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Real Time Chronicle of my Body Shop Experience

How many of you actually own cats?


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Jett Black

Member
Jun 14, 2016
12
51
Charleston, SC
There has been brooding buzz on the web of late regarding Tesla and what seems to be their biggest weakness: body repair.

Here are is some of what I've seen:
And action from Tesla:
What a coincidence that my Model S should get damaged only a week ago.

Given the current situation, I think it will be very valuable for everyone to see a repair happen in real time.
The first post is me playing catch-up with the last few days. After that, you will see updates as they happen.

This will be an unbiased, factual, lightly comical account of my experience getting my Tesla Model S repaired.

Here we go!

Friday, March 10, 2017 - Day 1:

Having spent the afternoon around town and my car being parked for several hours, I came back to find the rear liftgate and bumper damaged on my Model S 70 D. I immediately called and reported a claim to my insurance company - GEICO.

Michele the Claims Adjuster was more upset than I was. She was one of those sexy-over-the-phone people that you hope to never meet in real life and have to face the disappoinment. After only 15 minutes of me divulging everything I've ever known or felt to her, I was told to be expecting a call from their local appraiser within the next 24 business hours. Hmm... 24 business hours. It's Friday early afternoon. So, I'll hear from the appraiser on Monday.

I get in contact with 3 Tesla Certified Body Shops:
  1. Dorn's Body and Paint - Mechanicsville, VA
    • Rob tells me to send pictures and he'll put a quote together for me
  2. Caldwell Collision - Charlotte, NC
    • Josh Caldwell warns me of wait times for parts.
    • I send over pictures.
  3. Caliber Collision - Charlotte, NC
    • Caliber has to see the car in person to give an estimate.
An hour later I have a quote from Caldwell Collision - $7855.70! They want to replace everything. I'm not the one who will a problem with it. GEICO on the other hand might. Let's see what the other shops have to say.

At 3:30pm on the same day I receive a call from a local number I didn't know. Seeing as how I was in a super-important top-secret meeting about the number of plies on our office t.p. and it couldn't possibly be my insurance company, I declined the call.

When I checked my messages at 4:32pm, I discovered that the mystery caller was Brian the insurance appraiser from GEICO.

Great! I call him back to find out his working hours are from 8am to 4:30pm - just missed him. No problem, we'll talk on Monday.

Monday March 13th, 2017 - Day 4:

Brian calls me at 9:12am. We schedule a time for him to stop by my office at 1pm on Tuesday the 14th.
Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you tomorrow! You're only a day away! - Yeah, I'm old. Shut up.

Tuesday March 14th, 2017 - Day 5:

When I get to the office I have a quote in my inbox from Dorn's Body and Paint - $6215.84!
It's like that time your buddy Steve from college got drunk and banged a hooker. Did Steve get dumped? No way.
Why would Sarah break up with Steve? He was drunk. He didn't know what he was doing. But you... you sober piece of [email protected]%&. Why would you let Steve do that? I just can't trust you any more.

In other words, my insurance company is definitely dropping me after this one.

Brian arrives at 12:56pm. After a brief inspection I give him the quotes and he is off doing his thing.
15 minutes later he is done with the appraisal - $1547.26. High hopes Brian, high hopes.

Brian informs me that he recently had another claim on a Tesla in town. It was sent to Caliber Collision in Charlotte, NC. The owner and the insurance company were very happy with the process and results. We'll see about that.

Wednesday March 15th, 2017 - Day 6:

I submit the estimate to Dorn's Paint and Body and immediately get a response from them that essentially says, "We don't like dealing with GEICO. They suck." Well, seeing as how I've only dealt with Sexy-Over-The-Phone Michele and Brian the Prompt, I disagree.

I get in touch with Brian and inform him that he has haters in Virginia. Non-Nonplussed, he tells me that I should at least give Caliber a shot. GEICO will pay for the towing there and back (on a flatbed, of course).

Fine, Brian. I'll do it just for you.

After a quick call to Caliber Collision, they ask for a copy of the GEICO estimate. I send that over and here we are.

NOW YOU'RE ALL CAUGHT UP.

Like I said, I'll post updates as they happen - all the way to the bitter end.

Now go feed your cats, weirdos.
 

LoL Rick

Like Buttah
Supporting Member
Apr 21, 2014
945
1,232
Land O Lakes, FL
2 hours 43 minutes and 71 views since your post, and no replies. I don't really have much to offer except sorry for your misfortune in having to deal with this. But your sense of humor is fantastic. I had no choice but to rate the post as funny.

Cats are strange creatures that, for some reason, will not leave me alone. Probably because I'm allergic to them and they like to see me suffer.
 
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mbhforum

Active Member
Apr 4, 2016
1,223
635
Long Island, NY
This is a great idea. The only way I can see this not being a good idea is if it gains attention from Tesla and they use this as an example of "See, we don't have a problem here" by getting parts to your body shop pronto and your car fixed ASAP. The OP will benefit, but the greater good of the community won't if there is indeed an actual problem here, which most of us believe there is with Tesla.
 
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McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
6,077
LA
There is no "Cats are actually large long-haired rats with claws, a genetic experiment that went horribly wrong. The goal was to make a species of cactus that could move" so I didn't vote.
 

Chopr147

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,940
1,470
Wantagh, NY
Something bothers me about Geico pushing Caliber. Maybe that's just me but I am leery of a cozy relationship and cheap parts to repair the Tesla. Or i'm just paranoid. :rolleyes:
Great first post! Keep us updated.
An accident should not be such a great fear with a car but with Tesla it gives me the chills. I envision months waiting and cash poring out
 

zambono

Active Member
Mar 1, 2016
1,163
749
DC
I have used Dorn's they did a decent job. Over a month ago I was T-boned I have it at Euro Pros this time, much more extensive damage than when the car went to Dorn's. As you can see I am the lucky one one who receives damage every 3k miles of ownership.
 
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iwannam3

Member
Aug 8, 2016
961
1,360
Washington
Something bothers me about Geico pushing Caliber. Maybe that's just me but I am leery of a cozy relationship and cheap parts to repair the Tesla. Or i'm just paranoid. :rolleyes:

Where can they get "cheap" parts? Don't think they are banging out cheap parts in Mexico or China yet. Tesla is your only source unless they are buying salvage.
 
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Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
I've used Dorns, they were pretty good.

Am also interested in what Geico does. If they give you hell, I might consider switching... (lots of people here complain about Geico and Tesla)
 

Chopr147

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,940
1,470
Wantagh, NY
Where can they get "cheap" parts? Don't think they are banging out cheap parts in Mexico or China yet. Tesla is your only source unless they are buying salvage.

Maybe not "cheap" parts but used parts are available from wrecks. I'm sure there are rear bumpers available from front end damaged Tesla's. I have a lease so I would be OK with it. If I owned the car, maybe not.
Hey, we are all learning right along with Tesla on many fronts about these cars. Parts will have to become available once half a million model 3's are out on the road. Tesla needs to do something about this. Tesla has admitted as much
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
Maybe not "cheap" parts but used parts are available from wrecks. I'm sure there are rear bumpers available from front end damaged Tesla's. I have a lease so I would be OK with it. If I owned the car, maybe not.
Hey, we are all learning right along with Tesla on many fronts about these cars. Parts will have to become available once half a million model 3's are out on the road. Tesla needs to do something about this. Tesla has admitted as much
I have never heard of an insurance company requiring that you use wrecked body parts to fit the bill.

Insurance companies mostly quote aftermarket parts, when available. The Tesla has no real aftermarket parts, so they replace them with genuine.
 
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jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,405
Greenville, SC
Maybe not "cheap" parts but used parts are available from wrecks. I'm sure there are rear bumpers available from front end damaged Tesla's. I have a lease so I would be OK with it. If I owned the car, maybe not.
Hey, we are all learning right along with Tesla on many fronts about these cars. Parts will have to become available once half a million model 3's are out on the road. Tesla needs to do something about this. Tesla has admitted as much
I would much rather have a resprayed factory painted bumper that an unpainted new bumper that a body shop painted from scratch. Getting paint to stick to a unpainted plastic bumper and then stay stuck for years is very hard to do.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,405
Greenville, SC
I have never heard of an insurance company requiring that you use wrecked body parts to fit the bill.

Insurance companies mostly quote aftermarket parts, when available. The Tesla has no real aftermarket parts, so they replace them with genuine.
I have but only in instances where new parts are not readily available.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
I have but only in instances where new parts are not readily available.
They required it, or they suggested it?

If it's the former, I don't think that's legal, but IANAL. They need to make you whole, and using parts from a wreck does not make you whole.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,405
Greenville, SC
They required it, or they suggested it?

If it's the former, I don't think that's legal, but IANAL. They need to make you whole, and using parts from a wreck does not make you whole.
For me personally, I would prefer that recycled painted parts be used. The factory coatings, sealing, and methods cannot or are not usually reproduced by bodyshops. For a long lasting repair I would pick a recycled part every time over a new part.
 

Motomania

Member
Feb 12, 2017
25
11
St.Louis, MO
I have never heard of an insurance company requiring that you use wrecked body parts to fit the bill.

Insurance companies mostly quote aftermarket parts, when available. The Tesla has no real aftermarket parts, so they replace them with genuine.
-
Actually, virtually every insurance company policy allows for the use of used/recycled/Like Kind Quality parts. It's extremely common as most indicate they have to come off a same model year or newer vehicle, have less miles then the vehicle they are going on and be in excellent condition. (Little to nothing needs to be done to the part besides prep/paint)
 

Motomania

Member
Feb 12, 2017
25
11
St.Louis, MO
........Getting paint to stick to a unpainted plastic bumper and then stay stuck for years is very hard to do.
-
I'll have to disagree with this statement. Any reputable bodyshop will offer a lifetime guarantee in writing on all work. And getting paint to stick to a bumper cover requires proper prep work. And with adhesion promoters (prep work) and flex additives in paint for flexible plastic bumper covers; there's no reason for adhesion issues. Most cars you see with crap bodywork or peeling paint were from shops where they 'work with your deductible'. Which means corners were cut and there's no warranty on the work. So when it starts looking like crap.........the customer has nowhere to go back too; because they got what they paid for.
 

jelloslug

Active Member
Jul 21, 2015
4,728
6,405
Greenville, SC
-
I'll have to disagree with this statement. Any reputable bodyshop will offer a lifetime guarantee in writing on all work. And getting paint to stick to a bumper cover requires proper prep work. And with adhesion promoters (prep work) and flex additives in paint for flexible plastic bumper covers; there's no reason for adhesion issues. Most cars you see with crap bodywork or peeling paint were from shops where they 'work with your deductible'. Which means corners were cut and there's no warranty on the work. So when it starts looking like crap.........the customer has nowhere to go back too; because they got what they paid for.
If you have ever been in an automotive plant paint line you would understand what I'm talking about. You simply are never going to get the level of adheasion that the factory does in an aftermarket environment.
 

seclinton

Member
May 25, 2015
393
278
Newark, CA
Any good shop would write a prelim estimate and anyone that's worked on a tesla recommends confirming and walking the car with insurance adjuster. That's what my shop here in CA did with State Farm.

Depending on the damage under the bumper, if god forbid the body panel or one of the rear rails need replacing, hello big bucks and big wait for parts.

See my experience with "Black Beauty" as an example.

I'm the one who called out JonMc and provided him my VIN upon request in the thread. Not a peep since. I'm hoping to meet them Monday at my service appointment in Fremont.
 

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