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Small bump, big dent

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED:

Yesterday a friend asked for a ride. I picked her up and dropped her off. On the way home I was stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn right. The car ahead of me made the turn but then there were more cars approaching, so I pulled up to the line and stopped. I could have made the turn. The Model 3 has a lot of torque. But I'm not that kind of driver. I can wait for the traffic to clear.

But when the driver of the pickup truck behind me saw me pull (slowly!) forward after the other car made the turn, he thought I was making the turn, and rather than looking at my car, he was looking at the oncoming traffic. If I had made the turn, it would have been reckless for him to do so also, unless it was his intention to ignore the stop sign and follow me right on through.

The result was that his pickup truck bumped my car, not very hard at all. I felt a slight jolt, and really didn't expect to see much if any actual damage when I got out. Boy was I wrong.

fUCoRQ5.jpg


He was very apologetic and very nice. We exchanged information, and this morning I found a voicemail from last night (I go to bed early) from his insurance company saying that they will pay everything. I'll probably go through my own insurance company, but his will reimburse mine and I'll get my deductible back, so it won't cost me any money. The car is drivable. I drove it home and should be able to drive it until the body shop is ready for it.

It cost me a couple of hours yesterday dealing with insurance, and I'll have to drive all the way to Wailuku so the body shop can see what parts they need, and then I'll be without the car while they fix it. I have no idea how long that will take. My insurance will pay for a rental car, assuming there even is one (last I heard, Maui was suffering from an extreme shortage of rental cars as we have 50% more visitors than we did before the pandemic). I HATE driving a stinker, and the chances of getting an EV are probably nil. Fortunately, I don't need to drive much at all.

Considering what other people have to deal with (politics, war, diseases, injuries, poverty, bigotry, etc.) I am damn lucky. And I'm living in paradise. And I don't need a car to go paddling because I walk to my canoe clubs. But I'm still annoyed. All this grief and hassle because I agreed to do a favor for a friend.
 
I was in a simile situation a few months ago. Stopped. Waiting to clear and got hit, but my guy had no insurance so lost a deductible. Ah, but we are driving teslas. Bigger problems as you said. My little dent took 2 months to get to shop and like a 2 day repair. I was impressed at number of teslas in Oahu when I went this month. Good luck!
 
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daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
That's a bummer, but look at the positives.
  • The other driver was apologetic, cooperative and insured.
  • It looks like a bumper cover and trunklid may be all you need to get back to like-new.
  • You don't have to drive much in a crappy rental.
  • And last and most importantly, YOU LIVE IN FREAKING HAWAI'I! :)

Aloha!

Absolutely!

BTW, I once had a very similar accident back in Fargo: I was at a stop sign waiting to turn right. Thought I saw an opening and started to move, but then saw a car coming and stopped. A guy behind me, apparently intending to follow me right through the stop sign without stopping hit me when I changed my mind and stopped. The damage that time was a lot less because it was a car, not a pickup truck, so it was bumper on bumper.

Back to the present, my insurance company set me up with a body shop, but the body shop called to tell me they don't work on Teslas. I'm waiting to hear back from the insurance company. I can go to any body shop I like, but if I use one approved by the company they'll pay them directly, which is less hassle for me because I don't know how much paperwork I'll have to do to get reimbursed if I use a shop they didn't recommend.

Back in the day I had State Farm and they took care of everything. But my house is just a few tens of feet too close to the ocean to get home insurance from State Farm, and I decided it's easier to have one company for both.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
Yesterday afternoon the app warned me that the trunk lid is open. I thought that it had latched in spite of the damage. And with the trunk open, the car will not lock. This means that while it is drivable, it is not lockable, which makes me reluctant to go anywhere that I'd have to park it in public.

I wonder if the body shop (once I find one) can trick the latch into thinking it's closed so that I'll be able to lock the doors?
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
The other guy's insurance company (Geico) is going to pay for everything. I've sent them the pictures and supposedly an adjustor will contact me. I can use any body shop I want, so now I just have to find one that will work on a Tesla. I've put a call in to Service at Honolulu to ask if they can recommend one.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
Are you able to apply a little brute force and twist/bend the trunk slightly so the latch will engage?

I wouldn't know how. But I have an appointment for tomorrow with a body shop that works on Teslas (Honolulu got right back to me and gave me the name). They'll see what parts they need and hopefully order them right away, and while I'm there I'll ask if they can kludge it so that I can lock the doors. Either make it so the latch closes, as you suggest, or maybe stick something into the latch so it looks closed to the computer.

I'm hoping they'll be willing to order the parts without waiting for formal approval by the insurance company because I'll guarantee to pay for them if the insurance company doesn't. I'm quite sure the company will pay. But to get the parts ordered sooner I'd give them a personal guarantee.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
I took the car in to a Tesla-certified body shop. They took pictures and (I presume) figured out what parts they will need, and (hopefully) ordered them.

I also asked them if they could shut the hatch, or fool the car into thinking it was shut. No luck on the latter. They did manage to shut and latch it, but apparently the car relies on sensors, rather than on the latch itself. So the car still thinks the hatch is open, and it will not allow me to lock the doors. Also, autosteer and even cruise control won't work. I can live without autosteer, but not having cruise control is annoying.

The body shop says it typically takes a month to get parts from Tesla, and the shop has a long backlog of work. Estimate of one to three months to fix the car.

Sure wish that when my friend asked me for a ride, I'd offered to pay for her to take a taxi instead. :confused:
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
The other guy's insurance company (Geico) is going to pay for everything. I've sent them the pictures and supposedly an adjustor will contact me. I can use any body shop I want, so now I just have to find one that will work on a Tesla. I've put a call in to Service at Honolulu to ask if they can recommend one.

Update:

Geico kept sending me emails that I had not yet sent them pictures, even though I had. So I phoned and was told I cannot just reply to their email with pictures. I have to either download their app, or go to their website from my phone, log in with a ton of personal information, then follow their directions, most of which I could not follow. When I phoned, a very friendly lady told me that was the only way.

I wasn't too surprised. A company that advertises itself as being the cheapest should not be expected to have decent customer service.

So I went back to my own company, where they had a similar picture-taking system, but I didn't have to use it because my agent just contacted the body shop and got their (much better) pictures. Geico will still pay, ultimately, but I'll go through my own insurance company.

Meanwhile the car seems to drive fine but I cannot lock the doors and I cannot use autosteer or cruise control. And I'll have to live with this for 2 or 3 more months.
 
Geico *does* have good customer service. I've used them for years. Only had to call a handful of times, but each and every time the people I talked to were kind, courteous, and knowledgeable.

I agree with your statement about being the cheapest and needing to be efficient. There are probably other added benefits to them requiring you to do it... like reducing error rates and fraud. Having you do it through software provides the opportunity to require you to agree to T&Cs as well as ensures that some agent doesn't accidentally (or intentionally) attach incorrect (or misleading) photos to a claim.

I've also had to use their website many times... it works well and I've never had any problems with it.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
Geico *does* have good customer service. I've used them for years. Only had to call a handful of times, but each and every time the people I talked to were kind, courteous, and knowledgeable.

I agree with your statement about being the cheapest and needing to be efficient. There are probably other added benefits to them requiring you to do it... like reducing error rates and fraud. Having you do it through software provides the opportunity to require you to agree to T&Cs as well as ensures that some agent doesn't accidentally (or intentionally) attach incorrect (or misleading) photos to a claim.

I've also had to use their website many times... it works well and I've never had any problems with it.

The people I've talked with on the phone at Geico were super-friendly. But the bottom line was that I was not able to use their website (on my tiny iPhone SE) to submit pictures, and they wouldn't let me submit photos that I'd taken the normal way, and they would not accept photos from the body shop.

My own insurance company (Liberty Mutual) just contacted the body shop and got their pictures, which in any case, were surely better than any I could have taken. Maybe Geico doesn't trust a Tesla-certified body shop. Maybe it's just a rule they made and are sticking with even in a case where a person is unable to use their website on a tiny phone. What would they do with a customer who can't use the internet? Maybe that doesn't come up because maybe they operate so exclusively via the internet that all their customers can use their app easily. But in my case they offered to pay for the damage caused by their client, and then made it impossible for me to submit the claim.

Not a big deal for me. My insurance is handling it and will collect from Geico afterwards. But I sure would not want to have to deal with that: Super-friendly agents who can't really help.

They have great commercials, though. Or at least they did the last time I was someplace with a TV, some years back.

I miss having State Farm. But my home here is a few tens of feet too close to the ocean for them to sell me home insurance, and I decided to keep all my policies with one company. Ah, the tribulations of living in paradise! :cool:
 
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daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
I took the car in to a Tesla-certified body shop. They took pictures and (I presume) figured out what parts they will need, and (hopefully) ordered them.

I also asked them if they could shut the hatch, or fool the car into thinking it was shut. No luck on the latter. They did manage to shut and latch it, but apparently the car relies on sensors, rather than on the latch itself. So the car still thinks the hatch is open, and it will not allow me to lock the doors. Also, autosteer and even cruise control won't work. I can live without autosteer, but not having cruise control is annoying.

The body shop says it typically takes a month to get parts from Tesla, and the shop has a long backlog of work. Estimate of one to three months to fix the car.

Sure wish that when my friend asked me for a ride, I'd offered to pay for her to take a taxi instead. :confused:

The body shop's estimate of three months wasn't far off: three and a half months after the accident they called me to bring my car in. Geico had already paid for the repairs, including my deductible, so the repair cost me nothing.

With no car to drive I called Enterprise to rent a car. I spoke to someone in an overseas call center who told me that I would get a call from the local Enterprise location to set up details. They never called. I tried to call the local location directly but could not get through. Then a friend suggested trying Turo, and I found a Nissan Leaf for half the price of Enterprise's cheapest car. The Leaf is no Tesla but it's a very nice little car, once I realized the lack of power was because it was in ECO mode. Turned that off and it's not bad at all. Better than any gas car!

The auto body shop estimated 13 days to fix the car, and they only went a few days over that. As far as I can tell, they did excellent work. They returned my Model 3 to me with about 50 miles of range. I think they never plugged it in. But 50 miles is about the straight-line distance across the longest axis of the island. (Northwest to southeast.) It's only ten miles home from the body shop.

Not counting cash tips to the Lyft drivers (cash so that Lyft cannot reduce their wages based on their tip amounts) I spent just over $700 (ride home from the body shop; ride to pick up the Leaf; ride home after dropping off the Leaf; ride to the body shop to pick up my car; and the Leaf itself).

I have sent my receipts in to Geico.

Stay tuned for my final report after Geico either pays or refuses. My own insurance company would have given me $30/day. So roughly 2/3 of what it cost me to rent a car for around half the time I was without mine.
 
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Wennfred

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
3,113
2,206
San Diego
Parts take forever here on the main land and so body shop repairs could take 2 to 3 months, unfortunately parts or even cars shipped to Hawaii will take even longer, first the parts are flown into Oahu and then by boat another week or so into Maui, keep us in touch of your progress. Take care
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,467
4,997
Kihei, HI
Parts take forever here on the main land and so body shop repairs could take 2 to 3 months, unfortunately parts or even cars shipped to Hawaii will take even longer, first the parts are flown into Oahu and then by boat another week or so into Maui, keep us in touch of your progress. Take care

As noted, the repair is done and I have my car back.

When I first took it in they told me that parts typically take a month to arrive, but the body shop had a three-month backlog. So parts were not the bottleneck.

Now I'm just waiting to find out if Geico will reimburse me for all, part, or none of my transportation costs during the two+ weeks I was without my car. The driver that hit my car has Geico, and he admitted full responsibility.

No compensation, of course, for the three and a half months I drove my car without autosteer or even cruise control, and could not lock my car doors, because the stupid computer thought the smashed-in rear hatch was open, and for reasons I cannot comprehend, is programmed to not allow the doors to lock if the rear hatch is open!

Of course the car should warn you if it thinks the hatch is open. But it should not refuse to allow the doors to lock!

Everything is working fine now that the repairs have been made.
 

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