Body repair

Body repair

I have a small dent on front right door, took it to recommended authorized body shop. The cost to repair the dent, match the paint is $2000. The question is who to blame? Tesla for not thinking about extra cost of removing parts? (The estimator told me other car companies build the car so that multiple parts can be replaced without need of disassemble of the whole car)
Or, body shops taking advantage of opportunity since not many are certified to do the job. The estimator compared my car to Maserati, really? this is what you come up with to justify the high labor cost?

rob | July 11, 2019

Can you post a link to pic of the dent?

apodbdrs | July 11, 2019

If you can get another estimate! As for the guy making the estimate and his comments, I wonder if he is really sincere. Some of these guys are just blowing smoke and over charging because they know is no completion. Granted, at this point, there are few spare parts, and very few certified TESLA body repair shops. Until spare parts become readily available and more body repair shops increase promoting competition, Tesla owners are at their mercy. Best thing know is good car insurance!

Resist | July 11, 2019

Magic 8 Ball - There is no need to be a jerk. I agree with the OP, and there is no reason why it should cost so much to repair a Tesla.

vmulla | July 11, 2019

You have a bad estimate. This seems to be a case of price gouging.

I had bad scratches on my driver's door. The cost to repaint the entire door was ~$800.

rehutton777 | July 11, 2019

I had "key" scratches on both passenger-side doors. One Tesla-certified body shop quoted $1215 for repair of both doors. A second Tesla-certified shop quoted $4100 (wanted to disassemble both doors and paint the entire side of the car). A non-certified body shop quoted $1200 for repair of both doors. The insurance company gave a repair estimate of $1500. Even Tesla-certified shops can give estimates much higher than other shops.

ReD eXiLe ms us | July 12, 2019

sarkiss40: Maserati sold less than 11,000 cars in the U.S. last year, less than 700 in Canada. Tesla sold just shy of 200,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year. Your Estimator is an idiot.

ColonyGolfer | July 12, 2019

Just a little insight on costs of repair.....My Model S had small damage to rear 1/4 panel and bumper. Adjuster and 3rd party insurance company "allowed" $47 per hour labor rate (FL), total damages $6700. Authorized Tesla body shop insists on $105 per hour to recoup the cost of their employee training in Freemont CA. Final bill $11,800! I am headed to small claims court to recoup my lost $5100.

hokiegir1 | July 12, 2019

And here I had the whole front end (bumper, hood, right quarter panel, lights, etc) repaired/replaced/repainted for $6k.

apodbdrs | July 12, 2019

@sarkiss40, should you be able to obtain a better and less expensive estimate, I suggest you go on YELP and other rating sites and give this price gouger a bad review as well as letting them know directly! Good luck in getting your TESLA repaired.

jimglas | July 12, 2019

find another shop

Techy James | July 12, 2019

@vmulla you can't relate the cost of paint to dent repair and paint, the dent repair would definitely add additional cost to the repair and depending on size/location of dent possibly require replacing door.

@hokiegir1 your cost of repair was same as my cars repair for similar repair till the tear down then the cost climbed to about 12K repair after adding all the Safety electronics (Ultrasonic Sensors & Front radar) that had to be replaced.

andrewlee05 | July 12, 2019

I had a half inch "nick" on the front bumper, just below the right headlight, along with other damages to the A-pillar and the body shop recommended to my adjuster that the bumper should be replaced and my insurance adjuster agreed to this.

The body shop sent me a picture of the in-progress repair and they removed the front bumper and the right front fender. I don't think this was necessary, but what do I know about repairing cars. Just seems excessive that they would want to replace the entire bumper.

More serious and difficult to repair damage is on the A-pillar (a golf ball sized dent). Total labor cost came out to just over $10,000.

While I'm not complaining about how they are repairing my car, but it just seems overly excessive when it comes to Teslas and body shops. I know that the body shop that I took my car into is the go-to shop for many Teslas, including Tesla store's choice in that neighborhood, but Tesla really needs to expand their in-house collision repair shops along with introducing their own insurance.

vmulla | July 12, 2019

@Techy James,
True, I was providing the information I have for context.

My car has similar work done as yours. Bumper and headlamp replaced. Unfortunately they could not get the panel gaps adjusted correctly. If they fix one side, the other side is off :(
It's just fine to look at, but for someone looking got panel gaps it will stand out.
How is your fix? And I know all these panels can be adjusted with screw turns. If I know where they are I'd try to adjust myself (after my warranty expires)

vmulla | July 12, 2019

To be absolutely clear, the car had perfect panel alignment prior to the front end repair.

vmulla | July 12, 2019

If the damage is within 6 inches of any sensor the bumper will be replaced.

To share a little more, Tesla worked with me and the body shop to keep me on the road while we waited for the parts. Autopilot was active for about 48hrs on a car with a dented bumper. But I was worried how the car would 'see' the world - that's because the front bumper profile has some impact on the radar.
Sure enough, the car probably thought it was seeing enough goofiness and shut off AP as a precaution.
So, a small dent in the wrong place has a huge impact for AP.
Here is the pic of my damage, it's so smal that I didn't think it would have such a huge impact on AP.

andrewlee05 | July 12, 2019

@vmulla - thanks for your insight. Maybe there are sensors behind the bumper that are not visible from the outside. The little nick is about 1 inch below the headlight and looked harmless from the outside. I hope what you said is correct.

hokiegir1 | July 12, 2019

@Vmulla - similar to yours, I have a height difference between the hood and front panel that was not there before. We just got through with the court case 2 weeks ago to finalize everything, so our next step is to go back to the shop and see if they can adjust it, but we haven't done it yet. We're going to offer to leave it for them when we are gone for 2 weeks if they can't do it in a short period. Our accident was a clusterfest from the start -- car was parked at the service center for a tire rotation (that never should have needed an overnight stay), and was hit by a wrecker. Service center coordinated everything insurance involvement....just a mess, and a really long story overall.

spuzzz123 | July 12, 2019

@hokie why were the courts involved if the sc handled everything? Did you take Tesla to court?

hokiegir1 | July 12, 2019

@Spuzz - no. It was for diminished value. Tesla *coordinated* everything, but the person who hit me was the one who paid for the repairs. Like I said -- long story. :)

jimglas | July 12, 2019

I thought this was a plastic surgery thread?

eeb9 | July 12, 2019

So here is my own experience for comparison.

I was rear-ended on my way back from vacation last week. The hit damaged both the bumper fascia and trunk lid enough to warrant replacement.

I worked with the other driver's insurance carrier to find a Tesla-authorized repair center in their list of preferred vendors (they have several, including the one locally that is used by all the high-end makers - yes, including Maserati...)

The estimate to replace the trunk lid and bumper fascia, including paint and labor, was under $1600 - well under the OPs quote for a ding repair to a door panel. I think the shop either has no local competition or in blowing smoke.

(all this said, there is still the issue of limited parts availability - my repair shop said that it may be weeks-to-months to get the replacement parts from Tesla. Given what I've heard elsewhere, that's not at all unusual)

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

M8Ball you are an asshole. Always have been on this forum.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019


Do you like turtles?

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

I went to a Tesla approved body shop for a small ding on the rear bumper. Original discussion was they would fix the ding, but would have to remove the bumper. Fine. Came back with an estimate of 2140 dollars, which included replacing the bumper. I told the to pack sand and found a place that works on Teslas and they will do it for 275 dollars. Tesla approved body shops are a complete rip off.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

You obviously have no life M8ball

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

@Resist You have no idea what is what and what is costs to repair a TESLA based on an anecdote from someone on this forum. You have no clue what it actually will cost and you are crying about it with really no validated information to go by.

You are an idiot!

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

@hcdavis3 Cool, nice you got by on the cheap, I hope your cheap repair does not compromise the safety of others.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

Oh, and since my first post was flagged away I think my long predicted flag wars may be happening.

Flag on.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

I can fully see how M8ball thinks. Find a newbie or someone with a legitimate question and oh boy I’m gonna trash the shit out of this guy. You are pathetic. You’re obviously on this forum all day. Further evidence that you are a loser with no life. Get the hell off this forum.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

And meatball. How does fixing a ding in my bumper endanger others? You gotta stop sniffing glue.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

Well, when your sensors fail and you back into that little old lady and her shopping cart I am sure joe cheapo shop will stand behind you and help with the wrongful death claim.

vmulla | July 12, 2019

I would suggest you get an estimate from a Tesla certified shop. Understand what the problem is and then evaluate your situation. The car has far too many sensors to apply conventional body shop logic.
I found out all this because of unfortunate experiences. The materials used in fixing the dents also play a part in how the sensors are affected.
As a crude example, let's just assume my car was fixed with Bondo - that would have made my car look ok, but my AP would not have worked. You say your fix is good, that only means you got lucky.

So, I just suggest that you atleast understand all the peices of the puzzle before you make a decision. For that we need good info, and an estimate from a certified shop is what I would recommend.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

Meat head, when I first visited this forum there you were trashing everybody and offering no advice or anything constructive. I thought maybe you were having a bad day so I was willing to cut you some slack. But every time I came back it was the same. It’s clear that you have been on this forum all day getting your rocks off by not offering anything of value. Further it’s eminently clear that you live in an apartment or at home with your parents and drive a fucking Yugo. As Ross Perot would say “It’s just sad”.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

Thanks Vmulla

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

@hcdavis3 Good luck with your cheap repair. Your idiocy does serve a purpose since it offers the opportunity to warn others from being idiots.

RIP Mr. flip chart, Ross Perot, he was entertaining.

My intentions are to help folks steer clear of idiots such as yourself. Taking TESLA to a joe blow shop, without understanding the liability associated with going cheap is what idiots do.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

Vmulla I am self paying. The estimate from the Tesla approved body shop was 2140 dollars. The ding is tiny and nowhere near the sensors. It’s so small that if I weren’t such a perfectionist I could live with it. I’m gonna take my chances as I don’t have 2 grand lying around to spend at this time. It’s so small my wife can barely find it. Thanks for your advice.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

Meat head I’m not going away. You should because a bigger asshole than you I’ve yet to encounter on the forums. Does your Yugo still start? And by the way what model Tesla do you own? Just curious.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

@hcdavis3 The big difference between your assholishness and mine is I don't tell other to go away, so I don't understand where you get the idea that I think you are going away.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

Cool, if you want to talk TESLA I can do that. We have a 3P stealth, which we very much enjoy.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

All right that’s better. I’ll shut the hell up. So when did you get your car, how many miles and how has it been so far. Sorry for my inappropriate rant.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

We ordered in June or July 2018, got FUSC and lifetime premium connectivity. We picked up the car in Aug 2018 We have ~11,800 on the car. It is mostly used by my wife as a commuter car.

The car has exceeded expectations. The car before this was a Ford Cmax energi that we ordered a year in advance of production and that car met expectations but it was the first car I decided to buy extra policy for (Ford does not give loaners and such unless you pay extra). The policy was a good decision because the Cmax had several infant mortality issues and was in the shop many times during first year of ownership. We have also owned expensive Ford/Lincolns and the TESLA experience has been far superior, so far.

Our TESLA had an infant mortality on a 12V negative terminal and the way TESLA handled it exceeded expectations and since then we had a ranger come out and do a tire rotation (while here he also upgraded the hood latch which I did not know about beforehand).

BTW, I grew up in our family owned Joe Blow shop and speak fluent body shop.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

Good stuff Magic. I love that you grew up in Joe Blow body shop land and speak fluent body shop. Help me understand infant mortality on a 12 v negative terminal. I take back everything my assholines said.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

No you are correct, I am an asshole, my friends tell me that all the time yet they keep calling and wanting to do stuff : ).

I have no clue about the details of a failed negative 12V negative terminal and really did not dive into it. They told me that is what failed, they fixed it, and I am good. The car gave a message to the effect of car is sick, call service. Wife got to work, called service and an hour later they came to her work and took it away on a flatbed. The sent Uber to pick her up from work and take her to the SC that evening but car was not ready, they put her in a brand new S. Car was ready next day late so she drove the S to the SC the next morning and she was on her way. No fuss no muss no arguing over rental car coupons and the cheap Yugo Ford would have put us in.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

Good man. I appreciate your insight and take back everything I said. Have a good evening.

hcdavis3 | July 12, 2019

So for me, Model 3 2018 July build, inventory car, makes me wonder where the hell it was all this time. Purchased March 5 this year with 60 miles on the ODO. Ordered and got a VIN in 4 hours picked up the next day. This was a production hell car with no defects. I got lucky. LR RWD. I purchased FSD after the fact. So far so good. I’m going to joe blow week after next and will update you as to how it goes.

Magic 8 Ball | July 12, 2019

Hopefully Joe will know if he gets in over his head (we made that mistake a few times).

hcdavis3 | July 13, 2019

Thanks man.

tfolsom | July 16, 2019

Tesla :

RO#273363 – Spectrum Collision - 20 McLaren, Irvine Ca 92618
Claim#19-2537695 - Progressive Insurance
VIN: 5YJ3E1EB4JF097981 - Repair Status

So, I was involved in a relatively minor wreck on the 5 freeway outside of San Diego.

I did not realize, nor had I researched before the purchase of my Model 3, that your organization apparently was completely unprepared to supply parts to repair vehicles.

Ignoring for the moment the cost of the repair, the fact that there are no parts and no system to advise when there will be parts leaves me as a customer wondering about the wisdom of my purchase.

As much as I do like the car, this is unacceptable and could be the death of Tesla.

My son live in Phoenix and owns an S. He was involved in a minor wreck between Tucson and Phoenix 115 days ago. He is still waiting for his vehicle. My accident was in early June. It is now 45 days later and my repair shop has zero information regarding when parts will be coming. My insurance stopped paying for a rental 15 days ago. So, I am now making a payment to the bank once a month to purchase a car that I cannot use and making a payment to Hertz once a month for a barely acceptable car that I must have.

I have worked in manufacturing in the electrical lighting business for over 3 decades. The parts issue is not rocket science. Henry Ford had this figured out before WW1. The amount of parts you hold in reserve is an easy calculation and frankly, not all that expensive, and allows you to provide good customer service. There is NOTHING Spectrum Collision can do until you give them the parts. You are the only source for the parts. It is your responsibility as a manufacturer to have parts available. You are failing in this relatively simple mission. It is either incompetence or ignorance, and in either case, it should not be rewarded with continued sales of your product.

I will allow you to properly respond to this email.

My expectation at this point is:

At minimum – A loaner vehicle until such time as you have provided ALL parts to Spectrum Collision + 15 additional days.
Weekly updates on the status of the parts.
An apology letter which indicates the steps that are being taken to rectify this unacceptable situation moving forward

I would request a response by the close of business on Monday, July 15, 2019.



Tom Folsom | July 16, 2019

@Sorry tom for your problems, but this is an owner forum, not an email system. You should contact Tesla directly and perhaps without all the unrelated info. I hate to be the one to tell you, but Tesla is not responsible for inadequate rental insurance coverage. If someone else caused the accident, they should pay for the rental car no matter how long it takes.

Tesla parts delivery times are similar to other premium cars. If you want to get a car that gets faster repair/parts, you need to buy a car that gets into a lot more accidents. Often cheap high volume cars also attract a lot of third parties to make replacement parts, but while many parts are good, many are also of dubious quality. The advantage is you can get those parts quickly! I prefer OEM parts myself, but often on a cheap car, owners really don't care.

vmulla | July 16, 2019

Isn't he sharing his experience in dealing the Tesla?

Not inappropriate to share
Not asking for any specific thing from forum members
Connecting with people who have been there (myself included)