Door ding

Door ding

Well, after 10 months, I finally have the first ding on my car. It's just above the handle on the rear, passenger side door (the cornery bit just above). There's a light scratch to go with it, so I'm hoping one of the paintless dent removal services can take it out and buff out the scratch.

Now here comes the interesting bit: I had sentry mode on and have video of the whole thing. A mother and daughter (maybe 8) pulled in next to me. The daughter opened the rear door on their car nice and hard, and the spring action on the door did the rest. I have video of them pulling in, doing the deed, and later pulling out. This includes nice clear shots of their front license plate. Oddly, it's Texas plates, and I'm in California.

So my question for the forum: what do I do with this information? Would you do anything with it or just get the ding repaired and forget about it. Is it even worth bringing the videos up with my insurance?

Randkthorn | 15/03/2019

Sorry to hear. Sounds accidental and fairly minor. If you can cut them a break and let it go you it will save a lot of stomach acid. Hope the pointless dent repair without insurance works for you. I hope that’s what I’d do but I’m not in your shoes.

teslamodelx | 15/03/2019

I guess you know the answer to your own question unless you want to be the super nice guy! If it has a scratch in the paint then you will need to spend several hundred dollars to repair it correctly other wise a paintless dent removal job shouldn’t cost you mor than a $100 but you will be left with the scratches. You need to feel good with your decision, reporting it to your insurance with the evidence you have or not to do anything all! Best of luck.

Randkthorn | 15/03/2019

Paintless not pointless, at least that’s what I meant and hope.

lilbean | 15/03/2019

It would be pointless to share the video with the insurance company. Certainly law enforcement won't care either. :)

Neomaxizoomdweebie | 15/03/2019

I got the paint repair kit from Tesla and it did a great job on a minor door scratch. There was no dent so your case may be different.

Stinnett | 15/03/2019

Mr. AAinSoCal,
I can readily sympathasize with your dent and scratch. Yours was 10 months; mine was less than 10 hours. After driving home from the service center about 100 miles away, with some spirit I might add, I opened the front trunk to get out the cable and adapter -- I had only standard wall outlet charging at the time, took three days to get it all back -- and I dropped the connector onto the hood. Instant dent and scratch, right down to the aluminum. Upside-down happy face. Eyes open wide, staring numbly. The paint repair kit really did help. The scrape is undetectable unless you know where to look. In my case, no-one to have words with but myself, and indeed I did so.

You could find out who the owner of the car is from state registrations, and send them a letter thanking them for the gift, but you'd really rather they hadn't left it. Enclose a gift of your own, a flash drive with the video. That might give you some small satisfaction, at least to know you'd reminded them of their ethical shortcomings. Of course, the parent might truly not have noticed.

AAinSoCal | 15/03/2019

This may never make it through the wall of Chinese spam, but here goes ...

I already have the paint repair kit that others have suggested. I'll be calling a few ding removal places this weekend. If I get a decent result there, and there's still a scratch, I'll probably try the paint kit.

I tend to agree that there's nothing to be done with the videos. Having said that, how cool is it that I have these at all? My irritation was definitely offset (a little) by realizing that I probably recorded the incident and then getting to play junior tech sleuth.

dsp | 16/03/2019

I don't trust anyone parking next to me. Don't take my car out to shopping centers, etc.. I have an old car for thos runs. That said, someone at work did knick my bumper. Never thought it'd happen at my work garage. Now I don't trust my co-workers either. Whenever possible, I try to park in a corner spot, away from crowded areas, park next to brand new cars, etc.. All that and I got in a fender bender with someone not stopping when they should have. Car is 6 month old. Moral of the lesson, it's going to happen, just a matter of time. And when possible, observe best practices for defensive driving/parking, as you just can't trust anyone out there.

gmr6415 | 16/03/2019

I think it would be different if they came over and examined the damage; therefore, knowing they caused it and then drove away. If that were the case I would go after them because the least they should have done is leave a note.

MalibuRed | 16/03/2019

I had a ding and paid $50 for a mobile repair company to come to my work parking lot and massaged it out..look up local ding services.. took him 8 mins.

Magic 8 Ball | 16/03/2019

If you can get the contact info. I like the letter idea. Tell them you understand accidents so don’t smack the kid but just wanted to FYI that your property was damaged. Maybe if they understand big brother is out their they will adjust.

stevegs | 16/03/2019

Use the video for what is was designed for, to catch and prosecute those who damage other people's property. Make it your primary mission in life to track them down and make them pay whatever the cost. If they don't have the money, revenge is a dish best served cold. Otherwise don't bother turning Sentry Mode on at all.

rob | 16/03/2019


Let us know how the repair goes. I know it's going to happen to me sooner or later. Two mo. and no ding yet.

Onetime I backed into a car in a parking lot. It left a dent in their lower plastic bumper cover. I left my contact info and they turned it in to my insurance. The insurance co told them to buzz off.

Carl Thompson | 16/03/2019


Completely agree. If the mother saw the ding and decided to shirk responsibility by not leaving a note (and thereby teach the child a lesson I don't agree with) I might go after them on principle.

But if the mom didn't even notice I would just pay to fix it it myself and not worry about it. Kids are kids and accidents are going to happen. You can't stress over little stuff.

AAinSoCal | 16/03/2019

@gmr6415 Daughter clearly noticed and decided not to tell mom. I don't think mom realized at all. I'm going to let it go regardless. I would send a letter/email per @M8B if I knew how to look up the driver's info without going down to the DMV (in Texas?) or registering for some suspect website.

@stevegs I'm working on my Liam Neeson impression already. On a more serious note, if this had been a collision or real damage, imagine how valuable those videos would be.

Magic 8 Ball | 16/03/2019

It used to be fairly easy to get the info in CA but not anymore.

marcuscarter5921 | 04/02/2020

Report it to your insurance next time they can run Dmv and insurance searches to find who they are as well as who they have insurance with as well as use the video as evidence then it's a slam dunk.

yongah1 | 06/02/2020

I just got mine and dinged it within two months. I wasn't able to catch the culprit but the dent was definitely intentional since the mark was the center of my door and above the raised portion of the door (which should have been hit first if a parked car next to me swung their door open). Beware of the Tesla haters out there!

For me, I would just bite the bullet and pay out of pocket if its a reasonable amount to fix. If not, definitely have the insurance involved, especially if you have a recording of it.