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Rear quarter/bumper damage - 2015 - how to proceed?


Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
Cary, NC
My car is a 2015 70D that has 110k miles. It has been pretty good to me and I am original owner.

It has been an unlucky car. I live in a low accident area but the following has happened over the years.

2017 - Small hail damage - mostly hood/hatch. Wasn't worth fixing but sometimes noticeable. Hood replaced by next issue which fixed 70% of it.
2018 - I hit a deer - $17k - new hood/front bumper/driver's fender. Fixed at Tesla approved shop who sucked and I refused it twice. The paint on the hood is definitely more fragile than new which isn't surprising even if Tesla paint isn't that great.
2019 - Rear ended while stopped at a red light and 3 weeks later car was hit while parked - rear side. Neither was terrible and they both damaged the same place so each insurance company got some savings. I don't remember which side but either way, I don't think a quarter panel got replaced. I feel like $6k was total.
2020 - I backed into a garage door that got stuck - slight ding on the hatch at the "T". Never fixed - not worth it to me but definitely noticeable close up.
2023 is what is pictured below. Amazon driver in a Corolla who ran a stop sign. His car was undriveable. My car even passed state inspection that I did last week.

I went to both insurance companies to see what each estimate would be. Without approving both sent me a check which is interesting and a separate issue that I need to deal with. The higher is about $8,300 factoring in a $1000 deductible (ie estimate is $9.3k)

I have not checked my own Carfax but I assume that the first 2 accidents are there and this will be too. My resale is probably a bit cratered already. I also have a windshield ding and some interior wear including 2 good scratches on the driver's seat and some glue failure on the B pillar. I do have premium pack at the time and gen 1 AP, next gen seats.

My battery warranty passed this week. I don't really supercharge but test it at times. It has fluctuated over the years but I think I can peak at 90kw for a few min when I last tried. I have MCU2 upgrade. I really stupidly haven't had a software update in a few months just because I have wi-fi shut off. Definitely should have done one a few weeks ago.

I am motivated by a few things that not everyone would be. I hate the idea of giving Tesla a dime. I found a used bumper in an area I am already driving close to in 3 weeks (not purchased yet). Just for kicks, I called Tesla and got a "parts voicemail" - that was new. It has been a week and they haven't returned the call. I also would want to be as minimalist as possible - environmentally that is.

I have done bodywork on steel cars. I have access to a spray gun with a friend who restores old cars (as a hobby). I tried to research aluminum repair but you don't get much in the way of reliable info other than - poor memory, needs to be heated and generally harder to work with. My decision with steel would definitely be DIY. In college I had similar damage that I repaired and my car became free and I drove it for 4 more years.

Looking for gen advice on difficulty of repair. In my mind the car is close to being totaled when you factor in a possible/probable near term battery replacement so I don't like the idea of plopping $9k which might increase {not on my dime} for basically cosmetic damage. That being said, I am not going to drive a two tone car around or unpainted bondo - if nothing else my wife would not allow it...

Other factors - I live 2 hours from WK057. Would definitely go that route when time comes. Advice appreciated.

Selling is an option too. We have a 3 that does the road trips - 300+ range and up to 1000 mph supercharging. Would probably get a lower range EV - non-Tesla obviously.


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I am not a do it yourselfer, but I had self-inflicted right rear quarter panel damage on my first MS, and was able to get a body shop to repair it for $3800. At the time I had no perspective/knowledge about such a repair, and thought that was expensive. Subsequently I learned that a new quarter panel would be ~$10k if I remember correctly, because it runs the full roof length of the car above the windows. The shop repaired it such that I could not tell the difference. IIRC, they quoted 50 hours of labor. This was a
S 85D and it was in 2015. My damage was only to the quarter panel.

Wishing you the best.