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Service Cost Estimate

I recently started hearing a flapping noise under the car. When I looked underneath the front aero shield was hanging down on one corner and looks like it was cracked towards the back. Looking at it closer, I noticed a bolt was missing that should of been holding it up. I ducted taped it up and scheduled a service center appt. There has also been a rattle in the hatch and passenger door that needed to be fixed. They sent me a cost estimate of 387.38 to fix. Shouldn't this be covered under warranty? The bolt was either loose or not put on at the plant or maybe they had to take that off when the SC did an alignment. Either way, bolts shouldn't just come loose like that. They want me to approve the estimate which I feel that I shouldn't need to pay anything. Is this normal for Tesla?
 

DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
2,003
1,603
Dayton NJ
You don't mention the mileage or how long you've had the car, but it's kind of tough for them to know how it happened. There's no way to know if the missing bolt was there, if it was loose and just worked free, or if you hit something in the road that loosened it or damaged the cover.... So they (and most dealerships, frankly) are going to default to 'your fault/no warranty coverage'. It's not a Tesla issue in this case.
 
This seems like one of those times when dealing with a smaller dealer business would be better. In most cases you'd talk to the Service advisor or to your salesman. Like really you're going to charge me $400 to replace a bolt that fell of my 6mo old car. They would eat the cost or charge it back to the manufacturer as a warranty issue. I'd be pissed if I were you. Last time I had almost the same issue in a car but I stopped by a random place and they screwed it up for me and didn't charge me anything. Just said hey next time you need an insurance repair think of us.
 
With 7 months and 12k miles on the car this is a tough one. It's very possible that a big enough piece of road debris could knock that panel out of place and pop the bolt out (depending on what it is normally screwed into). Due to the nature of the issue, it would be very difficult to prove that it's not wear and tear.

It would be like trying to do a warranty claim on a paint chip on the front bumper that you know for a fact was there from the beginning. After 7 months on the road it would be impossible to prove to someone else that a rock didn't just hit it at some point.

I think your only option in this case is to be nice and maybe focus on the question of how that bolt would have gone missing. It may be possible to get them to do it as goodwill, but given where the issue is and that there are many ways for it to have happened that would not involve Tesla (debris impact, 3rd party shop, etc). I don't think you have a whole lot of leverage here other than trying to get it done as goodwill.
 
Unfortunately this is rather common on many vehicles however usually due to incompetent mechanics after an oil change who do not put back all the screws/fasteners or do so improperly. That being said, nobody has played with the underside panels on your Tesla and being only 7 months old it sounds unreasonable that it came loose on its own.

Here in the dead of winter with icy snowbanks, this can become an issue rather quickly on many cars. One of my daughters lives downtown and she must drive in and out of snowbanks daily during the winter months to park, her underside protection is all screwed up. My other daughter lives in the burbs and I replaced the entire front protector just last year on a 2 year old car. Both of these were not Teslas and I have done all the oil changes, no panels had to be removed at any time. Point is, panels and their fasteners are fragile which are easily damaged. Not sure how the Y is set up but many times it is just plastic push pins. Sometimes bolts are used but tend to seize in place with salted roads and will snap off when one tries to remove them.

Would be a good idea to verify connections when doing winter/summer wheel swaps and at the same time the brake sliders in the rear need to be serviced/lubricated. Front brakes are 4 piston design and no sliders so they are good to go.
 

Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Supporting Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,976
1,574
Fort Worth
Y'all are aware that the SC ALWAYS posts an estimated $$$ charge for any expected service? That's just built into the software they use. If it's a warranty repair, the charge will be $0.
W/o inspecting the underside of the car, it's impossible for anyone here to know exactly what has caused the panel to drop down. The tech will know, and hopefully won't try to charge you $387 for a bolt if it simply fell out. If the panel shows signs of an impact, you'll need to gently navigate the discussion.
Good luck!
 
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Y'all are aware that the SC ALWAYS posts an estimated $$$ charge for any expected service? That's just built into the software they use. If it's a warranty repair, the charge will be $0.
Agreed with @Pianewman . I've had several services performed over the past 9 months, all covered under warranty with zero cost to me, and all containing an initial larger-than-zero cost estimate. If the warranty covers the repair, you won't have to pay a thing.

You can even ask them to contact you first, if something isn't going to be covered, so that you can make an informed decision at that point.
 
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