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Owning a Tesla is awesome, until you get into an accident...

Discussion in 'Model S' started by standardcode, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Well-Known Member

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    Rob,
    Less residual means fewer totaled cars......... If the insurance company goes from getting $40K for this car at auction to $20K, the math to total looks significantly less attractive.
     
  2. standardcode

    standardcode Member

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    It seems the board is split. There are some of you who (like me until last week) will rationalize anything Tesla and some who realize that there's something seriously wrong here. For the former, please help me rationalize this:

    I paid $17,000 as a down payment for the car (this includes about $8000 in sales tax I will never see back and will pay again on the next car).
    I paid $2400 for 4 years of service three of which I'll never see.
    Over the past year I paid $15,000 in principal and interest.

    Assuming I do get $70k from Ameriprise to pay off my loan I essentially paid $34,000 (or $2800+/month!) to drive a S85 for 12 months!

    That's simply insane.

    Tesla may be the best car ever produced but it's not worth $34k a year!
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Progressive has been known to be a problem when it comes to tesla repairs. There are several incidents on these forums of Progressive giving a very low valuation and deeming total losses and not giving any diminished value. This example is just another one of those 100% cosmetic , non-structural incidents where a perfectly good Tesla is going to be sent to the junkyard. And of course since Tesla won't touch salvage and won't sell parts to anyone, it makes me want to cry.

    Unfortunately for me, I'm also with Progressive. I plan on switching next year. Problem for me is that with 60k+ miles now, it doesn't matter who I go with. It'll get such a low valuation from anyone that if I get a scratch they all will declare it a total loss. Good thing I got GAP insurance.
     
  4. RobStark

    RobStark Well-Known Member

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    Ask Tesla.

    - - - Updated - - -

    In theory. In practice insurance adjusters and their supervisors do what is best for them not necessarily what is best financially for the company as a whole.

    Adjusters are scared of new technology and the possibility of never ending supplemental repairs. Where additional damage is found after repairs commence and are authorized. Or battery is found to be damaged after initial body repairs were made. Or where the owner complains that the car is not the same after the accident .

    Unlike inspecting an engine block for cracks adjusters don't know if the battery is OK or if the adjustable suspension is OK. Maybe they can't truly know until Model S is repaired and taken for a test drive.

    From the adjusters POV, just total it and get rid of potential headache. Exaggerate your estimate if you have to.


    Edit: Cool, 1000th post for me on TMC.
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Ummm, you put the statement out there without source or quotes. If it's just an opinion then please say so.
     
  6. RobStark

    RobStark Well-Known Member

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    Umm. I read articles that Tesla requires a different frame machine for aluminum frames from those required from Audi and Jaguar. In those articles they did not say why.

    Also read that a certified aluminum welder for Audi and Jaguar is not automatically certified to work on Tesla vehicles. Must go through Tesla training too.

    * Read these articles several months ago after salvage Tesla problems made the news. Did not save links nor will I go googling to find them. AFAIK TMC is not a peered reviewed journal where all one's statements must be referenced.
     
  7. JST

    JST Active Member

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    That sucks. The service thing especially is annoying--it really should be transferable in the event the car is totaled.

    But the real problem here isn't the insurance. It's the depreciation, which is precipitous. Tesla's policies on body shops aren't helping, but given the lost value you'd have with a repair you probably really are better off taking the money and looking for a (used) replacement car.
     
  8. standardcode

    standardcode Member

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    My plan was to drive it for 3 years and then use Tesla's guaranteed buyback. Considering the car has no structural damage and would have been repaired with Tesla authorized body parts at a Tesla authorized facility why would the accident affect that?
     
  9. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    This situation where the car gets totaled after a minor accident is ridiculous which ever way one looks at it. You're understandably looking at your financial impact a certain way but that not directly the fault of either the insurance company nor Tesla.

    Taxes are taxes, no matter what car. Your real down payment was $9,000.
    You choose to take the risk on a pre-paid service contract; most people don't view service agreements as having any risk but paid upfront money can be lost if an unfortunate accident occurs.
    Taking a loan to buy the car was also personal choice; interest paid on any loan is always sunk money that isn't coming back, it's no worse because the loan agreement ends abruptly.

    I sympathize with your position but the real issue is the high cost of repair and it would be better for Tesla if they looked at the situation again to recognize that the current repair and parts supply policies are probably going to be detrimental to long-term business. That's probably not very helpful to you right now; the only suggestion I have is to push it up the chain at Tesla.
     
  10. standardcode

    standardcode Member

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    However you choose to phrase it, the economics of buying a Tesla vs. say a Lexus are such that a minor accident will double your cost of ownership. So much for the "true cost of ownership" calculators...
     
  11. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Statements don't need to be referenced but when another member asked it would have been helpful to reply so we'd know if your statement was fact or just opinion. It's odd to participate in a forum but be dismissive about engaging; still, that's your prerogative.

    - - - Updated - - -

    True, there's no disagreement that a minor scrape shouldn't cause a car to be totaled and that getting into a scrape can make a horrible mess of the ownership economics.
     
  12. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

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    I didn't read the whole thread, but there are a lot of opinions on this topic. Simply I would check to see if your policy has REPLACMENT COST as an option. You could find a nice used MS and purchase it (Insurance Co would have to pay the cost less deductible) and you can do a Collateral Assignment with the bank and continue your excellent journey. There are plenty of nice MS on the market right now, seems like a great solution with little down time or money out of pocket
     
  13. Kbsilver

    Kbsilver Member

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    Guess I'm still missing something. In my experience insurance companies would not total a car until the repairs exceeded 80% of current (pre-accident) value. I know I might be math challenged, but a $30K repair is no where near, not even close, to 80% of the cars' $70K value.
     
  14. standardcode

    standardcode Member

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    You and me both my friend.
     
  15. voidptr

    voidptr Member

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    Is there any damage other than what's in the photo? It looks like you trashed the rear door, quarter panel, and wheel.

    Granted, I don't live in NYC and I'm not an insurance adjuster, but I had a deer crumple the front quarter panel and both driver's side doors a year ago, and it was just under $10k for repair. IIRC, it was about a 40/60 split between parts and labor. $30k seems excessively high even after the Tesla repair tax.
     
  16. standardcode

    standardcode Member

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    That's the extent of the damage.

    I am shopping around for a Lexus. I don't have time to deal with this anymore. It was an expensive lesson but I think I am moving on.
     
  17. drsaab

    drsaab Member

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    Your math is off. You paid 104k. You get 7500 back from govt. Ins company will give you sales tax. So that's 5000. So you get 75000. You paid 97000. So your losing 22000. That's normal for a 100k car in 1st year. You can buy another for 75000 with tax so your net no loss at all. You just have to compromise color etc if you need one asap. There's many out for sale now with similar specs and price. Hence a big hassle. But no loss except your prepaid service. And some used have that plus the 100k wtty.
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    That is an unfortunate outcome to this sad story. I think the OP got screwed on the repair cost. Of course, he is in NYC where costs are high It seems that others have not had to pay nearly as much to repair more damage.

    I think @drsaab analysis is correct. It should be possible to buy a similar used S with the insurance payout, there are plenty available. I would urge the OP to reconsider buying an ICE replacement. After driving a Tesla an ICE is a big letdown.
     
  19. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX;S90D;XP100D;3LR

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    When I had to have body work done after a piece of truck tire tread got kicked up by another car and hit my S on the hood and fender, my insurance company never mentioned diminished value. What's the story there? It makes sense that the car is worth less with a damage history (even though it's strictly cosmetic and the repair is perfect), but I didn't know you could claim it as an insurable loss.

    As another data point in the high-cost-of-repairs saga, the work at a Tesla Certified shop came in at $10K, which is nearly 4x what the adjuster initially estimated. I had tried to have another high-end shop do the work, but Tesla gave them such a hard time over parts that they ultimately declined to take the job.
     
  20. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Active Member

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    FWIW, I'd negotiate with your insurance and plan to go to a non-approved facility. This isn't major, and while you may need OE panels, these things are out there in the salvage market, most likely as OE anyway. This would seem least painful. You may still end up with a tainted carfax, autocheck, etc, but you can have something cosmetic, like this, taken care of and be on your way. There can be huge difference between walking in with an "insurance repair" and "out of pocket" request. Totally different transactions.

    Car insurance is less, and less, worth it. The lost value of destroying your car's "record" pays for the repair. And the insurance co. helps destroy the record (everyone low-balls an "accident" car). Your's is the outcome that sucks. In a similar sitch, I settled with a guy who hit me, no lawyers, or insurance co's, and with a different car. He was going to have a claim on his record. I was going to see damage on mine. Your's is more involved. Good luck.

    [Keep that pic of your car, and maybe another of the VIN. Critical if you sell privately, and cheap "insurance" to have them even if you don't plan on going this way.]
     

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