OT: The cost of repairing a Model 3

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Submitted by Coronita on March 10, 2020 - 9:13am

This isn't my car or any person's car in my family. It's a coworker's car. Unfortunately a few days after my coworker got the car, someone rear ended him going at a relatively slow speed. Long story short, the damage was a scrapped up bumper with a broken reflector light, and a dent in the trunk, that the other person's insurance is going to pay fully.

Total estimate for repairs? Slightly over $6200.
I understand that with the aluminum panels, that collision repairs for Teslas might be expensive, but $6200 for a trunk lid and a bumper seemed excessively high, even if you had to completely replace the trunk lid and the rear bumper and reflector. So what's up with this $6200 estimate?

Ok, so the trunk lid is about $450 parts.
The bumper is roughly $450 to and the reflector lens is about $250. So, parts is roughly $1200. Where's the rest of the $5000 repair bill coming from.

It turns out that in order to "properly" repair this car, the Tesla certified body shop (only 2 in San Diego, BTW), needs to paint not only the trunk lid and rear bumper, BUT also the driver side and passenger side rear quarter panel and rocker panel. AND, in order to do that, the small rear windows need to be taken out too. So while parts + painting labor for the trunk and rear bumper would be around $2200 total roughly, the additional $4000 is for painting and blending the two rear quarter panels and rocker panels.

I was trying to figure out how on earth could a body shop justify that replacing a trunk lid required needing the rear quarter panels and rocker panels on both sides also need to be repainted/blended. Here's why...

modelmodel

Notice that the trunk lid wraps around to the rear side of the car? Well, according to the Tesla certified body shop, in order for a perfect paint match, the rear quarter panels and rocker panels must be painted and blended with the trunk and bumpers (mind you that most cars, bumpers aren't really painted for each car, they are done in a batch so bumpers are sometimes even slightly off from the factory... Not sure how tesla does it, but pretty sure it's the same thing)...

And in order to properly paint the rear quarter panel, obviously got to remove the rear quarter glass and trim. So, while the actual paint and labor to paint isn't that much, is the labor to prep for all this extra work. Here's where I think the certified body shop is sort of screwing over people by being only 1 of 2 body shops in San Diego that is tesla certified. My coworker's car is black. And it's pretty hard to mismatch a black colored car.

Lesson to learn: if you need to crash into another car, don't hit a Tesla.

Submitted by spdrun on March 10, 2020 - 10:01am.

Can't you use an uncertified repair shop? Who'd know?

Submitted by TheBrianNarrative on March 10, 2020 - 12:26pm.

Well we know you just go with the can of rustoleum But some people in this world actually want things done right

Submitted by Hobie on March 10, 2020 - 12:45pm.

Unless it is a metallic black, then there probably has some color embedded. Red is common, with silver or powdered silver for the metallic ( coarse vs fine ). Spray pressure/technique has a big effect of matching metallics. Then add the clear and colorsand to match texture. Lot of skill to match. That is why many people prefer a complete repaint. Pulling windows, mouldings, etc is the primo way to paint.

Yup, don't crash your Tesla ;)

Submitted by FlyerInHi on March 10, 2020 - 1:33pm.

Does the owner care since the liable party’s insurance is paying?

Submitted by Coronita on March 10, 2020 - 1:38pm.

Hobie wrote:
Unless it is a metallic black, then there probably has some color embedded. Red is common, with silver or powdered silver for the metallic ( coarse vs fine ). Spray pressure/technique has a big effect of matching metallics. Then add the clear and colorsand to match texture. Lot of skill to match. That is why many people prefer a complete repaint. Pulling windows, mouldings, etc is the primo way to paint.

Yup, don't crash your Tesla ;)

Mazda has a tri-coat "crystal" paint that even really good shops have a hard time matching. I like to keep as much factory paint as possible because factory paint usually is harder and more consistent than even the best body shops.

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