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Rip rap kills my Model 3 battery and tire/wheel assembly

planemechanic

Member
Oct 26, 2013
43
41
Bay Area
Well my wife drove over a cantaloupe sized rock (called rip rap in the construction trade) that had rolled down off a nearby embankment a few weeks ago. The left rear wheel and tire were severely damaged and immediately deflated. A quick call to Tesla service and they were out with a spare to use while they got a new tire and wheel ready to install. At first we just thought it was the tire and wheel damaged but luckily my wife had them throw it up on the rack for a full inspection. The Tesla service center in Sunnyvale called out an engineer from the factory who said the battery needed to be replaced.

We have AAA insurance with the OEM parts rider, which covers us for NEW OEM parts, and that is important in this story. The AAA adjuster was terrific. He wanted us to leave the car with Tesla and to get a rental immediately, which we did. When this first started the Tesla service center said they didn't sell new batteries, only re-manufactured ones, but our car is only 3 months old, and we had the new OEM parts rider. The AAA adjuster went to bat for us with Tesla and the Tesla service manager and we now have a new battery on order.

The total cost to AAA is close to $19,000. This covers:

New OEM extended range battery
Coolant air purge
New 19" wheel and new tire
4 wheel alignment
Front bumper and grill
New TPMS sensor
Tire mount and balance

Total ~$19,000 all in, parts, labor, taxes

Apparently according to AAA insurance Tesla does not like payment from the insurance company, so they are sending me a check and I will use a credit card (which I will pay off immediately) to get a cash back bonus out of the deal, which will help make up part of my $500 deductible.

Now I need to look into a diminished value claim, which is supposedly possible in California but it looks like every insurance company wants to say is impossible. Any tips on this part?

In the end I am just happy no one was hurt and the car will be restored to like new condition, as far as I am concerned, but anyone wanting to purchase it would consider it to be of lesser value due to the "accident".
 
  • Informative
Reactions: KenC

LuPapa

Member
Oct 20, 2016
77
27
Houston
Diminished value is claimed against the at fault person in an accident. If someone had hit your car and caused damage then you can fight for diminished value. Their negligence caused your car to be worth less than before.

In this case I don’t see that being possible to receive.
 

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