Ridiculous Cost and Time to Repair Model 3

Ridiculous Cost and Time to Repair Model 3

My Model 3 was backed into by a drunk driver while visiting a friend, not once but twice. The damage was clear and visible on both the rear and front quarter panels on the driver side. I was expecting the insurance to tell me that the repair will be in the range of $9,000-11,000 knowing that shops regularly will inflate prices to make money off the insurance companies. What I did not expect was that it would take the insurance nearly a month of having my car at the shop before they decided to let me know that the cost will be $16,000+ AND i would not receive my car from the shop for AT LEAST another 7 weeks. Having had my car sit there for almost 4 weeks without any information every time I called was frustrating and that is on the insurance provider but Tesla taking "3-5 weeks" to deliver some fenders is honestly ridiculous. I understand the car is brand new to the company and that there is obviously more focus towards making new ones than making spare parts, but the idea of having to wait now in total 3 months (hopefully not longer) in order for me to get my car back from what any other manufacturer would have been able to deliver and repair a vehicle in less than 3 weeks is astonishing. i absolutely love my Model 3 and would recommend the car to anyone but I would hope that Tesla realizes that the existing customer is just as important as the ones waiting for their own new Tesla's. I will provide an update once i receive one.

Waseem93 | September 24, 2018

First time tesla owner

calvin940 | September 24, 2018

Sounds like a terrible insurance company. You should post on their forums.

wayne | September 24, 2018

Sorry to hear about that. The slow repair adds insult to injury. I would have great difficulty being without my new Tesla for 3 months. Good luck.

Frank99 | September 24, 2018

I got in an accident with my Model 3 on September 1. Front bumper, hood, both front fenders, headlights, etc damaged.
I got a Body Shop estimate (New Image Paint and Body in Tempe, AZ) on September 4.
AAA was in touch with me on September 4.
AAA sent out an adjuster on Sept 6.
Car was in the Body shop on Sept 10 for a tear-down to identify all the bent/broken bits.
The other driver's insurance was in touch on Sept 11 to get information.
AAA and Body shop reached agreement on Sept 12.
Parts were ordered on Sept 17, car is estimated to be ready Oct 10.

Now, as much as I'd like the car back NOW, I have a really hard time complaining about the scheduling when there were at least 60 hours of labor estimated, including mechanical, paint, and Tesla-specific calibrations and computer work. Those kinds of work can't be done in parallel. I don't have the detailed schedule, but I'd guess they're estimating a week to get parts, and two weeks to put them on, paint them, and calibrate the sensors.

We'll see, but the issues you're seeing sound more like Insurance and Body Shop issues, not Tesla issues.

lbowroom | September 24, 2018

What did you base your $9-10K estimate on?

Bighorn | September 24, 2018

Tesla has started some 24 hour body shops that are repairing damage in record time.

apodbdrs | September 24, 2018

TESLA is very busy building cars, trying to meet 3rd quarter goals, otherwise they will be in deep shit with investors, etc. Every part is going going to building cars, they are probabley putting a very little limited supply of parts out to the SCs and body shops, so it is going to be a wait game. Advice park far away from others and really drive safely to avoid accidents!

anukdoc | September 24, 2018

I also would like to know how you came up with $9-10K? And what does it matter anyway you aren't paying for it? Also I highly doubt your car sat for 4 weeks waiting on insurance.

Bated Breath | September 24, 2018

I picked up my M3 LR June 9th. I rear ended an SUV August 21st. The damage was almost identical to Frank99 (front fender, hood, headlight, trunk, etc. USAA processed the claim immediately. Tesla delivered all but one part about 2 weeks ago. That allowed the body shop to paint, straighten, etc as needed. The final part is being delivered Wednesday. The body shop says I can pick up my car Friday. That will be 5 weeks and 2 days after the car was delivered to the body shop.

From what I've read online, Model S and X body work takes 2-3 months and Model 3 takes 4-6 weeks.

The last 5 weeks driving an ICE rental has been torture. I can't wait to get my M3 back. I will be the safest driver ever!

I believe the OP's insurance company failed him. I also believe Tesla needs to reduce their lead time for parts. Tesla knows this and is working towards this end.

jeremynordland | September 24, 2018

Is the car not drive able? How hard was the impact if it wasn't?! If it's that bad it sounds like you can ask for compensation from the other driver's insurance for the loss of value to the car and the fact you're making payments on a car you can't drive.

threejwang | January 22, 2019

same issue. my car has been in the body shop for 3 weeks. They are waiting for the part that Tesla is on back-log order.

I love my model 3 and have been trying to get all my friends to consider buying but now I am hesitating to do the same pitch.

coselectric | January 22, 2019

Just writing to commiserate. Took delivery in late September (LR AWD3), car had a deep 2 or 3 inch bumper scratch that occurred during transport. Tesla folks were cool, said don't worry, take the car and enjoy it, and bring it back in a few months and we'll fix it along with any other issues that we discover. I tried to get it fixed in December and they called and asked that I defer another month because their body shop was backed up.

So I finally brought the car in on Jan. 2. Had them fix a few minor issues - console rattle, classic left turn signal problem, and a door that was a little finicky on closing, and the bumper scratch. No Tesla loaners available, but they got me a decent rental car (BMW 4-series convertible). (We're actually now on our third rental car, which is a whole other saga... wife hated the beamer - don't blame her - next car somebody had smoked in... now we have a Q5 which is decent, but not my Model 3!).

So then after a day at the Tesla service center it went to the body shop. And there it has been for two and a half weeks, and there it will stay for at least another week or two. All for a scratched bumper. It seems like they tore the bumper apart and THEN ordered the parts they needed, and it took two weeks to get the bumper cover. And when the bumper cover arrived it was damaged beyond usability, and so they have ordered it again. I was told by the body shop (I was able to figure out where it was using the location feature on the app, and then get status on my car using the VIN) that Tesla is very slow to distribute body parts; they also told me the parts have to be shipped first to a warehouse/distribution center on the east coast and then shipped back to Colorado.

I'm pretty frustrated by this, I have to say. But I also have to say that I put more of the blame on the body shop than on Tesla (maybe I'm a hopeless Tesla fanboy now). I'm pretty sure the body shop was aware of the difficulty to get Tesla parts before they tore apart my bumper, so I don't understand why they would do that knowing it would result in the car being stuck there for a minimum of two weeks. I asked if they could put the original scratched bumper back on and I could have my car back until the part arrived, and they said that they had to tear out rivets and so the original bumper cover could not be installed back on the vehicle.

I guess the lesson for everyone is - if your car is driveable and you're only having cosmetic work done, don't let the body shop tear apart your car until they have the parts on hand.

ReD eXiLe ms us | January 22, 2019

w.eftaiha: September 24, 2018 was several months ago. What happened?

coselectric | January 22, 2019

@ReD eXiLe ms us, offtopic... but I have to ask: can you explain your username? I'm intrigued by the millisecond/microsecond reference. Or is it a secret? :)

mazers | January 22, 2019

@coselectric, back in the Fall I needed a new bumper cover because of a 3-4 inch scratch also. From the time they ordered it to installation was 3 weeks. This includes shipping from West Coast to MD, and painting. This time could have been shortened by a few days but I had some scheduling issue. All work was performed by a Tesla Body Shop though. Are you using one of theirs?

EM34ME | January 22, 2019

"I guess the lesson for everyone is - if your car is driveable and you're only having cosmetic work done, don't let the body shop tear apart your car until they have the parts on hand."

Somebody backed into my one week old model 3 and damaged the rear bumper fascia. The Tesla certified body shop said, yes, the damage is cosmetic from the exterior and could be repaired (including paint) in about two days. BUT, Tesla requires that the body shop remove the rear fascia and inspect the rear sensors and any damage to the real metal/foam bumper behind the fascia. It appears that my car has additional damage that cannot be seen, and yours may too. That is where the expense and delay for parts comes from. The question becomes whether you want your car to be fixed just cosmetically and not structurally. I want mine fixed both cosmetically AND structurally. This is why I recommend Tesla to my family and friends, because Tesla goes the extra mile to fix your car right, despite delay in parts. A traditional stealership would just fix your car cosmetically, charge you for fixing it structurally, and send you on your way in two days.

rxlawdude | January 22, 2019

@EM34ME, if a scratched bumper causes structural damage, we have a helluva lot more to worry about.

But there's no way "Tesla requires that the body shop remove the rear fascia and inspect the rear sensors and any damage to the real metal/foam bumper behind the fascia" for a scratch. Maybe your body shop is making stuff up.

mehingle14 | January 22, 2019

My wife's long-range model 3 was struck two weeks ago today. I feel fortunate that I have an appointment to bring it to the Tesla facility in San Jose on January 31st.

I'll keep the forum updated as to the progress.

coleAK | January 22, 2019

I’m sorry your in this situation. But think about it. The Tesla model 3 is a first year entirely new some what limited production luxury car. When I rolled my g500(off-roading) I don’t remember exactly how long but it was months for me to get a passenger side mirror from MB. I had a 2000 996 GT3 that needed a rear quarter panel, that was months as well.

And most cars are very expensive to repair. My cousin has a new expedition and got rear ended, it was almost $15k, $3600 just for the tail lights.

ILoveMyModel3 | January 22, 2019

This is not just a Tesla issue. I had to take my Infiniti Q50 to the shop for hail damage in 2017 and it took Infiniti several weeks to deliver parts as well. Therefore, the body shop had my car for about a month vs. two weeks.

ILoveMyModel3 | January 22, 2019

My experience with the Tesla Service Center in Dallas was different. I took delivery of my TM3 LR RWD (Silver) on 9/29/18.

I scheduled my service via the Tesla website and listed all of my delivery issues with pictures, which included paint issues on the front bumper. I received a call a few days later stating that they canceled my current service date because they have to order parts. A few days letter I received an email that the parts arrived and requested that I go online and rescheduled my service. The following Tuesday I dropped my car off, and I received daily updates via text. On Friday (of the same week) I received a text that all of the issues had been fixed and that they installed a brand new front bumper. I Pick my car up on Saturday morning, which means they only had my car for four days.

coselectric | January 22, 2019

@mazers - In my case, I left my car at the Tesla service center and they subsequently sent it to a third-party body shop here in the Denver area. I was given no choices, and in fact the only way I knew where it ended up was through the location shown in my phone app. (I'm hesitant to name the body shop because they still have my car and I don't want any blowback if they were to read this and think I was disparaging them online). They said that they have several dozen Teslas in their shop currently, and nearly a dozen are waiting on parts. I don't know if Tesla has their own body shop here in Colorado or if they just use third party body shops that they have, presumably, qualified to work on their vehicles.

@EM34ME - The part they are waiting for is the cover (fascia). My car suffered no impact, just a scratch, probably from loading/unloading from the carrier. They could clearly see that it needed replacing without needing to disassemble the bumper. I suspect that they simply followed their usual workflow which is to assume that body parts for late model cars can be obtained in a couple days max. I'm sure their workflow doesn't account for 3-4 week part delivery times, or they just don't care because the rental car fees aren't on their nickel. Tesla probably needs to have a chat with them about this, because it's costing Tesla apx. $450/week to keep me in a rental car, needlessly. I'd much prefer to keep driving my Model 3 while the body shop waiting for the bumper cover to arrive intact.

@ILoveMyModel3 - Glad to hear you had a good experience. Yours is the experience I was hoping/expecting. Regardless, I also love my Model 3 and can't wait to have it back. And I would still not hesitate to buy another - even if it takes another month to fix this scratch. I have gotten too familiar with the phrase "turbo lag" over the past 3 weeks to ever want another gas car.

coselectric | January 22, 2019

BTW, just to make myself feel better, here are all the things I have hated about the three different 2018 model year gas cars I have rented while waiting for my Model 3 to return. The vehicles have been a BMW 430i convertible, Nissan Armada and Audi Q5. All $50,000 vehicles, give or take.

- Turbo lag. OMG, turbo lag. (The Nissan didn't have a turbo, but it had a V8 and got all of 16 mpg while I had it).

- Everyone's infotainment just plain sucks. Sorry BMW/Nissan/Audi, but your infotainment SUCKS.

- Nissan gets a pass on this one, but BMW/Audi - come on, it's 2019, haven't you guys heard of touch screens?

- Audi - why do you make me fish around for my keys and push the unlock button to get in?

- BMW/Nissan - your maps are seriously already so out of date in your 2018 vehicles that new streets in a neighborhood adjacent to mine aren't shown yet? And how much are you going to charge to update them?

- BMW - a 3.5x5 inch display screen in a 2018 model year $55,000 vehicle? Really?

- Nissan - kudos for the touchscreen. Pinch-zoom too! But I literally have to stretch my arms on my 6'3" tall body to their limits to reach it. And still, half the controls are 3 feet lower on the console, and I have to keep using trial-and-error to figure out whether the control I need is on the touchscreen or the console!

- Audi - where the HECK are your seated heat controls? I still can't find them. I'm pretty sure you have heated seats, because my butt gets all sweaty after about 15 minutes. Would really love to figure out how to turn that off.

- Nissan - you really have to figure out this proximity sensor thing. Giving me constant shrill warnings of imminent collision with snowflakes during the two snowstorms that occurred while I had your vehicle is just ridiculous.

- Nissan/Audi - why won't you let me turn on the rear camera view while I'm driving? Really, I'm a grown-up, I can handle it. (BMW lets me).

- BMW - enough with the maddening ready-start thing. Why do you need to stop the motor at every stoplight for no more than 20 seconds and then start it up when I take my foot off the brake - or even just at random - so that you can increase your fuel economy by probably 0.5 mpg? And then when I disable the feature (using the obscure method I had to read about in the manual), why do you re-enable it the next time I turn on the car? Sorry, I'll give you points for intent, but I really don't think you're saving the world with this feature.

- BMW/Nissan/Audi - how the heck do I lock the dual climate control together? Is it even possible?

- Audi - what in the world do your window lock buttons do? And why are there exactly two window locks, side by side below the window controls? Left/right? Front/rear? No comprendo.

I'm sorry, but I actually studied the psychology of human-machine interfaces long ago as an engineering undergrad, and anybody who says the Model 3 touch screen controls are inferior to these brands is an idiot.

OK, I feel better. Taking it one day at a time until my Model 3 comes home. Thanks for listening.

qqaaplz | January 22, 2019

I called the Seaside SC a few days ago for tire rotation: $75 for rotation, $185 if doing balance as well.

RES IPSA | January 22, 2019

I really hope some idiot does not hit my M3 until at least 2021

RES IPSA | January 22, 2019

Costco charges $25 for rotation and balance... Discount tire will rotate for free, but balancing will cost about $60. Discount Tire does offer an extended warranty for $36 a tire (18" Michelin tires) which includes free balancing as well. Then they prorate the tires when you want to buy new ones.

EM34ME | January 22, 2019

"The part they are waiting for is the cover (fascia). My car suffered no impact, just a scratch, probably from loading/unloading from the carrier. "

How do you know, for sure, the car suffered no impact damage? I know on my car, the cosmetic damage is minimal, but the impact was sufficient enough to tweak the panel gaps so that now the rear passenger door stands about 1/4 inch proud of the adjacent body panel. The body shop said they would prefer to just repaint the bumper fascia because it is easier to color blend and match the existing paint. A new rear bumper fascia will come in black color and it will be more difficult to match my body color (pearl white) to a new fascia. The body shop foreman said he will not know if I need a new fascia until they remove it and see what needs to be done. Now I am just waiting for the perp's insurance (Farmer's Insurance) to authorize repairs (three weeks and counting). I may have to take the perp and Farmer's Ins. to small claims court.

Mike UpNorth | January 22, 2019


lol.....good review/reminder of what I gave up!

coselectric | January 22, 2019

@EM34ME, you're right, my 2-inch bumper scratch found at delivery completely warrants a 4-week repair visit.

rxlawdude | January 22, 2019

@EM34, it would have been helpful for you to have mentioned "impact was sufficient enough to tweak the panel gaps so that now the rear passenger door stands about 1/4 inch proud of the adjacent body panel" in your post where you were complaining that they were going to take your bumper apart because you perhaps had "unseen" damage. Then you post about tweaked panels. I'd say that's "seen" damage, and a bit more than just a bumper scratch.

kcheng | January 22, 2019

So, for those who've had to wait weeks for parts to come in, etc., does the body shop charge your Tesla every once in a while?

coselectric | January 22, 2019

@kcheng, excellent question! I dropped my car off nearly three weeks ago with apx. 50% charge. As of today it's down to about 20% and they have not plugged it in since it arrived. Seems like it loses about 1.5% per day that it just sits unused. Note that it is at least being kept inside a building - the cabin temperature is in the mid 50's F every time I check, and the location on the map appears to be inside a structure. It has been cold and snowy in Colorado the last couple of weeks, so I'm glad they're keeping it inside.

I texted my service advisor a couple days ago and mentioned that they would need to charge it if it would be there another couple weeks. He texted back that he'd pass that along to the body shop. I did not leave my mobile charger in the vehicle when I brought it in for service (it is my main charger for use at home), and I do not know if they have a charger at the body shop since it is a third-party shop. I have to think they would have encountered this situation previously. But if the vehicle gets below 10% I plan to call the body shop directly. I'm going to be ticked if I have to drive up to the body shop (about a 1 hour drive) and bring my charger to them.

jimglas | January 22, 2019

It took me 2 weeks to get my drivers window replaced
Mobile service did it for $135 which was convenient and cheap
But I couldn’t drive my car for 2 weeks
Not FUD, just my experience
Love my car, best, by far of any I have ever owned

Mountain M3 | February 5, 2019

Well, the unthinkable happened this week and I rear-ended somebody at a stop sign. It was at low speed and the damage appears minor, but on close inspection it is clear I will need a front bumper replacement. Where should I go to have it fixed? I live 2.5 hours from the nearest service center and my understanding is that they usually farm out body work to outside shops anyway. Should I try to go through them or my insurance company for the fix? I am nervous about going outside of Tesla when I know it will need Tesla parts to repair and most shops in my area wouldn't have any experience with this.


pankajreddy | February 13, 2019

I have met with an accident today, Hit the rear of another stopped vehicle while making a free right, i realized later today that my front bumper was cracked, feel so frustated. Live in Chicago, Insurance said they will send the estimator soon. Will have to wait and further thinking of taking to local Tesla body repair shop. Hope the replacement of the red color bumper can be done on within 4 weeks..


Adrchan75 | March 8, 2019

I'm also frustrated with Model 3 parts being available. My car has been in a Tesla certified body shop since 12/19/2018. Since it was so close to the holidays I expected the body shop would not get to it until at least the 1st week of January (which it was). The body shop had already estimated the parts needed to fix the car and ordered the by parts by the 2nd week of January. Most of the parts had already arrived by the first week of February except for 2 parts (which are 2 rear seat-belts). Long story short, were still waiting for these 2 parts. I find it hard to believe that in all of the Tesla distribution parts warehouse that these parts are not available. As of today (3/8/2019), these parts are not available. I just miss my car. So my car has technically been in the shop since 12/19/2018 and still there.

walnotr | March 8, 2019

If the car is still drivable do not take it in for repair until all the parts are waiting to be installed. My closest service center is about 250 miles away. I asked to have the rear bumper painted and all parts on hand before making the trip. All the parts were there when I arrived and the repair took about 2 hours to complete. I was back home that same evening with my car like new. Tesla will work with you to keep you on the road what ever way they can.

derotam | March 8, 2019

@Adrchan75, and how many "parts warehouses" do you think Tesla has?

walnotr | March 8, 2019

… and, I forgot to mention, it was about 2 weeks from the day I scheduled the appointment to job done. Additionally, every call I made was answered promptly and professionally.

Adrchan75 | March 8, 2019

@derotam - not the point of how many 'parts warehouses', I just find it hard to believe they can't make 2 seat belts.


derotam | March 8, 2019

@Adrchan75, I responded to your statement of " I find it hard to believe that in all of the Tesla distribution parts warehouse" If you now want to move the goal post, that is fine too and I'll respond to that. They can make them...and put them into cars that are on order already. It's a matter of manufacturing capacity for parts compared to what capacity is needed to supply cars coming off the line.

Also...It's "just" two seatbelts right? And should there be a difference between a seatbelt and a bumper cover, trunk/frunk lid, wheel...or any other item that YOU decide should be "simple" to make.

Adrchan75 | March 8, 2019

@derotam - Yes, it should be 'simple' to make. Hell, you can go to O'Reilly's auto store and they can order you a seat belt (yes I know that they maybe the generic kind) Look I'm a big fan of Tesla and I believe they make the best cars, but if they're going to go into the automotive business then they should of been prepared, especially when they are making a mass produced vehicle.

ILoveMyModel3 | March 8, 2019

Tesla has nothing to do with the time it took your insurance company to go and appraise the damage.

Sasquatch2001 | March 8, 2019

can you drive it until the crappy grifters get the parts in to repair your car?

Adrchan75 | March 8, 2019

@Sasquatch2001 - Unfortunately, the car was rear-ended pretty bad and the side air-bags came out. So the car needed a new headliner, bumper, air-bags, ...etc. The body shop (Tesla certified) says that in order to put everything back together they need the last 2 seat belts before it is drive-able. Kind of wished the insurance company labeled the car as totaled.

tsg | March 17, 2019

My model 3 was in an accident January 15th 2019
Body shop placed part orders (front driver fender) January 17th, 2019
Still no ETA from Tesla as of March 17th, 2 months later
I have sent several emails to bodyshopsupport/customercare, asking about status with order details, but they do not care to respond
2+ months for a fender is just unacceptable .. I know many unsure folks have canceled their Model 3 orders hearing about this experience. Understand Tesla wants to ramp production to appease shareholders but at the expense of existing loyal customers ... appalling!

bruhling2 | March 17, 2019

I took delivery of my LR AWD on Feb. 11. On March 9, I was rear ended by a delivery vehicle doing 55-60 MPH on a highway. As of this past Friday (March 15), they cannot get my car to take power. As a result, they had to order a part. The Tesla certified body shop said that the part is on order from Tesla and not expected for at least 3 weeks. Until that part arrives, they cannot begin to assess the extent of the damage to the vehicle. I've been told to expect repairs to take up to 6-9 months...

Thankfully, the company that hit me is required by law to provide a comparable rental car, so I am in a Model X that is costing them nearly $2k/wk. The price of repairs, rental, and diminished value claim may just push them to total and replace my car...

Lesson learned: do not have an accident in a M3...

hector | March 17, 2019

Anti spam bump...

Adrchan75 | March 18, 2019

@tsg - I feel your pain. BTW if you get a chance, try to get the part# that they ordered if you don't have it already and compare it with the public Tesla parts catalog ( I'm not saying if this is true or not, BUT, when the body shop and the Tesla Body Shop Support gave me the same part# that was on back order, I looked it up in the parts catalog and it was totally different. I inquired about this with Tesla Body shop support and they said that the part# they gave me (the 2 seat belts) was for my year that my car was made. He also said that there were actually 3 different versions of the seat belt and one was interchangeable, BUT he said all 3 were on back order. The body shop sent me the picture of the seat belt when he ordered it and when I compared the public catalog picture, they looked identical. If the part was differently made then at least the picture would be different to justify the newer version, but it wasn't. Anyway, then some 'magic' happened and a couple of days later my body shop said the part had arrived. The part that supposedly on back order since early January somehow became available after I inquired about it. I'm not saying that what I did somehow made the back ordered parts available, but it was a little suspicious. I called the body shop today and they said I should be getting my car today. In the shop since 12/19/18 and picking up on 3/18/19....smh

dsp | March 18, 2019

I feel all your pain, as my M3 was in the shop. I just got it back last week. Fender bender by a jackass Yukon who couldn't share the road and wouldn't stop. I was barely moving. Luckily the damage was limited to just the front bumper, and some brackets and lower lamp. In all took 2 weeks to get the parts from Tesla and 1 week for repair. I feel lucky reading your guys' stories. Hang in there, I was missing the car terribly especially with all the Tesla news, etc. So happy to be back in it. You will get there. And yes, moral of the lesson do not have accident in the M3.
@ coselectric excellent summary, all rings true!