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This is why Teslas are totaled so easily

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Mike K, Jul 12, 2017.

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  1. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    #1 Mike K, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    A few days back a truck turned in front of me in traffic and dragged the side of his vehicle over the front of mine, ripping off my bumper cover, denting my fender and doing other minor damage. It wasn't the end of the world. I zip tied the bumper back on the car and was on my way.

    IMG_5709.JPG

    Today I went to get a quote from a Tesla certified body shop. The quote came back as... wait for it.... $10,900. Eleven THOUSAND dollars. I wasn't expecting it to be cheap but $11,000? Holy hell. Knowing Tesla's body repair parts are some of the cheapest in the industry I inquired as to where the cost was coming from and was told that because it's a Model S it's considered exotic. He also gave me a song and dance about it being aluminum and that costing more but my car needs no sheetmetal repair. It just needs one fender removed and another bolted on. It's not like they're welding in a new quarter panel.

    To qualify the following statements I should note that I've owned two performance companies, am intimately familiar with the workings of cars in general and have owned a salvage Tesla which afforded me the opportunity to get to see many of the bits that most don't. With respect to this kind of damage, the S is a car like any other. My car needs the following:

    Bumper cover ($400 new)
    Parking sensor harness ($100)
    Driver's side fender ($300)
    Lower valance
    Radiator Support (could actually get by without replacing this)
    2 x parking sensors

    On the used market I could pick up everything for about $1000, pay a shop $700 to paint it and have it looking like new and I'm not even in the body repair industry. All the parts in need of replacement are simple to remove and re-install. This would not be a half assed repair. Since we've now got years of used Teslas around, one could theoretically find used, same color body panels and skip the paint work altogether, potentially getting out the door for a full repair at a cost of about $1000. Would the panels match exactly? LIkely they'd be close enough, depending on the environment the donor car was in, that all but the most discerning of people wouldn't be able to pick out a difference in the shade of color.

    I say this because the topic of salvage cars has come up here before and a lot of people have taken the hard line approach that if a car is salvaged it's junk. Here's a minor accident with an $11,000 price tag that could realistically be fixed for a 5th of the first repair estimate. It's no wonder we're seeing a sudden influx of salvage Teslas.
     

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  2. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Sorry to hear about your accident ... but nice work with the zip tie! :cool:
    I would solicit 3 estimates and tell each shop you are comparison pricing. You will find more favorable estimates with this approach.
     
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  3. jlund

    jlund Member

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    Ouch! Sorry to hear that. Very cool that you have had a salvaged Tesla before and played with it.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know how well tesla certified body shops do financially? Are they making good profit on average? How do they compare to other body shops?
     
  4. thegruf

    thegruf Active Member

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    I suggest to make Tesla aware of this.

    I think Tesla are catching on quickly to excessive repair costs and know this is damaging the brand and hiking insurance costs which the ICE lobby are using negatively against Tesla to hit sales.
     
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  5. Genohmic

    Genohmic Member

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    I have wondered the same thing myself. My Tesla is on order to arrive next month and I need to have some minor bodywork done on my Audi. The guy at the auto body shop who did the estimate for my car mentioned that the parts to repair a Tesla are not that expensive compared to the cost of parts for my Audi but the cost to repair a Tesla gets massively inflated. Does anyone have a concrete/definitive answer for why there is such a huge markup? I would hope that the perception that it is an "exotic" isn't enough of a reason to artificially inflate the price. I realize that there is additional equipment and certification necessary to be given the Tesla stamp of approval as an auto body shop but I would assume that some of these costs would come down as the Model 3 rolls out and there are more Teslas on the road.
     
  6. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    #6 whitex, Jul 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
    The shop provided correct information. The repair is $2K, +$9K exotic car surcharge. You know, to hire a mechanic who won't take it for joyride, insure it while at the shop, and just because they can. ;)

    My father always told me, car mechanics and dentists, you should always get more than one estimate and if you can find one you trust, you stick with them. Both professions have the opportunity to drain you and/or your insurance company of thousands of dollars for work that is not needed or sometimes not even done. Now, I since learned more about cars to be able to tell when I am being robbed blind, but for dentists, I just have a guy I've trusted for the last 16 years - dreading the day he retires.

    PS) replacing the front bumper skin can be done in few hours max, and it's plastic, not aluminum. I've dropped mine and put it back on a couple of times (installing and adjusting radar detector and laser jammers) and managed to do it in less than 3 hrs, including installing extra hardware under the bumper - and I am not a car mechanic by any means, nor do I have the professional garage or tools to do it.
     
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  7. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    Thoughts on the Model 3 getting the same Exotic treatment by these scam artists who pose as repair shops? I bet they keep the same attitude about the lower priced Model 3 due to either parts shortages, or even "it's a Tesla". I worry about the first year of Model 3 owners experiences due to minor fender benders.
     
  8. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    Soon Model 3 will be as exotic as Toyta Corolla.
     
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  9. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    Can you post the detailed estimate of what they are doing for the $11k?

    Because of Tesla's Approved Body Shop only monopoly nonsense, the few approved body shops can basically charge whatever they want. Plus since most owners are going through insurance anyway, they don't care what it costs.
     
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  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The price quote described by the OP sounds outrageous. Tell Tesla about it.
     
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  11. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    Get a hold of tesla body shop support. They need to be aware of all these types of shops and hold their feet to the fire or remove them from certified Tesla repair shops!

    Body Shop Support

     
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  12. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    weird. my rear panel replacement due to being rear ended totaled 18k and had a lot more work involved.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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    It's called price gouging. I was charged $4500 to have a door replaced. No metal work was done, just paint and hardware swap. My quote from a non-certified shop was $2,000. I know Tesla is working on this problem, but I think they kind of created the problem with their certification program. Growing pains.
     
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  14. Sir Guacamolaf

    Sir Guacamolaf The good kind of fat

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    Earlier there was a big thread on this, and @JonMc chimed in promising to take core steps and make the repair situation better.
    I also know that if you get comparative pricing from multiple Tesla repair shops, you get varying estimates. So you should probably do that.

    11K seems high, but I'm no repair expert. It's high as in .. a faucet in your house is leaking, plumber comes in and says that'll cost $5K to fix. Some things should never cost as much! No matter how awesome that faucet is.

    Wishing you the best!
     
  15. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Mostly off-topic, but your wire tie repair reminds me of this which turned-out to be pretty cool (stitches):

     
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  16. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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    Zip tie repair thread? IMG_2611.JPG
     
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  17. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    zip ties are big in the drifting scene due to the, well, constant misjudgements of the drivers.

    Also - to feel better, there are always these type of videos on Youtube.
     
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  18. PeterHG

    PeterHG Member

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    In my area, one of the Tesla approved shops is gouging. Even though insurance was picking up the tab, I couldn't bring myself to give them the business. So I drove an hour, got a reasonable estimate from the other shop, and shop #2 did a great a great job.
     
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  19. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Let's do it. Gotta love the duct tape remnants.
     
  20. jlarmstr

    jlarmstr Member

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    The damage does not look extensive so 11K may be a little high. I had some front bumper damage and some grill damage on a low end Lexus HS250H, and it came to almost 10K (9.7K) after all was said and done. I also had some undercarriage damage that would require a little more work, but that is comparing a 50K car to a 90K car. So yeah, maybe a bit high, but not exorbitant.
     

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