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What I Have Learned From My Tesla Collision Repair Experience So Far

For those that are following along, you will know that my first Turo booking did not go well. The resulting accident has led to months of delays and frustrations getting my tesla collision repair sorted. Three months in and I am only now seeing some movement.

I’m happy to report that my Tesla Model Y is finally in the body shop. With that in mind, I thought I would look back and share what I have learned from my Tesla collision repair experience so far. Hopefully, it will help you avoid similar delays and headaches I came up against. As I found, much like everything else with owning a Tesla, I can say with confidence it’s unlike any other repair experience.

Delay with Insurance

The first pain point I had was dealing with insurance. Because this Tesla collision repair was for a Turo rental, I started with them. It took days to get a hold of a Turo advisor. From what I can tell, there is only one person looking after Canada. The advisor I got was located in Ontario and was not overly familiar with ICBC, the provincial insurance company in British Columbia. Once that was cleared up, I was advised to deal directly with ICBC. One caveat was if the damage was less than $10,000 Turo would write a check. Spoiler, it was not.

ICBC replies were slow but not as bad. After discussing with an advisor I was told to take the provided claim number to an ICBC approved shop and obtain a quote for repair.

Time lost dealing with initial insurance: 1 week

Tesla Certified Shops

Since I was dealing with a Tesla collision repair, I had to find a Tesla certified shop. Looking at Tesla‘s listings online, I landed on Burrard Autostrasse Collision. They had good reviews and the location worked for me so I went down to get a quote.

Getting the car looked at took about 30-minutes. Waiting on the quote took a week, although this was delayed initially by a day as ICBC provided the wrong quote number.

Another significant dealy was clarifying when the shop could actually do the work. Despite asking repeatedly for what their scheduling was like, the advisor avoided the question. Instead, I waited a week for ICBC to approve the quotes. Once done, I was told it was going to be four months before they could fit me in!

I called around and found that No.1 Collision in Vancouver could fit me within days. With that, I cancelled my claim with Burrard Autostrasse Collision and started the process over with No.1 Collision.

Time lost dealing with Tesla certified shops: 4 weeks

Battery Check

On the evening of the collision when my renter plugged in for the first time, I received a notification that the car fully completed charging with a range of 100 km. This, obviously, worried me. To ensure there were no problems with the actual battery, I called Tesla to see how to check this. Being Tesla, I had to call their roadside assistance phone number to get a hold of an actual human.

That led me to a local service centre where the advisor told me that battery problems are highly unlikely, especially with the damage I had. Still, to be safe you can request a thorough battery check through Tesla. This costs ~$275 CAD and, after checking with ICBC, I was told it is not covered unless recommended by the body shop. I went back to the body shop and asked if they could look for physical damage once on the hoist. If there is visible damage then I would proceed with the check.

And what of the 100 km range full charge? I was told it was likely user error. If a charging cable is not plugged in correctly, this can happen. This seemed very odd but I have not had the same issue since so hopefully it was user error.

Tesla’s Parts Take Awhile

Now despite No.1 Collision being able to fit me in right away, getting parts was another issue. Since this is a Tesla, parts only come from them…and they are notoriously slow.

After waiting a week for another ICBC approval, the parts were ordered. Weeks go by and still no parts. Finally, just before Christmas, I receive notice that they were waiting on one last piece. Once that finally arrived, I was then told it was damaged and had to wait into the new year.

Time lost waiting on parts: 8 weeks

Repair and Rental

Once all of the parts were finally received (and not damaged), I was able to schedule the car in within a week. To my surprise, the car was to be at the shop for a shocking four weeks minimum. When questioned why so long I was told that the job was quoted at 37 hours total time. This is not 37 hours straight and is spread out over the four weeks. On top of that, if any more damage is discovered once work starts, more time might be needed.

This was good to know in advance as I had inadvertently gone over in my blackout dates on Turo. Since I didn’t think this would take so long, I had upcoming bookings that I now had to cancel.

I assumed that I was getting a Tesla loaner but based on a previous conversation with a Tesla service rep but nope. On the positive, the rental pick up experience was pretty seamless. Once at the body shop they called the rental company. Within minutes, they had a vehicle outside – a Volkswagen Tiguan. More to come on that.

Now because this damage was the result of a Turo rental, I could have gotten a vehicle through them. That said, they cap daily rates at $75 and the overall total at just $500. This, obviously, wouldn’t even come close to covering 4+ weeks while my car is in the shop.

Still To Do

Once the repair is done I will follow up with how long it actually took and how it looks. I am hopeful that they will be able to kill two birds and address the panel gaps in the rear when they put it back together. Time will tell.

I will also be following up with ICBC on accelerated depreciation. Since the car was less than two months old at the time of the accident, in theory, I have lost value. I should be able to claim those losses. I will follow up on that once done, hopefully sans lawyers.

Conclusion

In total, from accident to body shop, this Tesla collision repair process took a painful three-plus month. It will be another four weeks minimum till the repairs are actually done. Although there was nothing I could do about the parts delay, I could have avoided some delay by getting the shop availability upfront and gone straight to ICBC instead of Turo. Lesson learned.

Hopefully, this helps you navigate your own Tesla collision repair should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation! More to come on my repair experience. Fingers crossed it comes out better than it did from the factory 🤞.

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