powerful photograph. I am unfamiliar with the terms RTA and Highways agency. If you get a chance could you explain? Thanks, Chuck
RTA = Road Traffic Accident. Police now typically refer to RTC (Road Traffic Collision) instead, as "accident" implies no one at fault...

Highways Agency = government body responsible for maintaining our national road infrastructure. Local authorities can seek funding from them for specific road improvements/replacements/repairs within county boundaries, but any highways passing through multiple counties (eg like Route 66) are generally managed directly by the Highways Agency.
 
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init6

Active Member
Oct 16, 2020
2,125
1,468
Scotland
Glad everyone is all good. Just had a car crash into the side of my M3. Wish I didn't have to deal with insurances. Dashcam footage is amazing and proved straight away that I am not at fault. However I am up in Glasgow and I have been told, without inspection, that parts could be up to 2-3 months. They also can't take the car in for storage until then as Tesla Approved Repairer doesn't have enough charging facilities.To make matters worse, they couldn't source an electric car.

Hopefully if they are sourcing parts within 2 weeks for you, I won't be as long as 3 months for mine. Don't want to be without it for that long!
Ouch - hope you are all ok. I take it your car is still drivable if they won't take it in?
oh, and photos/videos or it didn't happen :)
 
Ouch - hope you are all ok. I take it your car is still drivable if they won't take it in?
oh, and photos/videos or it didn't happen :)

20220915_155437_copy_623x831.jpg
 
Quick update: I spoke to someone at the bodyshop today, having not heard anything from the insurance company (apparently he'd been sending regular updates to them on the assumption they'd be passed on). Though his first words were, "Tesla are an absolute nightmare! Their customer service is the worst I've ever dealt with. You can't speak to anyone, you can't get hold of parts... Seriously, don't spend your money on one!" (Luckily we're only leasing it and have a long-term lend for the moment, so we're not absolutely desperate for a quick turnaround.)

Anyway, they've managed to get hold of all the parts needed (a chap's going off to Brum to pick them up today), barring the wing - another week and a half for that. The implication is that it's all fixable. (They've even managed to charge the car and monitor it remotely. ;-) I've turned the app off for the moment as all I was getting was plaintive messages to say the window's been left down or the doors are unlocked, etc.) So, six weeks in, there's progress...

@Rr89 - how are you getting on?

@mister_sulu - I promised a quick compare-and-contrast with our loaned Mercedes EQA (bear in mind I've never driven a Model Y so I know I'm comparing apples and bananas). One sentence summary: the Mercedes may be a better car, but the Tesla is by far and away the better EV. Not a surprise, I know, given the EQA's ICE underpinnings, but there you go - the Merc is hugely compromised (the boot space is absolutely pathetic) and inefficient and also, to my surprise, the least enjoyable Merc I've ever driven (we've owned two second-hand saloons in the past, and loved them both). However, it does, as I indicated, get some basic things right that still elude Tesla (you can tell they've been in this business for a while...): the automatic lights *just work* and go to full beam and dip without you ever having to think about it. Brilliant! The voice control seems to work more effectively than the Tesla, and the blind spot warning in the wing mirror is really helpful (it's not rocket science and I wish Tesla would do this). The GUI is pretty but unfathomable, and I still can't work out how to implement adaptive cruise control (I have RTFM and don't seem to be able to switch it on in the vehicle) - setting the regen to Auto (which it remembers) is about as close as I can get. You can't turn off creep (a concession to those coming over from ICEs?) and the drive is uninvolving - heavy and wallowy, I default to Sport mode (which it doesn't remember), but frankly our knackered old Leaf is more fun. (Again, I know I'm comparing a big, heavy SUV with something that isn't.) I don't find the seats comfortable (again, for the first time in a Merc) and the interior is claustrophobic and oppressive, despite the amount of space in the cabin, Indeed, if I was J Clarkson Esq, I'd probably say that the interior looks like it's been designed by an American. It's absolutely disgusting visually, a huge expanse of plastic (lots of black shiny areas with silver-coloured highlights). Some of the other materials are better but overall it's a bit disappointing - it doesn't feel any more solid or well-put-together than the Tesla. (I believe they're about the same price point.)

So, in a nutshell - we're both looking forward to getting 'our' M3 back. Hopefully.
 

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