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Sideswiped - need advice

Discussion in 'Model S' started by tls, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. tls

    tls Member

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    On my way to work today I was sideswiped by a concrete truck who changed lanes to avoid another construction vehicle. Thank goodness nobody was injured and only the truck's tires and mud flap hit my car, so damage was minimal -- it could have been so much worse!

    In fact, damage was so minimal I'm unsure what it's going to look like trying to get it fixed. The only damage I can find is:
    • Scratch on passenger side fender, directly across one ultrasonic parking sensor
    • Paint-only damage to all passenger-side body panels except rear door
    • Mirror possibly slightly out of whack due to being very forcibly bent back. Had to adjust my driver profile, so it's definitely not quite how it was, but it seems to have the full range of motion and looks fine.
    GEICO claim they can fix all this at one of their affiliated shops and that I should take their "GEICO Express" offer to just drop the car off and have it dealt with. Or I can go to the same shop, have an GEICO adjuster look at the car, write me a check, and get it fixed wherever I want. If I have other options under the policy they're not saying so.

    However, I am not sure the first option is even real -- will Tesla actually sell the body shop a new ultrasonic sensor and/or mirror, if a mirror is required? I assume matching the (dark grey) paint is well within the abilities of any competent shop.

    What do you all think? Again, there is as far as I can tell no actual body damage to the car.
     
  2. Toasty

    Toasty Member

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    no pics?
     
  3. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Do not go to a Geico affiliated shop. They answer first to Geico, not you. Insist on a Tesla shop.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Repainting one side of your car is not minor work!!

    I don't know New York law, but in California you have the legal right to take your car to any shop you like and the insurance company must go along with that. Insurance companies WILL attempt to get you to go to their "preapproved" shops - and will tell you this is for your benefit. They'll say the shops meet quality standards, are more convenient yada yada. What they are not telling you is these shops get a huge amount of business from them, and are incentivized to work as cheaply as possible to retain the insurance company's business. I've been with Farmers a long time and they know me well enough to no longer try to suggest I go to their factory farm preapproved body shops.

    FWIW OP I have owned a string of 6 figure cars over the years and have had the dubious "good fortune" of dealing with many body shops over 15+ years for everything from minor dent removal to big collision work. In all my years I have never, not once, seen absolutely perfect body work on the "first round" of dealing with a shop except for Dave Freed in Santa Monica - and he works exclusively on Ferraris, Lamborghini and other exotic cars, charging over $100 per hour for body work.

    The routine with every other production shop - even high end ones - working on Benzes, Audis, etc. - has been a variation on the following:

    Shop: "Hey your car is ready come on down." I come on down.
    Me: "Um, I'm sorry but this silver on my Audi A8 does not quite match the other panels - come stand here and look at it in the light from this angle. Why didn't you blend? I told you to blend and you said you didn't need to. I told you this on day one. Please do it over again."
    Shop: "Okay fine."

    And since I refused to sign off on the work, they would not get paid by insurance until it was done properly.

    Other miscellaneous problems - orange peel not matching, slight overspray, emblems not put on properly, body panels not quite aligning etc. And these are high end shops. The body shop industry is what it is.

    Almost always, even with shops I have a relationship with, it takes a second round of quality control to get things done right.

    I'm sure I am an annoying perfectionist but the point is body shops are capable of doing excellent work if you force them to do it and make it clear you accept nothing less. If you return to find anything less than perfection refuse the car, show the manager the problem and let the shop make it right.

    What I have learned is that paint is an art form and matching is not as easy as you would think.

    If I were in your shoes I would research the best body shops in my area and take your car to one of them.

    I would also get it in writing that the shop will not share your information with Carfax. Although I hear that is now done by insurance companies not body shops.
     
    • Informative x 3
  5. mamunoz

    mamunoz Member

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    Just to echo DO NOT use their pre-approved shops. Do your research of good shops and make their adjuster go to them. You have that right use it!
     
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  6. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    As we used to say in CT: "damn NY drivers!"

    Glas you're OK.
     
  7. tls

    tls Member

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    Tough to even get any - these are scrapes through the clearcoat layer only, for the most part. They're small, but they are definitely there. Imagine a mudflap or tire with a few chunks of wet concrete being dragged down your car's body -- because that's exactly what happened. Where a chunk of aggregate appened to be pressed particularly hard against the paint, it scratched, everywhere else the car just got dirty.

    The scrape on/over the sensor is worse, and given how the sensor works I suspect this would impair its performance. So I'll insist that be replaced no matter what.

    My take on body shops is a little different. I know a decent number of guys who paint cars (or bikes) and I know there are some colors and finishes that are really tough to match. If I had one of those gorgeous super deluxe Tesla colors I'd insist on a Tesla certified shop and I'd expect they might be doing the work over or even spraying the whole car. But I don't. I have the dark grey, and while I wish the paint itself were a little harder (a common complaint about the Tesla paint, I understand) it really does not look hard to match, to me. Would I accept spraying just a single panel and trying to blend it in? No. But a whole side of the car? That's pretty basic; I would not expect any competent shop to F it up (and won't accept the results if they do).

    My concern has more to do with that sensor and the passenger-side mirror (I want it disassembled to see that it was not damaged internally, and I want pictures to prove that was done -- whoever does it). My concern about the sensor specifically is about delays or unavailability if a non-Tesla-certified shop tries to order it. Am I going to run into trouble there?

    I'm taking the car to a local shop that is Tesla certified, has done minor work for me before (hitch install) and where I like the people. I'll get an estimate from them. But I'm already scheduled to have the adjuster look at the car at one of GEICO's assembly-line shops, which I've also used in the past, and when I have the numbers to look at, I want to make an informed decision. I think I can make an informed decision about paint job quality already -- unless there is something special about even the dark grey Tesla color of which I'm ignorant? -- but whether my car's going to mope around for a month waiting for a quarter-sized sensor -- I know nothing about this. Help me out?
     
  8. sdorn

    sdorn Director of Awesome

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    When I was rear-ended in my old BMW 550i I asked around and got recommendations for the best body shop in my area, and it turned out they were on State Farm's list of approved providers. Their shop was full of Lambo's, Bentleys, Ferraris, etc. and they did a great job on the car.
     
  9. RWcarbon

    RWcarbon Vendor

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    Sorry to hear about your accident. Whether a shop is pre-approved or not, I would do some research and find a place that is accustomed to working on Teslas. Nothing is worse than taking your car to a shop to be fixed and being handed more problems. Good luck!!
     
  10. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    No no no no no no no no. NOOO. Nope. Never. No no no no no. Nu-uh. No.

    Sorry, if I wasn't clear, DO NOT go to the Geico shop with ANY car. They will do the bare minimum trying to save Geico a buck. I was in an accident years ago, in a non-Tesla. The guy rear-ended me, and he had Geico. I came to a local body shop first, they gave me a written quote and said that while they CAN repair the bumper, it'll never look as good and they'll fight with the insurance company to get it replaced. I then went to Geico to have them cut me a check, they suggested I go to their Gieco express nonesense shop. I asked how they're going to fix my bumper "we'll repair it of course, there's minimal damage, we'll have it looking like new". When I confronted them and told them what the body shop told me "well, it'll look almost like new" was their response. Nope, not good enough. The body shop replaced it, they had Geico cut them a 2nd check for the additional work, and everything was fine.

    I'm not as big of a perfectionist as calisnow, the shop did a great job from the first go-around. Paint matched very well, I couldn't tell the bumper was replaced. And if I couldn't tell, it was good enough for me.
     
    • Like x 2
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  11. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Hmm, maybe I just have some bad karma from being a jerk in a previous life. . .
     
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  12. Galve2000

    Galve2000 Member

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    OP:

    Take your car to Precision Auto Works in LIC

    3746 9th St, Long Island City, NY 11101

    (718) 786-2923

    They do excellent work. the only negative is that they are super busy Tesla's from the Redhook Tesla store so it could take a while.

    Edit: they work pretty well with Geico...
     
  13. Gig103

    Gig103 Member

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    There was a thread on here about how a rear quarter panel was $10,000 in repairs at a Tesla approved shop. I would not be interested in trying to get that amount of work done at the bargain-for-the-insurance-company shop.
     
  14. tls

    tls Member

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    Took the car by the other NYC-area certified shop (J&B, not Precision). Mount Vernon is more convenient for me than LIC and J&B could fit me in same-day for an initial look. They're also the shop that mounted my hitch last year and they did a nice clean job of that for a fair price. Almost 10 Teslas in the shop or the lot and various other cool cars like, unless my eyes deceived me, a DB9 having work done.

    Based on the GEICO phone rep's unethical and dishonest pushback when I called to move the adjuster appointment from the "GEICO Express" shop to J&B, I'm not likely to ever accept their helpful offer to have my car inspected in one of their Express shops again. I'm much more confident J&B will get it right.

    That said, I have had what I consider good work done at a couple of those shops in the past, including a re-do of work that I didn't like. But I don't like being pushed around or lied to, and the GEICO rep did both on the phone today, so I'm just writing that part of their operation out of my mind (in fact, I was so irritated to be lied to, I may change carriers if I can find a comparable rate elsewhere).

    Thanks to all for the advice.
     
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  15. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    As previously stated, take it to a Tesla approved shop. They will match the paint and will be able to get the needed parts.
    My car was sideswiped last year and the Toronto Tesla approved shop did a wonderful restoration. The multi color red is especially hard to match. See here: Accident
     
  16. Racerx22b

    Racerx22b Member

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    You are free to take your car anywhere but your insurance will only reimburse you for their pre-approved labor rate (at least in my experience). If the shop won't agree to work at that rate then you have to pay the difference. I had some minor front end damage on Range Rover and was told by USAA to go to caliber collision (basically a Maico) or the Dodge dealer. I wanted to take it to the Tesla approved shop because they do all the work for Ferrari, Lambo, Bentley, Rolls, etc.... I figured they'd best match up my Santorini Black. They wouldn't compromise on their labor rate (and I don't fault them) so I had to come out of pocket an extra $500 on top of my deductible. I fought with USAA for 2 months and eventually got another $250 out of them. Totally not worth my time but it was more of a principle.

    I was actually told that body work was body work no matter where you took it by one adjuster. Ha!! I actually laughed at the adjuster. I said "So if you won the lotto and bought a $2.1 million dollar Bughatti and got a scratch on the door you'd take it to Maico for a repair?

    I told her it was no different then if she had a $10,000 Vera Wang dress that needed to be altered... Asked her if she'd take it to Marshalls or something like a Nordstrom's. I think it finally sank in and she pivoted to just saying they only pay their agreed upon labor rate which I think was around $65/hr. They didn't consider my $100k Range Rover to be a "luxury" car so it was no different then getting a Corolla repaired. I am sure they are charging me for a "luxury" car though. I hate insurance.
     
  17. PtG62901

    PtG62901 Member

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    #17 PtG62901, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
    So, we all hate insurance companies being cheap on repairs, and we all take the lowest insurance quote every time?
     
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  18. bkp_duke

    bkp_duke Member

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    Tesla will NOT sell a non-approved body shop any parts. Not even a single sensor. There are a lot of threads here regarding this.

    Tell GEICO that they by law must "make you whole" and that since parts are restricted to the TM-approved body shops, that means taking estimates from those body shops only.

    Now, the flip side of this coin is that the prices the TM-approved body shops charge is RIDICULOUS. Example: pizza guy grazed my wife's MS, with paint-only damage to the rear bumper and left rear quarter. Local body shop, $800, 2nd local body shop, $600, TM-approved body shop, $3800.
     
  19. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Why not GREENDICULOUS or ORANGEDICULOUS or MAROONDICULOUS?
     
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  20. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Drink up, hopefully your sense of humor wakes up too.
     

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