What happens if we have an accident in our S?

What happens if we have an accident in our S?

Maybe this has been asked, but for the life of me, I couldn't find a search feature on the forums... Time to update to phpBB or vBulletin!

Anyway, I was just wondering... if we have an accident in the S, where do we get it repaired? Given that it's an aluminum body, I'm guessing the work is different from conventional steel bodies. And since there aren't dealerships with body shops, I was wondering what we would do.

I'm in Montreal, Canada, so shipping it to Cali. would be a stretch.

Anyone have any idea?



SMOP | August 7, 2012

There will be authorized body shops that Tesla will point you/your insurance company to, in the case of accident.

Remember the Roadster had Carbon Fiber body panels, so Aluminum should not be a huge problem. Several cars nowadays employ aluminum bodies, like Jaguar.

RobertMontreal | August 7, 2012

That's great! Thanks for the quick reply!

pbrulott | August 7, 2012

Bonjour Rob,

At the Carrefour Laval event back in May, Eli (not sure of the spelling) from Tesla mentioned to me that he was looking to secure a site specifically for maintenance not a full fledge store though. He was looking around the area of North of Montreal/South of Laval. He mentioned September...

It is also important to me before I proceed with the purchase. He mentioned there are 5 Roadsters in the area plus new owners of TMS like you and me.

No way I am going to pay for Ranger service from Toronto, Boston or New York. That is where we are going to see if Tesla is serious about doing business in Canada.

stephen.kamichik | August 7, 2012

I was told the same thing at Laval event. They also told me that pricing would be announced in two weeks. It is now more than two months later and still no Canadian pricing announcement. Can we believe anything that they told us then? I'll believe it when I see it.

Brian H | August 7, 2012

One article said GB was projecting 29 service centers across the US by y/e. That distribution should minimize Ranger travel time, even for those who don't want to or can't go to the centers directly. OTOH, maybe 1 per state will be needed in a year or so!

Teoatawki | August 7, 2012

Our experience with Tesla and the phrase "2 weeks" suggests that it is probably pretty close now. It seems to be code for 2-3 months.

brianman | August 7, 2012

@prulott - If that issues isn't resolved before you get your configure/finalize e-mail, I would push it back on them that I need an addendum to the agreement ensuring that there will be a service center near enough to you that ranger fees are a non-issue. I'm curious to see how they would react to such pushback.

Volker.Berlin | August 8, 2012

Here are a few remarks from Green Car Reports that apply to EVs in general (the Model S' aluminum body may be the lesser problem when compared to correct battery handling):

Brian H | August 8, 2012

Good article. Implicit is the issue of what happens to your warrantee when the car is repaired by any shop other than a Tesla service center. Sounds like time to start scouring the fine print.

Thumper | August 8, 2012

Before I reserved, I went to one or our high quality body shops and asked about accident repair availability for an all aluminum car. They said they already do it for cars like the Audi 8. It should be no problem. I assume, that this assumes they can get body panels in a timely manner.

Brian H | August 8, 2012

The issue is handling the battery. If they heat-bake the paint repair without removing it, they could harm or kill it. Baaadd nooosss.

There is also the issue of detecting/repairing accident damage to the battery and the electronics. Check your warrantee!!

Superliner | August 8, 2012

Interesting... Wonder how many insurance companies will shell out $20k in addition to crash damage should the pack be damaged and what type of premium/s will be charged for "full coverage" on the Model S. Anyone out there that has taken delivery have a handle on insurance costs?

RobertMontreal | August 8, 2012

I remember reading a thread where they were saying the insurance cost wasn't any higher than on a "comparable" (I know, nothing compares to the S) premium sedan.

RobertMontreal | August 8, 2012

As for the service center in Montreal area, Hans was telling me the same thing, but I don't remember him saying it would be in September. He did say they liked the Laval area. I would definitely like to see a production model in person and ask the tough questions before signing my delivery agreement, but being P308, I think I have a lot of time on my hands even though I want to get the performance model.

I'm assuming they don't have prices in Canada yet because whatever regulatory body hasn't yet given permission for the S to be road-worthy, but I could be wrong. I think that once that happens, there will be a lot more activity in the Canadian market. I hope so anyway!

BYT | August 8, 2012

Most sidewall damage is considered totaled anyway, if it's rear ended or frontal collision, most likely the battery back nestled between the wheels would avoid damage, otherwise again, would be classified as totaled. In which case, get back in the Model S line to purchase a new one... :/

BYT | August 8, 2012


pbrulott | August 9, 2012

@ brianman will do for sure. it is a prerequesite for my purchase. guys, it is a new model, there will be recalls and hickups.

@ Stephen and RobMTL. Same thing on my side for Can prices. They said 60K and will be announced soon. I assume Tesla has better things to do than to bother with 400 or so reservations in Canada... They have a funnel full of US reservations.

stephen.kamichik | August 9, 2012

400 reservations could become 4000 reservations if TM treats its Canadian customers fairly. If TM chooses to "shaft" us, they will have NO Canadian reservations to "bother" about.

Brian H | August 10, 2012

pbrulott | August 9, 2012
@ brianman will do for sure. it is a prerequesite prerequisite for my purchase. guys, it is a new model, there will be recalls and hickups hiccups.

I think Elon is bending way over backwards to prevent the need for recalls! Nothing is foolproof, but he's doing his damnedest. In any case, a recall doesn't cost you. It's the non-warranteed stuff that costs big.

Just keep thinking, "One moving part in the whole drive train. What can go wrong?" ;)

That said, you can't be an early adopter and have a dense, convenient service infrastructure at the same time. They're contradictory. Pick one.

pbrulott | August 11, 2012

Hi Brian H, lol, thanks for the spelling corrections. I used to have a boss like that. However, she cared more about grammar than content. Don't think it is your case.

Need to get used to it as I am not native English speaker like 90% of the world.

Recalls happen on all sort of things not only moving parts. Lots of safety recalls happening. For me, a way to have my TMS repaired/maintained is really important. Don't want to ship it and don't want to pay for Ranger service as any normal car.

Brian H | August 11, 2012

The "What can go wrong?" is a joke punch line. Obviously, lots of things besides the motor-rotor can screw up. HOWEVER: I am trying to gently reconcile you to the fact that your wishes are unlikely to be fulfilled with the early-adopter Tesla distribution system. "If wishes were Porsches, then beggars could drive!" is my modernized version of an Olde English saying (beggars, horses, ride).

pbrulott | August 12, 2012

10-4 BH. thanks for all your posts/replies btw

mklcolvin | August 13, 2012

You know, I wasn't so concerned about body damage as I am about spare parts. We haven't heard anything about this, and I assume that all available parts right now are being used to assemble cars. Thoughts?

Norbert.Vienna | August 13, 2012

@ mklcolvin
i had this problem with a brandnew Renault Fluence ze I it drove 200 miles it was now 5 weeks in the repairshop
they had to exchange the main fuse and the batterie -it took so long to deliver the spares and the local technican could not perform the work
so they flew in some technicans from france
alltogether 5 weeks of waiting

after that i ask my TM rep he told me that will not happen since we keep spares nearby

hope he is right

jerry3 | August 13, 2012


My assumption is that Tesla has a stock of spare parts, and if you should need one and they don't have it, they would pull it from the line (a display for example). Because almost everything is manufactured in-house, there shouldn't be the problem that Norbert had with his Renault (which is manufactured in a different country).

CollisionSam | October 10, 2012

I can tell you our bodyshop has the repair jigs and access to the parts to repair them. The official roll out is slow, but if heaven forbid someone is eager to crash their new Tesla, they are NOT S.O.L.

As with ANY new car model, there might be some drag in getting replacement parts. But with a smaller company like Tesla, it'll be easy to get an engineer on the phone who will hand pull a part and ship it from the factory.

In my shop, I've dealt with major parts delays on brand new cars on several occasions. Truth is, the worst scenarios have been Toyota. I once had a Mercedes CLK on a rack for 3 months waiting for a transmission pipe. And a 2011 MBZ CLS that they told us "we are trying to find someone to manufacture that headrest for us." VW Audi can be generally slow in parts procurement too. But again, because it's so easy to get an engineer on the phone at Tesla, I don't anticipate any major problems.

I think you're all worrying about a non-issue.

olanmills | October 10, 2012

"What happens if we have an accident in our S?"

This happens

Timo | October 11, 2012

@olanmills, did you post wrong link?

olanmills | October 11, 2012

No, I just got tired of searching for the "perfect" clip.

I like how sad that kid looked. That's how I would look.