Involved in accident

Involved in accident

Was driving on I-95 near Philadelphia yesterday. Traffic came to a quick halt. Person behind me not paying attention and rear ended me. The bumper below the back window was damaged and will need to be replaced. Has anyone had any accidents and experiences with repairs of their Teslas? How much did it cost (the other driver will be responsible for the cost) and how long did it take? How did it turn out? I'm nervous that none of these repair shops will have any experience with a Tesla. Not sure if that will make the job more difficult or lead to any future problems.

Also found a few scratches on the passenger door and front panel that the 2 year old created while having some fun in the garage. Has anyone had repair of scratches done? Again, how much did it cost and how did it turn out?

Thanks. It's been a fun week since I picked up the car. Love the car but starting to feel like it's cursed.

RonaldA | June 30, 2013

That's unfortunate. Hope all turns out ok. Let us know.

Liz G | June 30, 2013

Sorry to hear about you accident. Sounds like noone was hurt. At least you have that positive.

I would talk to Tesla, they have approved body shops. 5hey should be able to tell you who to call. You may have to wait a bit for parts. One of the St. Louis owners was in an accident about a month ago and I believe he is still waiting for his parts.

cb9 | June 30, 2013

I found a shopping cart in front of my door a few inches to the left of the quarter sized dent it created on impact. I called Tesla SC in Rockville and Nathan (who has always been awesome, by the way) told me which shop they use. I called and it will cost $1800 to fix. The dent isn't the problem, it is the labor for removing adjacent panels so they can blend the paint (pearl white).

Very sorry to hear about the accidents, but glad you are ok.

Mark2131@CA-US | June 30, 2013

I got rear ended at a traffic light when I stopped for an emergency vehicle running the light. The car
behind me didn't. Fortunately, they had insurance (This was in Van Nuys, California). $2,500 to replace the rear bumper. Avio coach craft in west LA is who Tesla recommend . I'm very happy with
the results, although I couldn't stand the ICE rental I had for a week!

Good luck with your repairs.

plakyda1 | June 30, 2013


Mark, it only took a week for this to be done? Or is that just the repair. I assume it took some time for them to order a new bumper.

borodinj | June 30, 2013

Talk to the Norristown service center. I had a bumper scratch after some woman lightly hit my rear bumper, and they referred me to a body shop in Norristown. I can't remember the name, but I'm sure they can tell you. They had another MS with the bumper that was in the process of being replaced. Looks like they knew what they were doing.

Steve_W | June 30, 2013

I had a deer run into the fender of my stopped car. Took Criswell in Anapolis MD about 3 weeks to get the parts and a week to do the repair.

plakyda1 | June 30, 2013

Thanks again to everyone.

I'll make a call to norristown service center tomorrow. I'm glad to hear there's a repair shop that has worked with a Tesla'before in this area. I was afraid I would have to go somewhere where they would be "experimenting" with a Tesla for the first time.

Does any one think I need to have the car checked out at a service center afterward to make sure everything is ok? Even though there wasn't too much damage I'm not sure if a repairman who has only worked on ICE cars might miss something that might lead to problems down the line.

Mark2131@CA-US | June 30, 2013

Since damage was minor, and car was drivable, I made an appointment 3 weeks in the future after
they reviewed what parts were needed. So, yes, the wait for parts was approx 2 weeks. Actual repair was less. Be aware that the insurance adjusters may question the costs of repairs. The Tesla qualifies as an "exotic" in their eyes, and that justifies the higher cost of repairs.

All in all, it wasn't too bad of an experience.

Sudre_ | July 1, 2013

I had someone blow a stop sign and damaged the right side of my car. Not very severe at all but the door will have to be replaced. It's going on 4 weeks and still no door. At least the car is completely drivable.

plakyda1 | July 2, 2013

Well for anyone that doubted my assertion that the car was cursed, I submit my final evidence. The car is now totaled.

I am sick.

After the fender bender on Saturday, I told my wife I didn't want to drive the car any more until it was fixed. My wife said, "So that means I get to drive it to work this week." I told her it was all hers. So Monday morning I get a call at 7:45 am. My wife is hysterical and she tells me I was right, the car is cursed. She was just involved in an accident.

This again was the other driver's fault as was the first. Two witnesses told the cops that the man pulled out of the intersection without looking left and smashed into the front passenger side of the car. He was given multiple tickets by the cop. My wife was doing about 40 mph she said. Thank god again that no one was hurt in our car. My wife had 2 of our 3 children with her, aged 4 and 2. If anything, this is a testament to how safe the Teslas are as it had 2 accidents without serious injury to anyone. The airbags deployed which hurt my wife's chest, neck and legs but otherwise every one is ok. The kids had minimal injury related to the straps on their seats. The cop actually told my wife the car was worth whatever we paid because when she came up to the accident site she didn't expect to see 3 people walking out of the car without major injury. The other driver is still in the hospital with pelvic fractures.

Although the other car looked much worse, being completely collapsed in the front, I just received an email from the body shop that received our car today that he believes the car is totaled. Within 10 days of receiving my dream car, 2 accidents, neither of which was our fault, and my dream is a nightmare. There's a $100,000 car with an extra $6,000 in sales tax down the drain.

So I guess now I have a new question. Has anyone else totaled their car? I hear a new car loses 20% of its value the instant you buy it. If any one has had their car totaled, how much did insurance cover? I hear there's such a thing as gap insurance that would cover the whole initial price but we don't have that.


danej | July 2, 2013

Oh wow, very sorry to hear about your bad luck! I hope your insurance and that of the other drivers get you back in a new Tesla ASAP!


Dcp9142 | July 2, 2013

My son totaled a Scion two weeks after buying it. Here's what I learned:

AAA insurance paid the whole purchase price less the deductable to me. But not the tax and license. And, very importantly, any extended warrantee and any prepaid maintenance was also a dead loss.

So likely anything spent for service agreement or extended warrantee is down the drain. One could easily exceed a $10K loss on a "fully insured" Tesla that was totaled.

But the car did its job and died protecting your family. May that never be needed again!

Doug H | July 2, 2013

Within 10 days... I would sue for the replacement cost. I would let the other insurance company know that they are blessed that their costs are contained to that of the car and not soft tissue injuries and the psychological distress of your children. I would push for replacement cost. If they are reasonable, I would get a lawyer.

Sudre_ | July 2, 2013

WOW. I am really happy to hear no one was seriously injured. That is horrible...
On the bright side the Model S rocks.

You should still get the money from the minor accident and then the full cost of the car from this one. There is also the pain and suffering that will cover all the other costs, particularly if there are bruises on anyone. If the kids have any bad dreams or anxiety it's also part of it. I would go for the cost of a new car plus the taxes, fees and assorted service plans if you bought them. If they haggle at all go straight to a lawyer. I sat on a jury with a case that was cut and dry like this and we sided strongly with the plaintiff. Lots of pictures help.

I feel lucky I only have to worry about a door :-)

petero | July 2, 2013

DougH. has a point. If you are involved in a serious accident, and even if your car is repaired perfectly, it will be worth less money than a similar one that is accident free. You will find this out years down the road. That is why the insurance company will want you to sign a release.

plakyda1 | July 2, 2013

I have to figure a lot of things out. It seems there is no repairing the car as the preliminary opinion of the repair shop is that there is total loss. I'll have to have my insurance company now see the car and talk to the repair shop and see what they decide.

We heard from the insurance company of the first accident today. They informed us that the person only had $5,000 coverage which is the minimum in Pennsylvania. Learning what I have after the accident, it wouldn't do much to be involved in a lawsuit with that person. We haven't dealt with the person from the second accident. If it turns out that they they have a similar situation then I might not be left with many options.

Another issue is that my wife had to go to the hospital. She had a CT of the head, cervical spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis. It'll be fun to get those bills too. I might have to get a lawyer as some have suggested because I'm not even sure how this works with paying for all the medical costs.

And as some have noted, there are also the mental issues. The two year old doesn't want to get into a car anymore because he's too afraid. The four year old mentions the accident constantly. Although she is quite the scam artist. She keeps saying things like, "I need ice cream because if I don't have ice cream I just keep thinking about the accident."

Lastly I am grateful for just how well this car protected my family. My wife said to me, "I know you're upset about how this turned out with the Tesla but I'll go to my grave knowing that it was the Tesla that kept us all alive."

Docrob | July 2, 2013

"So likely anything spent for service agreement or extended warrantee is down the drain. One could easily exceed a $10K loss on a "fully insured" Tesla that was totaled."

I would be deeply shocked if You replaced a Tesla that had been totalled with a new Tesla that they wouldnt honor the existing extended warranty and service plan and force you to buy new ones. Do people really think Tesla would do this?

cfOH | July 2, 2013

@plakyda1: Not much I can say that hasn't already been said, but good luck with all the insurance and other hassles. I hope you're able to get into another MS soon...sounds like it served you well when the other drivers did not.

petero | July 2, 2013

plakyda1. Rereading the last paragraph. You are a lucky man, you have a wonderful wife.

GeekEV | July 3, 2013

@plakyda1 - Not to be morbid, but I'd love to see pictures of the side impact damage. We've seen decent pictures of front-end collisions, but I've not seen any side impacts. I'm glad everyone was OK and seeing how the car held up would help reinforce why. Thanks!

AlMc | July 3, 2013

Glad the car protected your family. To find some light on this dark the 4 year old 'scam artist' are usually pretty resilient!

I would contact George B. Guy has a big heart. I would be surprised if they would not transfer service contacts/etc. in this situation.

MCGRATH | July 3, 2013

@plakyda1: I also can't do anything for you, but when you wrote "The cop actually told my wife the car was worth whatever we paid because when she came up to the accident site she didn't expect to see 3 people walking out of the car without major injury". Police have seen it all. Sorry to hear about your accident but glad you and your family are all still with us.

Mark E | July 3, 2013

I'm amazed that you can buy a policy in the with maximum payout of $5k for damage you cause to other people's property. Here in Australia you can buy 3rd party property insurance - only covering the damage you cause rather than anything for you. Generally this has something like $1M cover - in NSW where I live this does not include cover for people hurt, as this is included as a cost of registration.

Unfortunately though we get people here without anything other than registration - and even worse, people who drive unregistered. The police now have a setup that can scan number plates in real time and raise an alarm for unregistered and stolen cars.

I was hit buy an uninsured, and unlicenced driver from overseas who left the country to avoid liability.

I hope all works out well for you.

myhanhhoskin | July 3, 2013

@plakyda1 I'm sorry to hear about your car being totaled but glad to hear your family is safe. I hope the insurance coverage works out for you. For the future, you should have uninsured and underinsured coverage as well. It's basically like paying the premium for the other driver. Since you say Pennsylvania has a minimum coverage of 5k, that is obviously not enough to cover you in the event that it's their fault. You will also want good umbrella insurance in case an accident is your fault and you get sued. Ask if the umbrella covers legal fees on top of the umbrella rather than being inclusive in that amount since legal fees in a long battle can eat up a lot of your umbrella coverage. If you are in the high net worth category you should look at the 3 major carriers Chubb, Ace and Chartis(AIG). The best insurance is worth the cost when you have a lot to lose. I just emailed my insurance company with your scenario to see what I would have been covered for had that happened to me. I'll let you know what I find out.

myhanhhoskin | July 3, 2013

I just heard back from my Insurance rep (that was fast!) The kind of coverage I have is Agreed Value Coverage and in my case the agreed value was 108k. So had your accident happened to me, I would be able to get my exact car again less the deductible. My previous insurance Co, State Farm is Actual Cash Value, so I would have received significantly less due to depreciation and it wouldn't have covered the tax and license or registration. Hope this helps. If you have any questions let me know.

satyrias | July 4, 2013


"Within 10 days of receiving my dream car, 2 accidents, neither of which was our fault, and my dream is a nightmare. "

What was the date of delivery? Was it on or after June 26?

bak_phy | March 25, 2014

How did this all turn out in the end? Did you prepaid service? Was it a total loss?
Did you get a new Tesla?