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Road hazard Utility cover VS Tesla = Small Disaster

AMPUP

Member
Mar 27, 2014
638
227
Dunn Loring, VA
So Im on my way to Tysons Corner mall, Virginia (DC area) to take the family to have the Annual Santa photos, all is good until I hit something in the road (felt like a pothole), I immediately look down at the dash and within a second TPMS warning come up telling me to safely pull over. I pull over and up the hill of 8000 Towers Crescent Drive, Vienna and look at the front tire. Its down, damn it, look at the rear and its down with a hole in the side, double damn it.

My wife is able to walk across to the Mall so I bid her goodbye and I call Tesla for a tow. Firstly I couldn't get through on the number, the roadside assistance number i have on my towing sheet has (877) 998-3752 which doesn't work, I look up on the center console and its now (877) 798-3752, I assume it changed or its a print error. I get through on the new number and a nice lady takes my details and hands me to a nice gentleman that arranges for the flat bed, I asked to have them take me home as I have my 21" wheels and tires that I just removed to put on my 19" winter wheels/tires, so it would be easy to change them back and then deal with the bad wheels/tires. They say it will be arriving within the hour.

The family continue to send me photos of their santa escapades whilst I wait around for the tow, the hour passes and no tow, 90 mins pass and I tell my wife to Uber home with the kids, which she does. I call Tesla RA back and they check on the tow, well apparently the tow truck broke down and they will have to get another tow. I tell them I'm locking up and going home as I have a 5am flight out to Mexico for business and they offered to arrange an uber, my wife was already on the way so I declined and left my S parked up.

One the way out I decide to find my pothole and cause of my evenings joy..... Here it is:

Oh look, its a hole Missing a cover

IMG_1640_zpsy3p7qqjn.jpg


Laying about 2 feet away on the side of the road I was driving on

IMG_1639_zpsbymxjt5j.jpg

In all its glory at home in my kitchen

IMG_1642_zpscq6ckrjo.jpg


This is the side I ran over

IMG_1641_zpsgd4zgevh.jpg

location of hazard is right on the 'i' of Kidwell road heading towards towers crescent

IMG_1644_zpsgmte3ljp.jpg

The 20Lb cast iron cover which was turned over with jagged edges which explains the state of my wheels and tires.

IMG_1643_zpsg2sadfln.jpg


Rear tire with hole/slice in side wall. I think one of the jagged edges caught this

IMG_1646_zpsvgvrok3b.jpg


Dent/bent front rim

IMG_1655_zpsd6igudef.jpg

So what should I do once I remove the wheels..

Couple of options

1) I have roadside hazard on the tires from Tirerack and i can go to them for those, Ill have to repair the rims (if they can be) and replace the no doubt destroyed TPMS - $300-$600

2) Pursue damages with Fairfax water... Painful, time consuming, but why the hell not!! this is their responsibility..

Let me know what you guys would do... It sucks.
 

bwa

Member
Dec 8, 2014
316
4
Aptos, Ca
On a different but similar car, the rims don't repair well (since they're not steel), and it's very expensive to repair them. You might be fooled by the initial lower price to repair the rims compared to getting new ones, but the repairs are (1) almost never balanced which means you'll develop a bad back, bruised brain, lower IQ, many expensive parts on the car will wear out quickly (like air bags, etc., which are over a thousand dollars each), very uncomfortable ride, and (2) the wheels are less safe, weaker, more prone to failure again, and (3) the tires will wear out quicker. The best advise I can give, from experience, is not to repair the rim but to replace it. Since it's only one, I suppose you'd want to match the other 3 and get an equal replacement. On my car, I have 3rd party rims so I would just go get another 3rd party rim, either the same model, or a pair of a new model (new to me). California roads chew through aluminum rims so I'm used to it now. In your case, I don't know Tesla's policy on temporary rims: if they don't have the correct one in stock, will they loan you one while you order the correct one?

The car I bought had rims that were $1,300 each. I recycled them for $15 each, but taking the tire off cost $25 each. Now I have rims that are only $150 each, and match the factory rim size much more closely. Be prepared for a heavy price tag to repair your car the cheapest way you really can. Hopefully your rims aren't $1,300 each. That was insane.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,351
6,011
Snohomish, WA
Ouch. that bites.

But, why didn't you put the cover back over the hole?

When I'm on my electric longboard I have to be on the look out for utility holes missing their covers.
 

AMPUP

Member
Mar 27, 2014
638
227
Dunn Loring, VA
Ouch. that bites.

But, why didn't you put the cover back over the hole?

When I'm on my electric longboard I have to be on the look out for utility holes missing their covers.

It didn't fit and I wasn't going to spend another 10 mins trying to get it to in the middle of the road, thought it better to bring it home than leave it on the side of the road.
 

AMPUP

Member
Mar 27, 2014
638
227
Dunn Loring, VA
Contact VDOT: Potholes
Please do so quickly to help prevent others from suffering damage to their tires.

VDOT will get a call to report the utility and also ask them rights and responsibilities.

To be clear the current hole (and it's not a pothole they can fill, it's access to a water line) you can roll over just fine, it's the 6 inch high cast iron cover that was the problem
 

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
8,239
13,170
NoVA
From one fellow NoVA Model S'er to another, my sincerest condolences.

That upside-down cover looks like running over a bear trap.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
Ouch, I'm not sure that a VDOT issue, I'd try to talk to Fairfax Water.

VDOT states "Investigators review the circumstances, the type and location of the pothole, if VDOT had been previously notified of the issue, and if crews had been given a reasonable amount of time to repair the pothole." which implies that if it's something new, you're SOL (also that's not a pothole).

I ran into some other issues with VDOT (they were using a welder on a bridge, and as I was driving on the underpass the sparks flew onto my windshield and hood and slightly etched both, I contacted them, complained, asked to be compensated, but it never went anywhere, and I didn't really care enough to pursue it beyond that).
 
Last edited:

blanche

Member
Jun 30, 2015
100
8
Leesburg, Virginia
That totally sucks! I drive by that road all the time. Hard to believe this happened on your 19" winters (and imagine the damage if you were riding the 21"). I recently swapped out my 21 summers for 19" winter package (Rials + X-ice). Anyway, another reason to avoid Tyson's Corner and go straight to Amazon.
 

artsci

Sponsor
May 10, 2012
6,256
3,229
Timonium, Maryland
On a different but similar car, the rims don't repair well (since they're not steel), and it's very expensive to repair them. You might be fooled by the initial lower price to repair the rims compared to getting new ones, but the repairs are (1) almost never balanced which means you'll develop a bad back, bruised brain, lower IQ, many expensive parts on the car will wear out quickly (like air bags, etc., which are over a thousand dollars each), very uncomfortable ride, and (2) the wheels are less safe, weaker, more prone to failure again, and (3) the tires will wear out quicker. The best advise I can give, from experience, is not to repair the rim but to replace it. Since it's only one, I suppose you'd want to match the other 3 and get an equal replacement. On my car, I have 3rd party rims so I would just go get another 3rd party rim, either the same model, or a pair of a new model (new to me). California roads chew through aluminum rims so I'm used to it now. In your case, I don't know Tesla's policy on temporary rims: if they don't have the correct one in stock, will they loan you one while you order the correct one?

The car I bought had rims that were $1,300 each. I recycled them for $15 each, but taking the tire off cost $25 each. Now I have rims that are only $150 each, and match the factory rim size much more closely. Be prepared for a heavy price tag to repair your car the cheapest way you really can. Hopefully your rims aren't $1,300 each. That was insane.

Depending on the extent of the damage to the rim this post may vastly overstate the problem and costs of repair. A good rim repair shop won't even attempt a repair if they have any doubts about safety and road worthiness. I've had both my Tesla 21s and after market 20s repaired for dents and they are true, in balance, and have presented no problems. The cost? About $150 for each wheel. But the shop that did the work told me that a second 20" that was dented could not be safely repaired and had to be replaced.
 

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