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The sad part of owning a Tesla... accidents

Discussion in 'Model S' started by skboston, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Accidents do happen and everyone knows that and it's never a pleasant experience, I get that. However, I'm finding that it's not going to be simply unpleasant experience, but more likely very frustrated one.
    My car was involved in what I believe is a minor collision with a coyote (it didn't survive) back on June 20th far far away from Boston. I spoke with Tesla, they arranged a tow immediately and and they recommended I bring the car to the nearest authorized body shop 400+ miles away in Minnesota or Nebraska. After weighing my options I decided to not wait for the insurance company to get the ball rolling and move the car back to Boston figuring it will be much easier to fix where I live and called in a friend that arranged an Auto transporter for about $1400, which I paid out of pocket so I don't have to wait until insurance underwriter approves it.
    I figured they will cover it, otherwise next best option is to have a tow truck drive 400 miles at a rate of $5 per mile to bring the car to MN. This was it's cheaper and since it's a local insurance company it will be easier for them to appraise the car.

    What I didn't know is that there is 1 body shop for the entire MA area and they are clogged with Tesla's and other cars and simply the process is so slow, they are unwilling to order parts ahead of the appraiser, despite the fact I offered to pay out of pocket and deal with insurance down the road.
    I was told that my car will possibly be ready sometimes in August and there is a possibility of the car being ready in September, parts alone are 4-5 weeks to arrive and then there is a backlog of cars waiting to be fixed, so that's going to take time before my car gets in line.
    I find the whole experience pretty frustrating as simply there are 1000's of Tesla's around Boston and only 1 body shop that's allowed to work on our cars.
    My damage is mostly cosmetic and you can see it from the pictures, except for a ruptured radiator, which can be replaced by any respectable repair shop and since I can't order the parts myself and Tesla takes its time with shipping them from the factory, I'm out of luck and car for what could be close to 3 months for a minor accident.

    092f66981a.jpg

    Here is a photo from the tow truck, I'm going to save you the more graphic images, but if you insist I can upload a couple of them. As you can see most of the damage is cosmetic, few pieces broke off, the plastic cover is in tact, just needs to be re-attached. The hidden damage is the radiator that cools the battery, it was damaged from the animal I hit and turns the car into a statue and now will take more than 2 months to fix.

    I've always liked how Tesla treats me and other others and is number 1 is service, but these sort of situation makes owning a Tesla a very unpleasant experience. I can't grasp my head around the idea that I might not be able to drive my car until August/September for something like this. Radiators are common parts and shouldn't take Tesla 4-5 weeks to ship them and it the monopoly of 1 body shop authorized to work on cars in the entire MA region is simply unacceptable.
    If I can get the parts from Tesla, my repair shop can easily replace the radiator, fill the fluid, fix the alignment if needed and if I have to bring it to Tesla to inspect it just in case. I didn't wreck the car to a point that makes unrecognizable...

    If this issue isn't addressed soon by Tesla, it will come and bite them very hard.
     
  2. JMG

    JMG Member

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    Just an offer of empathy. I just got my Tesla back on Friday after almost 5 weeks in the shop (and 2 months after being backed into). It took Tesla 3-4 weeks to get the parts to the body shop, and then the body shop almost 5 weeks to do the repair. In Dallas we have only 2 shops for Tesla, and they are VERY busy.

    It really stinks, but just another one of the "cons" on the pro/con list when buying this vehicle. Repairs are 1,000% more headache than other cars.
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    so your car is going to sit for 2 months with no active cooling to the battery? uh oh.... wouldn't that permanently damage/destroy the battery pack?
     
  4. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    You're in Massachusetts and you are lucky to have the Right to Repair law. Although it doesn't specifically cover parts availability, that would certainly be within the spirit of the law. See if you can find a reputable body shop that has experience with aluminum body panels (which are fairly common now) and ask them to order parts from Tesla and lean on the Right to Repair law. Won't do anything about the lead time on the parts, but you wouldn't have to wait for their backlog.

    However, from the pictures it doesn't appear that there is any bodywork damage. If its just remove and replace type stuff like the radiator and the nose cone, the service center should be able to fix it. Even if there is minor bodywork you could have the service center replace the radiator and then bring it to the body shop when the parts arrive.
     
  5. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    The MA approved body shop is particularly slow and even won't give you an estimate with an appointment.
    And it is not convenient to get to (even though I live two towns away!!!)
     
  6. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Tesla needs to address this issue and get more approved body shops ASAP if they are serious about their sales growth plan. Can you imagine 1 approved repair shop with the current MS population PLUS MX and M3 within a couple years? Nightmare.

    I will say this, even with my choice of body shops I have a relatively minor front ender in a Range Rover take 2 months to repair.
     
  7. linkster

    linkster Member

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    I probably run 10-30 degrees warmer during the summer here in the south than the OP's New England home. Passive cooling is all that is needed 99% of the time here as I only charge at 24A. I wouldn't leave my coolant-less car/pack parked on unshaded asphalt by day and I would only trickle charge at 120v to maintain a 50% SOC if I was the OP.
     
  8. skboston

    skboston Member

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    #8 skboston, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
    There is no visible body damage or bent aluminum parts that will need replacement/fixing, the radiator broke because of the way the coyote hit the car and went under it, the nose cone is not broken either. I can drive around with the rest of the body damage, as long as the radiator can be replaced quickly.
    The battery charge is <100 miles now and when the accident happened it was ~180, so in the 16 days since the accident I've lost about 80 miles of range. I can't connect to the car anymore as the body shop has turned off the remote access.
    Basically the car will sit and rot for 2 months until we're waiting on parts and to be fixed. I have a body shop and repair shop that I bring my other cars for the past 10 years and they know what they are doing and can replace that radiator easily. I'm sure even Tesla in Watertown can replace that quickly enough and replacement body parts like the front bumper I can wait (there are few cracks on the left that can't be seen in the photo).

    I'm still waiting to hear back from Tesla in Watertown and see what they will say about it. I don't think it's unacceptable to have the car rot there for months until they decide to ship parts and when the body shop decides to work on it.
    This really makes owning a Tesla a very painful experience and options are very limited to 1 body shop and 1 part supplier. The good thing I don't care about the battery and what happens to it at this point as it's a Tesla loaner battery I received while I was in Sacramento since mine started to malfunction and it was sent to Fremont for evaluation.
    I still hope the body shop will plug the car at low current to maintain the level of charge at least, so no degradation happens.
    I tried supercharging the car while waiting for the tow truck, just couldn't accelerate to 88mph: :tongue:
    c2ac96a8e8.jpg
     
  9. mspisars

    mspisars Member

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    Love the humor!
     
  10. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    2 months is a long time. I'd be pretty sad as well. Getting often needed parts like front radiators, which get damaged on front impacts (which are very common) should be quicker than 5 weeks. If Tesla had rental cars to bridge repairs that would help a lot.
     
  11. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    @skboston: So sorry to know that you are facing all this...someone backed their car into mine and I had to face same thing...Had to talk to insurance, body shop and Tesla.

    Tesla made it very simple and easy on me.

    My damages were not as bad as yours.... just deep scratches and no body work involved...Like what JMG mentioned above..had to wait to get in the line to get my car fixed since we have only two body shops in the DFW area.
     
  12. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #12 linkster, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
    Personally, I would PUSH to get a radiator from Watertown (after you enjoy the Fishermans Platter or Eggplant Parm at The Chateau and then if you can find a place to park at the SC, lol) and take it to my own high quality shop that has been repairing aluminum Audi's run by people that I currently have a relationship with. These horror stories are getting worse and worse and are going to raise ALL our insurance rates and give the overall ownership experience a black eye (as in your case and many others).

    btw, i am sure you saw the TOTAL RIP-OFF of a $20K+ cosmetic repair recently:

    Concerns regarding Tesla's approved partners

    Good-Luck!
     
  13. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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  14. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I've been without my baby for two weeks, now due to a hot-headed RV driver purposefully backing her land yacht into my front bumper cover. The biggest pain so far is waiting on Tesla parts.

    The good news is Enterprise rents Model S here in the Dallas area :p
     
  15. skboston

    skboston Member

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    Accidents do happen, the issue comes when it takes weeks/months to get parts shipped and limited number of places where you can bring your car (in my case 1) even when no structural damage.

    I've read numerous stories about Tesla approved shops and sadly my experience adds to the number of unsatisfying stories. I can't wait to see what the estimate will come for my repairs, should be here in a day or two.

    Finally, I was able to reach Tesla in Watertown today and they will call Hollis Auto Body and also speak with their parts department and see what the status is and hopefully they can expedite the radiator part, I can honestly care less about few plastic pieces and can wait a few weeks for them to arrive and replaced as long as I can drive the car.



    I hope they rented you one and it's covered by the insurance :)
     
  16. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    So what are you driving now if the car takes 2 months to be fixed?
     
  17. skboston

    skboston Member

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    I'm driving my motorcycle for now, need to get a rental car at some point, sadly that's not covered as I have commercial insurance and they for some reason don't provide rental coverage and I can't claim it on the coyote's policy.
     
  18. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    Wow that's a serious problem... I didn't really consider that... having a car un-drivable for 2 months is ridiculous... rental car for 2 months would easily cost over 1000, probably more...
     
  19. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    The upside is that now your car has a mascot:

    latest?cb=20101114095401
     
  20. skboston

    skboston Member

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    What would the runner do without the coyote now?

    Since we're on the subject, this is the building of the local newspaper, where the accident happened:
    ff0c1b1e24.jpg
     

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