My car got keyed...

My car got keyed...

I guess Teslas can be victims of trolls who like to key nice cars. :(. Discovered it right after I put my 2-year old in the back child seat after brunch this past Saturday. Any thoughts on how much it would cost to repair? It's about a foot and a half right across the trunk... It even went through the "T" emblem.

gkspanos | December 22, 2013
Bighorn | December 22, 2013

Ouch--that's so infuriating. A symptom of small mindedness--don't let it get inside your head as you've still got a fantastic car and likely a wonderful life.

Rheumboy | December 22, 2013


DC@Tesla | December 22, 2013

Sad to see this. Perhaps you could just use the touch up paint pen? Cheaper fix than repainting the whole trunk lid and may still be obvious from really close-up but from far away should not be visible.

talbryn | December 22, 2013

I would think that the decision to use touch up paint pen or have it repainted would be highly dependent on what color your car is. Mine is red and the Tesla folks have told me that even a minor scratch (which I have and is hardly even noticeable) could look worse with the touch up pen. On the other hand, if you have a really dark color, you might get away with it. I guess you just have to experiment on a small section of the scratch and see what it looks like.

Good luck.

Jewsh | December 22, 2013

Wow, how sad that someone was such a douche.

Hope you get it fixed ASAP.

jbunn | December 22, 2013

What an ass.

Someone keyed mine a couple days after I moved the car to san francisco. Looks like they were trying to pry the door handle with a sharp object like a knife tip.

Jewsh | December 22, 2013

What's the matter with people... jealous much?

mdennick | December 22, 2013

I'm sure we all fear someone coming by and doing that. Sorry to see you got it gkspanos. We had that happen the first year of our previous SUV. Makes me think I need to get the dash cams, both front and back.

I met a gent named Chuck at an OC Telsa meet. He had those on his car.

PJDoty | December 22, 2013

I had similar damage to the right rear of my MS from flying metal debris on the highway. No dents, only one scratch, but it went through the paint. Estimate for repairs was $2700! So, I bought a touch-up paint pen from Tesla instead.

Velo1 | December 22, 2013

So sorry. Stuff like this is so disheartening. I hope karma catches up with the offender. Can't say if it was an issue here, but I have run into a few Tesla haters in parking public parking lots.

One guy called me an old hippie and tree hugger. I got out of the car and we exchanged a few choice words. He was so incensed with "people taking tax breaks and Government handouts" that I truly feared he would do something bad to my Model S. I called the sherriff, filled out a complaint of verbal assault, pointing out the car and plate this guy was driving. Since this happened at the Rec Center close to home, my main concern is one day I will find my car keyed, and this guy would be my prime suspect. So I wanted the sherriff to talk to the guy, letting him know his name is on record with their office. It's been a month since this encounter, and I still worry about nuts like this.

Haters gonna hate.

Good luck getting this fixed, too.

gkspanos | December 22, 2013

Ouch Jeyyado! $2700 would make me try the pen first too.

gkspanos | December 22, 2013

Anybody in the LA area tried using one of those mobile scratch repair guys? | December 22, 2013

I had my Tesla T pried of the front of my vehicle and stolen early this year. I was parked at the public library. Hope this does not become a trend.... | December 22, 2013

I just read my post -- the T was stolen -- the car was not.

gkspanos | December 22, 2013

That sucks Kevin! Are u thinking of getting a replacement T?

Roamer@AZ USA | December 22, 2013

One of this years campaign themes is wealth inequality. Going to be a long haul to 2014 elections with a war on wealth strategy. Interesting to see the media get the memos and start cranking up the income inequality articles and reports. Those evil rich are not paying their fair share.

Count on being demonized if you have anything that looks like you are higher income. The side effect of this demonization strategy will be increased attacks on anything that appears to show wealth or success. This is a side effect of the politics of division and envy.

Fonz19 | December 22, 2013

DAMN!! FU##IN haters.. sorry to hear that. lucky its black eazy match . you can probably get it done pretty cheap shop around id say no more then $500- 800 tops

Roamer@AZ USA | December 22, 2013


Sad your "T" was stolen from your car. There is a certain irony that Mercedes owners had that problem with front hood logo ornaments for years. Has Tesla taken away some of the crown and now Tesla hood ornaments are being stolen. Ironic and I hope not a new trend. | December 22, 2013

@gkspanos & Roamer
Tesla was nice enough to give me a replacement T at no charge. My window tinting guys (IDS in Littleton, CO) installed the T and repaired the clear bra damage at no charge also. This was back in June and I haven't seen anyone post about this type of vandalism. That really sucks that you got keyed....

ElectricKiwi | December 22, 2013

Oh man, so sorry to hear about the damage.

Depending on how deep the scratch is. If you're considering fixing the damage yourself, the videos below may be useful.

Part 1: Wet sanding

Part 2: How to apply touch up paint

b1berns | December 22, 2013

I'm sorry to see that, but don't worry gkspanos, it's only a few hundred to repaint the upper part of the lift gate, it will look like nothing ever happen.

NKYTA | December 22, 2013

Ugh...that is painful to look at.

gkspanos | December 22, 2013

Very informative video(s) @ElectricKiwi, did not realize how involved the process can be! At least they did not etch in a penis. @B1berns, I really hope that's all it's gonna take. Every time I open my garage door, it just makes me sad. | December 22, 2013

Touch-up, wet sanding, etc is tricky if you have not done it before--not sure you want to practice on a $100K car as your first outing. A couple of options that are more first-time friendly:

- Dr ColorChip - - you will need to call them to see if they have Tesla colors
- Langka - - this works with the touch-up paint you get from Tesla

Either way, take your time. The results will not be perfect, but good enough to not be noticeable unless you look hard.

One other option is to ping your SvC and see if they work with someone who can do the spot touch-up for you.


b1berns | December 22, 2013

gkspanos, I don't know prices in California, but in Chicago it's about $250-450 per panel in most body shops. If it went through the clear coat, no sending/buffing will help. From what it looks like in the picture touching it up with a brush will be visible.

ElectricKiwi | December 22, 2013

In the videos, one of the most important piece of information is how to apply the touch up paint with a very fine brush rather than the supplied one.

Bernard Hong | December 23, 2013

I brought a touch up paint from Costco, which is a Dupont product and it is a pen shaped clear paint that works for any colour and it works very well. I can look up the name of the product if you need. Good Luck

hademarco | December 23, 2013

gkspanos, do not do those mobil scratch removal guys. They do a horrible job on my old car and you can't find them afterwards. There is overspray everywhere including my tail lights. I would not trust your baby to those guys.

Gizmotoy | December 23, 2013

- Dr ColorChip - - you will need to call them to see if they have Tesla colors
- Langka - - this works with the touch-up paint you get from Tesla

I've used both of those on my previous car. Both great products. For a long scratch, I'd be tempted to recommend Dr ColorChip over Langka. To briefly summarize the difference, with Dr ColorChip you're pushing and rubbing their paint over a larger area, then removing the paint on the unwanted areas by lightly buffing with a cloth. With Langka, you're putting big blobs of paint on the scratch that you let dry a little bit, and then use their formula to rub the blobs even with the rest of your paint. In theory the result should be the same, filling the scratch with paint for a seamless fix, but the methodology is very different.

IMO, Langka is better for stone chips, and Dr ColorChip is better for scratches. Either will work, and they're both pretty easy.

I did a Dr ColorChip repair where I had a deep and wide 0.25" x 0.5" gouge in my aluminum hood where the metal was even slightly deformed from some kind of giant rock impact. You'd never even know it was there. It was incredible. I could probably dig up the pictures if you want.

ev4good | December 24, 2013

gkspanos, will your auto insurance cover this act of vandalism?

gkspanos | December 24, 2013

Thanks ev4good. Looks like my insurance will cover it afterall.

Spammy | March 22, 2014

Hey - I just got keyed this morning - a two foot long shallow scratch on the passenger side rear panel at dangling hand level.

I'm pretty sure it happened when parked at the Dittmers meat market in Mountain View - either there or at the nearby Milk Pail market.

There was no interaction with anyone, no parking lot rage, etc - it appears to be a pure act of jealous vandalism. There was a Lamborghini parked about 10 feet away and I parked with no one on one side and plenty of room on the other.

There is a price to populist class warfare politics - people who support marxist wealth redistribution politics should look to the USSR, China, Venezuela (France?) for how it works out in the long run. Did good intentions create success for anyone other than the politicians?

carlk | March 22, 2014

Poeple, did you actually catch that poor follow who keyed your car out of jealousy? Opinions like what some of you publicly expressed here is exactly why Romney lost the election, not that I care about that he lost in any way of course.

The only way to live with "wealth" and still be happy is not to let things like this to bother you. You're still ahead even if that was done out of jealousy.

Mathew98 | March 23, 2014

@carlk - People who can afford luxury cars are usually educated enough not to key other luxury cars out of spite. I do feel for @Spammy as he went out of his way to avoid conflicts with other drivers in the parking lot.

This is the reason I never park my MS in any public lot. All errands are handled via other ICE boxes. You never know when a kid feels really stupid and scratches any car within reach.

Spammy | March 24, 2014

@carlk: check out the self righteous group of journalists advocating keying Teslas here:

They call it justice and a valid form of protest against undeserved income. They even have a picture of a MS as a target.

This has gotten out of hand. | March 24, 2014

Although it doesn't fix the damage after the fact, you might consider a dash cam. While it may not catch it, if the person walks within view of the camera, you'll likely have a good idea who did it. Dash cams also time-stamp the video and save the GPS location. You might even be able to see a witness to the event.

carlk | March 24, 2014


Thank you. I guess my thought of getting a vanity plate was not a good idea at all. That suits me just fine.

I don't disagree what you said COULD be the motive but it could just be from some neighborhood teenagers or even that Lambo guy so let's not try to draw any conclusions.

As for the class warfare you said it's really not that bad. It's, like always, just people at different socioeconomic level have different perspective of fairness. It makes perfect sense to me that everyone, wealthy or poor, thinks the system is more fair to the other guy than him. It's not a big deal. You don't need to lose any sleeps over this. Besides you are still the one who drives a $100K car, keyed or not. Consider us very lucky if keying our cars is the only form of protest they will do.

dlake | March 24, 2014

The back of you car is the worst place to get keyed due to the aerodynamics of the car. As I'm sure you've noticed, the back of the car is where all the road dirt ends up.

Watch the Tesla cross country videos and you'll see all the snow an ice collecting on the back of their cars.