To those of you considering getting either 21" tires or the road hazard insurance I share the following:
- I'm not a car guy
- I got a P85 with 21" tires because of the promise of extra handling/performance
- I'm thrilled with my MS
- I live in Omaha, NE (Pothole capital of the world.)
While driving to work I deftly avoided a pothole the size of a small car. Smiling and feeling quite smug about my quick reactions I glanced in the rearview mirror to take a look at the tire-eater I just avoided, only to squarely hit a pothole the size of a large car. This happened with a block of work. I limped in, parked, and took a look at the passenger side front tire. It was flat. I had blown out the sidewall.
A bit irritated I took solace in the fact that the week before, based upon what I thought was good advice on the forum, purchased the road hazard insurance. So at least I would not have to pay for the replacement.
Little did I know how quickly things would go from bad to worse. My first call was to Telsa inside service where I learned that I would have to deal with anther company, SENSIO, to deal with the tire reimbursement. Next call, SENSIO. They gave the number of the local tire company they had a relationship with. It happened to be close to work and a company we have dealt with, great! Third call was to the local tire company. They quickly informed me that not only did they not have the tire in stock, they would not order it for me nor if I found one and brought it in would they mount it for me. Really? Yes, really. They did now want the "liability" of damaging the rim. Calls 4-143 (about) were to various tire companies trying to source the tire. No luck, until Tesla, at my request, helped find it, on the internet. OK, not my idea of road hazard insurance support, but I understand that this is a new car, I'm an early adopter. Time to suck it up and order the tire. Then, via a reference from one of the many of the local tire companies that would not do the work, they got me in touch with seemingly the only one in the area willing/able to mount the tire. The tire arrived and thinking my frustrations were coming to a close I called SENSIO to find out what next. That was call 144 through 150. Finally I got them connected to the company doing the mounting of the tire. Now IF the company was a SENSIO partner the company doing the work could bill SENSIO directly and that would be that. But since I HAD to go with an unapproved vendor I would be responsible for submitting the bills for payment. Then I found out that they "might" want to have the tire shipped to them for inspection. Of course, they did. Now I have to get copies of both bills and email to them. I did. Then I had to ship off the tire. Which I did. Not that either of those are huge deals, it is just a few more "pin pricks" on top of a lot of previous "pin pricks". So I'm thinking it's over. Silly me. I then follow up has I have not heard anything. It takes two emails as I don't hear back from the first. I am informed that they received the tire but do not have a record of the bills. So I send them again. One more little "pin prick". Now understand there are two bills, one for the tire, one for the mounting. That's it. No towing, no claim on the rim. Just the tire and the mounting. I receive an email back letting me know that they need me to write on one of the bills, the $40 mounting bill, the VIN number of the car, the claim number, the date of the event, my children's name, social security numbers, and the lyrics of "American Pie", the long version! (Ok, no children information or lyrics, but that is what it felt like.) That is the one that has pushed me over the edge and to send out this warning to all Telsa owners. Beware death by a thousand road hazard pin pricks! There is no way they need that information or can't do it themselves.
In fairness. Everyone at Tesla was great. Everyone at SENSIO was very polite. If you are in an area that has a SENSIO partner that can handle this for you, your experience might be much better.
A few other things to keep in mind. The total submitted in the claim was $370. The tire was $330 (over $600 purchased directly from Tesla) and mounting $40. So I would have to have two more blowouts before I would even break even on the $900 paid for the road hazard. The rim was scuffed but was still functional so it did not qualify for replacement are any financial consideration of any kind. (The main reason I got the road hazard as they are expensive.) The thought of going through this two more times makes me nauseous. Also note that the limit on a single tire claim is $600. So if you were to purchase the tire directly form Tesla you would have some out of pocket cost to make up the difference from the cost of the tire and their single incident limit. Mounting and or towing would also be on your dime.
1) If you are a not a "car guy" I would not get the 21"s. I did, not terribly sorry I did, but if I had to do it over again I would not get them. If I had the 19"s it is much more likely that it would have survived my encounter with the pothole.
2) Unless you plan on blowing out a bunch of tires, have a lot more time, and a lot more patience that I do, (I readily admit I have very little free time and not a lot of patience.) I would avoid the road hazard. It would have been better for me just to pay for the tire and move on. Quicker, easier, cheaper.
I don't have a check yet and don't expect to get one for a month or two.
I hope this helps a few of you out there.