Don’t Wreck Your Tesla Model S Because Repairs Are Supposedly Costly and Time Consuming

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 17

We Advise That You Don't Do This In Your Model S

We Advise That You Don’t Do This In Your Model S

A recent article on Quora is focused on the Tesla Model S and explores a topic we’ve yet to see mentioned.

The title, “What Happens When a Tesla Car Crashes,” sums it up quite well.

This Model S Looks a Bit Beat Up

This Model S Looks a Bit Beat Up

What you read below is the experience of one Model S driver (his wife happens to be the Model S owner) who had an unfortunate event occur while driving the electric Tesla.

Here’s his story:

 “Recently, I borrowed my wife’s Model S and was almost immediately sideswiped by a hit-and-run, resulting in our Model S spending several weeks in the Tesla-approved body shop in San Carlos.”

“There are scores of Model S’s in various states of “accidentness” there. In fact, there’s an entire warehouse there full of crashed-up Teslas in various states of repair.”

The Model S owner claims to have seen a lot at the Tesla-approved body shop in San Carlos while the Model S spent “several weeks” there.

Here’s what he says he learned:

  • No fires, period. None. Tesla said this, but the body shop confirmed this. No charred cars have come into the body shop, despite having fixed hundreds of Roadsters and S’s in accidents.
  • The Roadsters fall apart. Perhaps 20-30% or more of the Roadsters have to go through a rebuild, and the battery packs fail as well. This so far doesn’t seem to be remotely the case with the Model S.
  • Tons of rear-end accidents. I can’t tell you for sure why. The reason may (or may not) be due to the default “Standard,” very aggressive, regenerative braking setting. With the higher reg on … the car behind perhaps isn’t going to see red lights as quickly as you slow down, which equals more rear-end accidents. Also, the overall super-quietness of the Model S may lead to more accidents.
  • Just don’t get in an accident, due to parts availability. It takes a month to get parts and get fixed up. Also, the repairs aren’t cheap. So just don’t get in an accident.
  • Hatches ripped off. Many high-end buyers don’t seem to be used to having a hatchback. They leave it up, drive out of their 5-car garages, and rip the hatch right off.

We can neither confirm nor deny this information, but still thought it worth sharing due to the detailed nature (which leads us to assume it’s rather accurate) of the Quora post.

Perhaps some Model S owners out there who have “wrecked” their ride will chime in with their repair experience so we can get a broader view on the topic.

Quora

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17 responses to "Don’t Wreck Your Tesla Model S Because Repairs Are Supposedly Costly and Time Consuming"

  1. Bill Howland says:

    Be interesting to see some prices here of typical repairs.

    1. SRSF says:

      $1000 to fix tire rim on Tesla.

  2. Rick says:

    “Hatches ripped off. Many high-end buyers don’t seem to be used to having a hatchback. They leave it up, drive out of their 5-car garages, and rip the hatch right off.”

    Perhaps once the engine is started, the hatch could be made to close automatically. How much could another electric motor cost, right? I mean a $100 electric motor could save $1000’s of dollars of repair, saving money for the few that forget to close their hatch.

    1. vdiv says:

      Or perhaps the car should not move until the hatch is closed, just like it does not move while it is plugged in.

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        And when you want to transport some long things, like a new carpet roll, which will hang out at the back?

        1. Let’s make this a setting that must be done intentionnaly, on the center screen. “Authorize car movements with rear hatch open” and this reverts back to NO at power off.

          1. David Stone says:

            How about:

            “you can afford a car at this price; you should not need a nanny to make sure you close the d@mn3d hatch”.

            😉

  3. pjwood says:

    There’s been an ebay “rebuildable”, for 49k. Panels are half blue, half grey. Yikes! Insurance numbers will catch on fast, if there is a problem. Any owners want to quote what they pay? My Volt was 900/yr, pretty cean record.

  4. David Murray says:

    Of course, if prices are going to be discussed, I think there should be inclusion of other vehicles in the same price range and what their repair costs are. It wouldn’t be fair to compare repair costs of a Model S and a Nissan Versa.

  5. kdawg says:

    “Tons of rear-end accidents. I can’t tell you for sure why. The reason may (or may not) be due to the default “Standard,” very aggressive, regenerative braking setting. With the higher reg on … the car behind perhaps isn’t going to see red lights as quickly as you slow down, which equals more rear-end accidents.”
    ————————–

    From what I’m told, the Spark EV turns on the brake lights when you are in L and remove your foot from the accelerator. Maybe this will become a requirement? If your car decelerates at X-mph, it must illuminate brake lights?

    1. Dave R says:

      Teslas already turn on their brake lights when regen braking exceeds a certain level.

      I don’t think the rear-endings have anything to do with regenerative braking.

      1. Aaron says:

        Interesting. My i-MiEV does NOT ever turn on its brake lights, regardless of the regen level. Since I always drive in the highest regen level, this concerns me.

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      There’s a FMVSS standard (which is riveting reading), but it looks like the brake lamps _must_ be activated when using the brakes, and _may_ be activated when using other means to reduce speed (presumably by engine braking/downshifting in traditional vehicles).

      http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title49-vol6/pdf/CFR-2011-title49-vol6-sec571-108.pdf

      If there’s an update or clarification that defines the max deceleration before a light is required, I’d be curious to see that..

  6. Spec says:

    “Many high-end buyers don’t seem to be used to having a hatchback. They leave it up, drive out of their 5-car garages, and rip the hatch right off.”

    LOL. I doubt most have 5 car garages but I’m sure some do.

  7. Tesla Fan says:

    “Also, the overall super-quietness of the Model S may lead to more accidents.”

    definitely not

    1. David Stone says:

      Agreed.

      Who can hear the sound of the other vehicle when driving?
      …unless the other vehicle is e.g. a Ducati motorbike.

  8. Steven says:

    I think it’s something else…

    I call it “Hey, look a Tesla!” syndrome. I, myself am guilty of it. There aren’t too many Tesla’s here in the metro Philadelphia area (two that I’ve seen) and when I see one, I am somewhat transfixed. I stare at every detail of the car. if one were in front of me and deceletated rapidly enough, I could imagine rear-ending it if I wasn’t careful.