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Wrecked!

Discussion in 'Texas' started by Stenn, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Stenn

    Stenn Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
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    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I spent the weekend in Corpus Christi at the Padre Island Best Western, the only motel or hotel in Corpus with destination charging. The staff there were great. They made sure the Tesla spot was clear before I arrived. They had a 2nd charger of the CHAdeMO variety but I stuck with the Tesla wall connector and soaked up charge at a good 40A rate which is as good as I could ever expect from my single-charger car. I was their 2nd Tesla customer. I hope they have many more in the future.

    Friday night demanded a quick run to Whataburger for sustenance so my daughter and I jumped into the Tesla and ventured out to forage. The parking lot only allowed a one-way exit onto the freeway so we had to travel a while in the wrong direction before taking the 1st exit to double back Whataburger-ward. Unbeknownst to me, this exit had a quick, sharp right turn in it protected by a raised median. It was unbeknownst because the signs alerting motorists of the turn were long-gone and it was pitch-black outside. Seeing the curb, I braked and turned hard to the right, but the car barely veered away before losing traction and smacking into the curb at near-highway speeds. I guided the car off the road, retrieved my flashlight, got out for a look, and found my front-left tire flat and at an odd angle with the rim scratched all to hell. The back-inside of the wheel well didn't look so good either. We were fine, but the car wasn't going anywhere.

    I got on the phone with Tesla Service, but there wasn't much they could do for me from 200 miles away. They reminded me of how to put the car into a mode suitable for towing, told me what kind of tow truck was acceptable, and wished me well. (This is actually a summary of a half-dozen calls I made to Tesla as the night progressed. They always answered the phone, they always had the right answer, and I got to talk to the same guy each time, Eric. Thanks Eric!)

    My insurance company tried in vain to get a tow truck with the right equipment to pick up me, my car, and my daughter. The first tow truck company refused to come out because they didn't want the liability of taking two passengers in their truck. May they rot in hell for trying to split up a father and daughter during a late-night crisis. The second tow truck didn't have the right equipment to deal with a car with a wheel that wouldn't roll. The third tow truck company wasted my time for over an hour before admitting they didn't have the right equipment either. My insurance company representative admitted after a half-dozen calls that she had contacted over 15 tow truck companies but couldn't find one that would come out at night, with the right equipment, and take two passengers.

    After 3am, the insurance rep recommended calling the police. 9-1-1 got me not one, but two officers of the law within minutes. They were great. They radioed in a request for a tow truck with the right equipment and then chatted with me about the car while we waited. They had never heard of a Tesla before and were fascinated by the car. It's unfortunate that the first one they got to see was wrecked. The tow truck came and had the right equipment. The driver picked up my car, dropped me and my daughter off at our hotel, and whisked the car away to the towing lot.

    The next day, I visited my poor Tesla sitting in the cold, rainy, muddy towing lot. It didn't look any better in the daylight. I retrieved a few personal items and signed a document authorizing my insurance company to retrieve the vehicle and tow it to Houston's Tesla service center. With any luck, I'll be gliding down the highway in my battery-powered wonder-car within a week or two.

    In the mean-time, I'm in a rented Hyundai. It's a fine car, but I keep walking away from it after parking only to notice an odd purring noise behind me. I then turn back, open the door, retrieve the key from the ignition, close the door and walk away again. I then turn back one more time to lock the door. *sigh* I miss my car.
     
  2. Blue_Model_S

    Blue_Model_S Member

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    I am sorry for what you are going through, but I am also glad that no one was hurt specially given the speed of the impact.
     
  3. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    Aug 23, 2015
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    Location:
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    Thanks, Blue. Had I been in a car with higher center of gravity, it would have rolled for sure. Thank goodness for that 900-pound battery!
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Sorry to hear about your accident. Here's handy checklist for those times when you must drive an ICE or hybrid:
     
  5. Beryl

    Beryl Member

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    Feb 19, 2015
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    Location:
    South of Houston
    So sorry to read this account. It wasn't as simple for you as calling AAA and getting a regular ICE tow.

    I was planning to cancel AAA but it probably makes sense to hang on to it while living and visiting so far away from Service Centers.
     
  6. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I loved that checklist! Even though I've driven my rental ICE for a whole day, I still left the dang thing running after parking and walking toward the front door of my favorite taqueria. Why can't these stupid things turn themselves off? :) And yes, I found that I had to pour an expensive, flammable, carcinogenic liquid into the car to keep it from ceasing operation. Is that weird or what? On the bright side, the necessary liquid seems to be available at just about every street corner in any town.

    Geico is my insurance company and they provide 24/7 roadside assistance which would have worked great if it weren't for the local towing companies. They seemed generally un-cooperative and poorly equipped. (That's what she said!) Tesla roadside assistance was another option, but they would have had to send a tow truck from Houston and I would have had to pay the bill. (In hind-sight, a tow truck from Houston would have arrived faster than the tow truck I eventually got. Go figure...) On the bright side, since I went through Geico's roadside assistance initially, I've yet to pay any money out of pocket. However, I'm told they'll only pay for the first 100 miles of towing. The trip to Houston will be about 200 miles so, basically, we'll be splitting the towing bill. My share will be about $500.
     
  7. redi

    redi 2013 P85+ with HumanPilot Technology

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    Aug 31, 2013
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    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Is this what you hit?

    Having nailed a similar one myself in the dark a few years back (not in the MS), and having a friend on a Triumph triple find a similar one at speed with even greater damage (also night), I think they should be outlawed as lethal. Even in Texas.

    11-30-2015 7-30-37 PM.jpg
     
  8. DavidB

    DavidB Aug 2013 S85

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    Maryland, USA
    I'm glad nobody was hurt.
     
  9. gillben

    gillben Member

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    Location:
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    Sorry to hear about that. Same experience with towing. By the way expect that one or two weeks to turn into a month or two. Took a month to get parts from Tesla.
     
  10. radrays

    radrays Member

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    Glad to hear that nobody was hurt! Can the repair be handled by Service Center or will go need to go to a body shop? Any recommendations on finding a tow truck for a Tesla if you outside of major cities in Texas?

    I stay at the Best Western a few weeks back and assumed the second charger was J1772, but did not look close.
     
  11. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    Houston, Texas
    Although that looks nasty, it is not what I hit. I was exiting a freeway and expected a gentle veer to the right onto an access road. Instead, there was a sharp turn to the right protected by a median. Signs had been posted to warn motorists of the sharp turn, but they had been sheered off by previous motorists less graceful than myself leaving the median hidden in the dark in a recess just past a raise in the road. When the cops arrived, they illuminated the median with their flashlights and commiserated with my predicament. My brother, who lives on Padre Island, admitted later that the median was like a monster laying in wait for unwitting motorists. I hope the city replaces the signs soon to protect other motorists from a fate similar to or worse than my own.
    Thanks. I appreciate it.

    BTW, my car is being towed to Katy Coach Works in Houston, Texas. They're well-rated on Google, Yelp, and Angie's List. They have no complaints on the Better Business Bureau's website. I therefore seem to be in good hands. However, since Telsas are not in Geico's repair estimation database, it will take until late this week to form an estimate for repairs by hand before actual repairs can be completed. I'm OK with this as long as my car is restored its original glory.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yikes! Thanks for the warning. I hope my repair doesn't take that long, but it's good to know that it might. Where was your car towed from? I assumed my experience was due to being downed in a podunk little town like Corpus Christi.
    Yes, I read your account of staying at the Padre Island Best Western. You were the first Telsa driver to stay there. I was the second. I hope they have many more Tesla-driving visitors in the future. They were very nice.

    Sadly, my repair is a bit too extensive to be handled by the Tesla Service Center so they referred me to one of the two body shops in Houston certified to repair Teslas.

    Finding a tow truck outside of a major city should be no big deal unless you have a wheel that won't roll or you need the truck to take more than 1 passenger. In that regard, I had two strikes against me. If your car will still roll, any flatbed tow truck will do as long as you put your car into tow mode before they latch on the chains. Oh, and you might want to practice popping off your car's plastic nose cone to expose the location to install the tow hook beforehand. It's a bit nerve-wracking doing it for the first time in the dark after an accident. By all means, call the Telsa roadside assistance number after an accident. Even if they can't help you directly, they can give you good advice on how to put your car into towing mode and what kind of tow truck to request given your particular situation.
     
  12. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    Update: My car is now at Katy Coach Works. I drove by to take a look and to meet David, the guy who will be coordinating the effort to fix my car. David was great. He expressed great admiration for Teslas and said that they'd repaired about a hundred of them already. In fact, he pointed to a Model S I had parked next to and said it has been in for repairs twice. The car looked perfect. We took a look at my car and, honestly, it didn't look that bad in the light of day. David reassured me that he would put the car up on a lift and inspect it thoroughly for hidden damage before providing an estimate to my insurance company and ordering parts. I left feeling reassured that all will be well. I just need to be patient.
     
  13. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Stenn,

    I did a sideways slide into a curb myself back in August ... damage was probably worse than yours. Katy Coach Works fixed it to flawless condition, it drives perfectly just like it was when I first got it. You can't even tell that anything ever happened to it. Those guys are good.

    Prepare for it to take longer than you want though. Full repair on mine was 10 weeks.
     
  14. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence! So far, David of Katy Coach Works has been great. I've tried to leave him alone while he deals with my insurance company and prepares to order parts. Then, out of the blue, he called me to give me an update. My damage seemed pretty minor at first glance, but when he put my car on the lift, a closer inspection revealed more damage that was going to be far more time-consuming to repair. He called my insurance company back for another inspection to update their cost of repair. Nice!
    Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

    Let me guess... The majority of the delay was due to getting parts from Tesla?
     
  15. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    Location:
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    My car was hit by a deer and it took 4 weeks for the parts to arrive.

    Another 6 weeks for the repair process and I am still waiting for my car...

    Any other ICE car would have taken 1 week at most for such repairs
     
  16. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    I got my car back! Katy Coach Works did a great job repairing my Model S. Even up close, I can't tell that the car was ever damaged and it drives just like it used to - wonderfully, that is. They even cleaned the car very nicely inside and out before delivery and offered to pick me up from the rental car place where I dropped off my poor, unloved Hyundai. Total repair time was almost 6 weeks, most of which was spent waiting for parts from Tesla. But, all was forgiven when I got back onto the open road and reacquainted myself with my awesome car.
     
  17. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    @Stenn,

    Glad you got the vehicle back and it's great that it's flawlessly fixed! Congrats!

    When I got mine back it felt like delivery day all over again. :smile:
     
  18. Stenn

    Stenn Member

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    Yeah, me too. And that includes accidentally activating both the windshield wipers and the headlights before remembering how to engage autopilot.
     

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