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Use of a NON-TESLA Approved Body Shop

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by blee321, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. blee321

    blee321 Member

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    I backed into a super tight spot a few days ago and struck concrete post... I stopped almost immediately but it resulted in a small gouge in the rear bumper. (Parking Sensors are all intact without damage). Its about a silver dollar sized area of damage.

    I was quoted 3500 for repair at a TESLA approved Body Shop and 900 at a reputable local body shop.

    Help me decide.
    Thanks
     
  2. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    Tesla approved bodyshop will replace the rear bumper. This means ordering a new bumper and repainting it ($$ labor). Quote seems high, though. Was rear ended earlier this year and total repair including new impact bar, bumper, lower chrome fascia, and labor was 1700 including tax. (This is a pre-autopilot car, but I don't see how parking sensors could double the cost).

    What will the other bodyshop do? Just patch and repaint?
     
  3. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    First, Tesla is required (all car companies are required) to approve any body shop you choose. But body work should not require any approval. Tesla (and others) do make it more difficult to get parts at a "non approved" (non Tesla) shop, but you don't need parts.

    Tesla will paint and install a new bumper. The body shop will bondo and repaint the old bumper. Both jobs will look and work identical. The difference is in your wallet.

    I've done it both ways. I am pretty much sold on having a body shop do a patch and repaint over buying new parts. Paint matching is pretty much a science now, so the only difference would be if the body shop can make your bumper smooth, and that's not hard. Save your money for something more exciting.
     
  4. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    The bumper cover is a few hundred bucks. Although Tesla won't sell it to a non-approved body shop, its not a restricted part so they will sell it to you. You should be able to buy the part and have a local shop paint and install it. Considering the low cost of the part, its probably cheaper to just replace it than bondo it.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. blee321

    blee321 Member

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    #5 blee321, Jul 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    Amazing thanks guys,

    The Tesla Approved shop said that they won't be replacing the bumper! If you can imagine that! They still want to charge me 3000!...
     
  6. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    What was the name of the shop?

    Whenever I've had body work done the quote always had a breakdown of the cost. X hours prep, X hours painting, $ on parts and so on. Did they give you one of those? Be very curious how they are justifying that cost.
     
  7. blee321

    blee321 Member

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    Its the "only TESLA approved Body Shop in the NYC metro area"

    Sheet Metal Labor 95/hr Total 14.1 Hours 1339.50
    Refish Labor 95/hr Total 10 Hours 950.00
    Parts and Material 364.00
    Waste Removal etc... and other minor costs.

    Taxes 203.19
    comes out to sorry. not 3000but 2911.86
     
    • Helpful x 1
  8. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    Sheet metal labor? 14 hrs to bondo a bumper seems odd. What else was damaged besides the bumper?
     
  9. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    I put a hitch on my S and had to remove the bumper cover. I could take one off and put on a new one in 4 hours no question. I'm just a Joe Schmoe with hand tools and 4 hours is generous.

    The AP sensors just click in/out, nothing to it.

    I wonder if they remove the bumper cover in order to paint it? If not, seems very easy/fast/straight-forward.
     
  10. blee321

    blee321 Member

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  11. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    Ahh, so its not just the bumper, looks like there is damage to the rear quarter panel above the bumper too. 14 hours still seems quite excessive for that, but it does explain it a bit more.
     
  12. blee321

    blee321 Member

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    so back to the original question... its looking like most would go with the reputable local auto body shop....
     
  13. bkp_duke

    bkp_duke Member

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    Tesla approved body shops = Tesla approved monopolies.

    For a car who's design is so forward thinking, the repair policies are downright monopolistic and draconian.
     
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  14. cab

    cab Member

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    So, this may come down to how much are YOU paying for this? If your deductible is, as an example, $500 then you are out $500 either way unless you are trying to avoid a claim and pay out of pocket. Either shop may very well end up resulting in a Carfax blemish (which, sadly, will cost you more than this accident at resale).

    As to the actual repair, I am guessing that EITHER shop will do the same thing:

    Bumper
    - remove
    - repair scratches/scuffs
    - sand/prime/paint
    - reinstall bumper

    Quarter Panel
    - pull any dents
    - fill
    - sand / prime / paint (note: likely the whole quarter)

    Replacing the bumper would appear to be overkill (basically it always comes down to how bad the damage is to the bumper and the cost of a replacement bumper - i.e. labor/damage/part cost). The quarter damage is mild (based on what we see here) and would just be pulled/filled w/o any metal welding or bonding work).

    Unless the cheaper shop is "shady" or "low rent" (i.e. make sure they understand the need to paint match or blend...although "black" should be more straightforward) if it is apples/apples work the cheaper shops rate is reasonable AND you are paying out of pocket, then they are worth choosing. If the insurance is paying, then, in order to avoid any hassles later on with Tesla themselves (i.e. oops, we need a part) then maybe you just go with the "approved" shop.

    There's nothing Tesla-specific or magic here other than Tesla's unfortunate limited repair shop policy...
     

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