The Rivian R1T is quite different from the majority of internal combustion pickups out there, not only because it has an all-electric powertrain but also because it has a hybrid construction that mates a unibody shell to a skateboard platform that’s similar to a traditional ladder frame chassis.
This has its benefits: more load-sharing points compared to a typical frame-based pickup, as well as the cool Gear Tunnel that offers a pretty large lockable storage space between the rear seats and the bed.
However, this approach also has its downsides, the biggest of which is the high level of work involved in fixing the truck after it’s been in an accident. Because the bed is fused to the body, rear-end repairs usually mean the whole bedside has to be cut off and replaced with a new piece of sheet metal.
After being hit from behind, an R1T owner from North Carolina was quoted $41,000 by a local body shop to have his truck back in tip-top condition, which ultimately led his insurance company to say “Nope, we’ll total the vehicle if that happens” (they didn’t actually say this, but you get the idea).
So the owner did a bit of research and came across Matt Boyette, who runs All Out Paintless Dent Removal in Jacksonville, Florida, and decided to ship his EV 500 miles south to try and get the damaged rear end fixed.
Rivian R1T repaired with paintless dent removal (Source: Matt Boyette / YouTube)
I got in touch with Matt through his Instagram account (@thedentslayer) to find out more about the repair that has gone viral online, amassing over eight million views on YouTube (the video is embedded at the top of this page).
Matt worked on the truck for two days, during which he put to good use all the techniques learned in the past 25 years doing hail damage repairs and other types of paintless dent removal jobs across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The result is close to perfect, and you’d be hard-pressed to notice any defect if you’re not looking for it: a tiny dent and two dots that will need some paint touch-up. As for the price, Matt said that a repair like this usually costs between $3,000 and $7,000, so between 7 and 17 percent of the original quote.
I asked him if he expects to see more Rivians coming his way, to which he replied: “I’m definitely expecting to see more Rivians. Since the video went viral, which is now at almost 8 million views, I’ve had numerous people reach out to me from all over the country in need of similar repairs.”
Since posting the original video with the green R1T, Matt posted two more repair clips, one with a gray R1T that had a similar dent as the green one, and one with a black R1T that had a minor dent in the tailgate, which landed the owner a $13,000 repair estimate from a different body shop.