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Rip vin p01653

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Todd Burch, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    #1 Todd Burch, Jul 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
    Hi All,

    OK, this will be somewhat like group therapy for me. Like many of the folks who have been around this site for awhile, I waited 3 long years from my deposit to delivery of VIN 1653, a beautiful dolphin gray S85 with almost all of the options which arrived Dec. 31, 2012.

    Unfortunately, on July 5 I had an accident which, I found out today, has totalled my car. 20 years of accident-free driving came to an end in a split second. July 4th was indeed not a great weekend for Teslas. I haven't been able to really stomach coming to this site much lately, but here's the story in a nutshell.

    I was driving on an unfamiliar paved rural road with a 45 MPH speed limit. After traveling around an S curve, I came upon a 90 degree turn in the road:

    90degreeTurn.jpg

    There was a single curve sign, but it was BEFORE the S curve (about 1500 feet back) and I unfortunately subconsciously associated the sign with the S curve. As soon as I came around the S curve (which didn't seem all that sharp), I was staring at a 90 degree bend in the road. To make things worse, the terrain is very slightly sloped such that it is difficult to see that the road makes a sharp turn. To make things even worse, there are absolutely ZERO signs at the curve! NONE!! No chevron arrows, no turn arrows, nothing! I consider myself a good, alert driver with my head on a swivel, and this surprised me!

    By the time I saw the turn, it was far too late. I was already on gravel by the time I hit the brakes. (I didn't even lay any rubber on the road). The car went airborne almost at that moment, because there was a 3 foot drop on the side of the road. Suspension was in low. When the car slammed down on an empty dirt trailer lot, my rear suspension snapped. (Right rear tire was 80 degrees out, flapping in the breeze):

    suspensionSnap.jpg

    The snapped suspension AND dirt combined with the mass of the S meant I had virtually zero stopping ability. The car continued across the empty trailer lot, slammed through an abandoned portable basketball hoop, through a large barrel of discarded junk, into a wall of small trees, and stopped about 30-40 feet into the treeline. Fortunately, I missed a few 6-10 foot diameter Oak trees by 5-10 feet on each side.

    jungleCar.jpg

    Pano roof was ripped off, front end was a mess, suspension was snapped. Airbags did not deploy (fortunately), because they weren't necessary and would have done more harm than good in this case.

    Fortunately, there were no injuries. The car immediately indicated a few faults, but primarily an issue with low coolant (my battery pack coolant started leaking out immediately) and low washer fluid. Touchscreen and console were fine--no apparent damage to the inside of the car except the pano roof crossbar plastic cover had come off (I think when the basketball hoop slammed into the roof). The door handles even operated flawlessly.

    Tesla had tried to call me, but I didn't have cell phone coverage and couldn't answer. When a police officer arrived, he said that cars run off the road at the curve "almost every week". Now I'm sure he's exaggerating a little, but the county REALLY needs to add much more signage at that turn. A local told me that almost every car that goes around that turn crosses the yellow line at the center of the road. Very scary.

    Anyway, I didn't receive any ticket. No improper driving, speeding, or anything. I'm not pushing off the blame, after all I was driving, but I made the mistake of associating the curve sign with the wrong curve in the road. Goes to show that a very minor brain fart can turn a regular day into a nightmare.

    Anyway, I couldn't sleep for days, replaying those few seconds in my mind and wishing I could take them back, but also recognizing that I was fortunate that nobody was hurt. I hugged my wife and sons a little harder that day, that's for sure.

    To get to the point of my post, my insurance company has decided to total my car. They found "at least" $45,000 in damage, and that's without even disassembling anything or looking at the electronics in the front end or analyzing the battery pack.

    I received a call today indicating that some external company had valued my car at $62,500. They apparently were having real trouble valuing it because there are so few out there to indicate a value.

    Specs: 2012 (delivered Dec. 31, 2012) S85, Pano roof, leather seats, air suspension, sound upgrade, tinted windows, new 19" tires (only 800 miles on them, grrr!), tech package, fog lights, metallic gray, with 31,500 miles on the odometer. Basically, that configuration costs $98,500ish new from Tesla. So I would have to basically shell out $35,000 to get back to driving what I was driving before! Ugh.

    I couldn't believe my ears. My insurance company was saying that my car, which was in almost mint condition, was worth less than 70% of its original value? I complained to the adjuster, and he agreed the value was low. He said he didn't have the authority to raise the value, but would pass it up the chain where a higher value could be authorized. But he did tell me "this could take awhile". UGH. I've already been driving a crappy ICE for 2 weeks...how much longer?

    I've found several examples showing that this was a lowball value, and one where a similar car with ballpark similar mileage (22,000 miles) sold for around $80k. (There aren't many for sale in the 30k mileage range).

    So anyway, does anyone have advice for someone who looks like he's on the path to fighting a battle with the insurance company on actual cash value?

    I won't mention the company right now. If they end up making me happy, I'll praise them. If they end up screwing me, I'll let you all know and warn you that this company may not be the ideal company to insure your Tesla with. (BTW, yes, they are a well-known insurance company).

    On the bright side, I'm looking to get a P85 vs. an S85 this time. It will probably be a loaner/floor model--not sure I can handle the wait to receive a new one. (Wasn't 3 years of waiting enough? I think the current wait list is several months long).

    Any advice would be appreciated. For now, after going 1.5 years without visiting a gas station, I'm spending $55 a week on gas and a crappy driving experience. :crying: I am bummed!
     
  2. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    my sympathies for you Todd. Thankful the were no injuries.
    Our cars were almost twins...
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Dang, so so sorry man. That really bites.
     
  4. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    So sorry Todd. :( I was right there with you for 3 years just a few reservations behind. Wish you the best with the insurance payout and getting a P85.
     
  5. karmamule

    karmamule Member

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    I wish I had helpful advice to give, but just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear you have to go through this. But, very happy to hear no one was injured in the accident!

    Good luck getting a boost in estimated value from the insurance company, I hope they do improve the situation for you.
     
  6. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    My condolences and hopes that your next S will make this a distant memory.
     
  7. invisik

    invisik Member

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    So sorry to hear this... It is not an easy thing to deal with on many fronts. I hope you can get into another Tesla soon.

    -m
     
  8. Seven7

    Seven7 Member

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    Sorry about the car, glad your okay! You might want to get your own independent appraiser to give you a pre crash value on your car.
     
  9. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    First and foremost, I'm very happy to hear that there were no injuries! Great to hear you are OK, bodily at least!

    Sorry to hear about the car, the insurance lowball, and the pain of ICEing around now. I hope those all get resolved well and it rids you of the mental anguish you've been feeling.
     
  10. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

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    glad you made it out unscathed. wishing you the best for the replacement!
     
  11. phat78boy

    phat78boy Member

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    I'm glad there were no injuries, it looks like it could have easily been worse.

    As for your vehicle, very sorry to hear about it. I would also agree that payout seems low. Hope they are able to get you a fair price and soon. Good luck on shopping for your new love.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Glad everyone was ok and sorry to hear about the car. Hope you get to have the excitement about getting a new one.
     
  13. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    And now you can get one with auto folding mirrors, parking sensors, and ionizer! (I just had a recent build loaner today and was slightly envious of the things I couldn't get last year)
     
  14. evme

    evme Member

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    I am no lawyer, but if what the locals say is true and this happens often, I would see about suing the county. Not even for the money but to have that fixed. Better fixed now before someone eventually gets hurt.
     
  15. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    I second this. Find a way to pay it forward. Save a future life.
     
  16. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    Sorry to hear.

    Hope insurance gets you a little more. Get a valuation from an independent appraiser for sure (pre-crash). You should be able to at least replace it with a new one without paying too much.
     
  17. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    I third this.

    And press on with your insurance company. If they are so certain it was only worth 62K, then ask them to get you a replacement car at 62K, in the same condition, and with the same equipment. Oh they cannot? Well, maybe then the evaluation is too low?

    For that drop and all that happened, could you tell us a bit more of your experience physically, as in - with that fierce flight, landing and stopping you went through, did you just get up and out of the car? Insurance companies should really appreciate they don't have to pay any medical cost for "normal crashes". Of course, the car thief that rammed cars and a building at 100+ mph is not a "normal crash"
     
  18. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Fight it. Don't cash any check until you're satisfied. Make them make several offers. Ask to talk to someone higher-up. Push the issue. Complain. Bitch. Moan. Scream.

    Years ago, I had a similar incident. I went around to 3-4 dealers and had them write me a brief letter (on their stationery) that my car in that used condition would sell for $XXXXX.
     
  19. flashflood

    flashflood Member

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    All excellent points. I hadn't even thought about the lack of medical cost. Insurance companies should be grateful to cover cars this safe.
     
  20. Nichen

    Nichen Member

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    So sorry about this. But hey, you weren't injured that's what counts in the long run. And about the county's responsibility...I think you should sue them. Investigate and look at the number of accidents that has occured at that curve. If that doesn't work...push the Insurance company a little harder. Don't give up the fight.
     

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