Why are Teslas so quickly "Totaled"?

Discussion in 'Tesla Discussions' started by Brokedoc, Feb 7, 2018.

More threads by Brokedoc
  1. Brokedoc

    Kick-Gas Contributor
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    I came across this online auction site for "Salvaged" vehicles that have been deemed totaled or flooded, presumably by the insurance company. Many of these Teslas seem to have very minimal damage with functioning battery packs as evidenced by their functioning displays.

    https://erepairables.com/salvage-cars-auction/tesla

    This leads me to think:

    #1 Holy cow, they seem to be REALLY cheap although the auctions are not over yet.
    #2 What about these cars makes them get labeled as salvage so quickly? Many look like they have simple quarter panel damage. Ford pickups are also all aluminum now and I don't think they are "totaled" as easily
    #3 The insurance premium for the Model 3 doesn't seem to reflect a car that gets "totaled" more easily. My Model X insurance doesn't seem extraordinarily more than what I would expect for any other car of that price range.
    #4 There's a lot of science experiments in these salvaged cars but people could easily kill themselves if they didn't know what they were doing.
     
  2. Michael Russo

    MSM Team Founding Father, Red Dragon rider
    Moderator M3OC Supporting Member
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    @Brokedoc , had you seen this...
    Lots of flooded cars in Houston apparently... Didn’t think to share earlier yet your post reminded me, just in case...
    ;)

     
  3. RandyS

    Active Member
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    Brokedoc, here is what I've observed after almost 5 years of Model S ownership.

    There are not very many body shops that have passed Tesla's qualifications to be approved (and are able to order parts). In addition to that, the repair for the cars is more complex than other cars, due to the use of aluminum and the various fastener methods that Tesla uses (according to the local Tesla-approved body shop that made a presentation at our local group a few years ago).

    When you combine all of those issues together, it isn't unusual to see a car without much damage that costs $40K, or $50K, or $60K to fix. The insurance companies don't want to put that kind of money into the repairs, so it seems they total the cars pretty frequently...

    They're also getting wise to the costs of the repairs in general and have raised rates. My insurance bill for three cars (sole driver) has gone up 50% since the Model S was new (with most of the increase tied to the Model S), and I haven't had any claims. I haven't seen any trends that will make this insurance / repair issue get any better, unfortunately...
     
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