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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. Martini

    Martini Member

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    Why not buy a used Tesla with a value near your insurance payout? It seems like cars comparable to yours are available at the price you are getting from your insurer. That makes it a zero-cost experience. If you want to get a newer car, then you are basically going out of pocket for an upgrade.

    - - - Updated - - -

    But depreciation cuts both ways--you have access to cheaper cars on the used market.
     
  2. smsprague

    smsprague Member

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  3. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    First of all, so sorry for your loss but there are two parts to your post...

    I actually think the $70K valuation of your 1 year old S85 is reasonable and inline with what others have bought S85s for. Some have actually bought inventory cars that are essentially brand new for around that after factoring in the $7,500 rebate. A few S85s have actually sold for the 60s so you can't fault the insurance company on the valuation.

    However I think you are absolutely right in the price gouging and insanely high and unreasonable fees charged by Tesla Authorized Repair shops. We hear it all the time on the forums. It's an outrageous racket where they charge 10s and thousands for moderate repairs that would have cost a fraction of that if the car was a another high end car.

    Tesla really needs to get a handle on this or insurance rates will be absurdly high for these cars and any small fender bender will essentially total a Model S that is more than 3-4 years old.

    If nothing else this is such an environmental waste to throw away a perfectly fine car because the Tesla Certified Shops have figured out that they can rape customers because they have nowhere else to go.
     
  4. Cebe

    Cebe Member

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    This is consistent with my experience. I'm currently paying more for the 2009 Mini convertible than on the Model S...
     
  5. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    I'm with drsaab on this one. Just put on a new tire and drive home. Put out junkyard request for needed replacement panel(s) or else have aluminum shop weld back to original using sheet alum. You can do this out of pocket cash, no need to call in the mounties.
    --
     
  6. HyperMiler

    HyperMiler Member

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    Wait a second

    Before jumping to conclusions on the oh so minor damage, is it known whether suspension, alignment, subframe, drivetrain are unaffected by this accident? A good axial whack ionto the side of the wheel can do some serious damage, including distorting the entire body substructure to the point where it cannot be bent back into its original configuration.
     
  7. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    I think you would find out on the drive home. :wink:
    --
     
  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to the new F-150; Aluminum will soon be a MUCH MUCH less exotic material in cars... so hopefully (fingers crossed) the cost of repair will start to fall as the # of people able to work it increase...
     
  9. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight No Roads

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    Everyone keeps saying to take the $70k from the insurance offer (which does seem pretty reasonable) and go buy a used P85 replacement car. But the OP stated he also has a $70k loan on the car, and the bank likely has a lien on the car, so they'd be first in line to get the $70k to pay off the loan..so the OP would be left with $0 to go buy a replacement. It's not as easy as it sounds if he has to now go find another car, scrape together another down payment, and apply for, and get approved for, another loan. If he does take that route, getting an inventory car would be a good idea in order to take another $7500 (or more depending on state) tax credit.

    Also, when talking about insurance companies--- my insurance company is Chubb, and I have an agreed value of $125k on my p85+.. costs me about $1500 per year with a $500 deductible.. (I'm 50 with a perfect driving record, no kids). So if the car is totaled, they write a check for $125k, no questions asked.
     
  10. Scotty

    Scotty Member

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    I feel for you. Sure, you can buy another one, but your equity vanished when the accident occurred.

    As the owner of a 12 week old S85 that currently hasabout 8800 miles on it, and was delivered with autopilot feature, an additional question comes up for me. Should I get in an accident with it, assuming the exact same type and extent of damage as the OP experienced, and assuming a very high repair estimate that influences my insurance company to issue a similar edict, what might the hit be on mine? Certainly,I would expect the total loss value for a 2014 autopilot-equipped 85S should be higher than the ~$70K value cited by the OP, but I'm not going to be satisfied at buying one of the non-autopilot equipped vehicles. Again, I'm raising the question and it currently is not my situation, but it sure makes one think.

    I don't think Elon Musk wants to be standing up at a 2015 press conference or shareholders meeting stating that new car sales have plummeted, and Tesla stock is 'correcting' itself. I don't think Tesla is that concerned about this issue of the absurdly inflated repair estimates by their authorized body shops and costs associated with a MS involved in an accident. Probably they would recommend buying a loaner or place an order for a new one. Sure, it's remarkable at the number of MS that are listed on eBay right now, and in almost all listings, the owner id ordering a new 85D or P85D. Sure follows the Consumer Reports about 98% of owners would buy another. Sure, if you don't have to blink when writing the check, a total loss might not worry you. But, if the luster goes off the car, both by returning MS owners, media, naysayer analysts, ICE enthusiasts, and even Consumer Reports when next years customer / owner satisfaction survey results come out, and the owner satisfaction plummets, every news agency will report on it, probably with the words of 'falling from grace', 'too good to last' and 'market correction'.

    I also wonder if this would or could be affected by Tesla doing the work, particularly at the factory. Since I live relatively close to the factory, would the factory SC have a different cost estimate? If so, I'm not advocating shipping the patient back to the mothership, but I might have to stop in and talk with them, butg wonder if I would get a conclusive answer. They might not want to be quoted, citing a hypothetical situation, but I still wonder. If Tesla SC comes back with an absurdly high estimate, there at the factory, that would be an eye opener.

    Scotty
     
  11. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    Two friends ... both to remain anonymous ... have had events occur (both in November, early Dec)

    (1) Valet side swiped a truck bringing the car back to the restaurant. Certain damage to the right front quarter panel, wheel scuffs ... but the suspension (air) was damaged.

    $38,000

    (2) Man versus curb at a decent clip of speed, certainly not Marc Marquez or Kimi, but another where the wheel was bent and tire deflated, etc. But, again, suspension.

    $32,000

    (3) spouse versus re-bar sticking out of top of concrete wheel stop (y'all probably remember this one) ... ripped off the PLASTIC part of the front bumper. No aluminum damage. No electronics in the cone or suspension. Just the plastic

    $2,580

    Yes.

    I concur.

    Please review your auto insurance policy (on the phone with them if you have to) as this car is Ferrari / Lambo type of repair costs.
     
  12. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Well-Known Member

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    Tesla authorizes repair facilities and, I would think, charges for this service.
    Repair shops recoup their costs.
    Closed loop feedback.
    Tesla is fully aware of the costs to repair the car and has made a conscious decision to pull cars out of service instead of providing any information/documentation or support for "salvage" vehicles. It is going to take a lot more pain for Tesla to even consider moving on this position. The next discontinuity that may drive a change is cars coming off warranty where right to repair may force Tesla's hand on documentation and parts availability. I say might because Tesla can be very stubborn in a Silicon Valley tech company "my way or the highway" kinda way. Take heart though; even Ferrari was forced to document their product and provide support for third party repairs and they are one of the worst when it comes to being hard headed.
     
  13. JST

    JST Active Member

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    I have my doubts that anything will be forced by a right to repair, at least in a legal sense. I don't think any such right exists outside MA, and there the obligations are phrased in the language of equal access to materials given to franchised dealers.

    The national commitment made by manufacturers based on the MA law a) wasn't signed by Tesla, as far as I could tell, and b) has basically the same kind of obligations.
     
  14. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Well-Known Member

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    I too do not think there will be a legal mechanism. However, once the car is out of warranty there will be people that either want to service the car themselves or have their local shop (that does not charge $150/hr) fix it.

    Tesla can push the idea today that everything is in warranty so you do not need independent capability. That argument will go away in a bit thus bringing more sunlight on the issue.
     
  15. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Right, but assuming the replacement car cost $70k, which people are pointing out many comparable used or loaner used-but-new cars that are $70k or less, he will be right back in the same situation as he was before the accident - having a car that's worth $70k and owing $70k on it.
     
  16. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight No Roads

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    Right,but that's not as easy as "take the $70k from insurance and buy a replacement" that people are constantly saying to do. He doesn't have $70k, he has $0k.

    Also, it's likely he wouldn't get a 100% LTV used car loan with zero down payment, so he would have to cough up another down payment, which may or may not be possible or easy for him after taking the real depreciation hit (i.e. initial down payment plus 1 year of P+I+taxes on the totaled car).
     
  17. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Any comment on repair prices/experiences with aluminum Audi's?
    Do other manufacturers make aluminum bodies?
     
  18. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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  19. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I have a Mitsubishi where the front half of the car and the roof are all aluminum. There the replacement of the aluminum components commands a 20% premium over their steel counterparts. The car has a lesser variant with steel components, so it's easy to make such comparisons. For example, the steel front left quarter panel on the base model is $460, while the aluminum version is $560, and the aluminum version has venting cutouts the steel version doesn't making it a slightly more complex part. There's a similar premium on the aluminum substructure components that lie beneath the skin.

    And before we go into arguments of economies of scale, note that the aluminum variant of this vehicle ships fewer than 10k units per year worldwide, making its components rarer than the Model S components.

    So I think aluminum is definitely more expensive, but that we're also in a unique position of having our body parts be particularly expensive, even given their aluminum construction. On top of that we have sky-high labor costs at the authorized repair centers. The combination of the two providing a perfect storm that results in a Model S being totaled if you even sneeze in its general direction.
     
  20. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    The insurance will include sales tax on the $70k, so that is covered for the replacement. Some credit Unions will do 100% loans, or at least 95% (making the down payment $3500.) I would think most people driving a Model S can probably swing a $3500 down payment...
     

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