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Hail damage repair to a brand new P85??? Advice?

Here’s one for you to ponder…

So excited when I picked up my new fully loaded P85 on Friday March 21st. Driving the first few days was exhilarating, fun but also punctuated with spots of anxiety: getting used to it's length, width, height and under clearance, not wanting to scuff things up. I treated it like a baby it's first week. Last Friday the 28th, I set out on a three stop trip to get three things done for the car that I had been planning all week: 1) get the Tesla Service Center to install the carbon fiber spoiler that didn't make it onto the car originally (which they did quickly) 2) drive a mile over to a window tint company to leave the car to get windows tinted (radiant barrier films) and 3) walk directly next door to confirm with a protective film company the details of them taking possession of the S after the tinting was finished and storing it over the weekend to then start the protective film installation Monday am. The film was going to take 2-3 days.

I got an email this morning from the protective film Sales rep, and she informs me that a hail storm blew through the north side of my city and my car was not inside when it came through their area. Apparently I have some level of hail damage to the car, no specifics yet. It’s a week old! I’ve never had hail damage in my life and now I have it on a week old $125,000 car!

I don’t really know what to do since I couldn’t see the damage before I had to leave for California. I would have gone back out there to see it if the tinting company had called me when it happened Friday… but who knows why they didn't do that. It was the protective film company that actually emailed me and the rep actually hadn't even seen the damage as she wasn't working that day. The tinting guys apparently want to try to fix the damage, she stated? I really don't know what to say to that, but I guess I’d like someone qualified to guide what I should be doing-Tesla Service Tech???. I'm going to be on a navy ship for three days out of normal communication zones so I need to guide things by email when I get the chance. I haven't had a chance to call my insurance agent... I'm spinning... What would you do? I want it perfect again.

It was in their custody; they broke it, they bought it. Get a new one!

I would get a referral from Tesla for Hail Damage.

That's the easy part.

The damage will be fixed and it will look brand new as if nothing happened.

Now, the hard part: Who's going to pay?

I'll let the lawyers duke it out!

Just because it was in their custody implies no liability. The legal owners has insurance responsibility and not the company with temporary custody. Its a life risk. Same for the insurance deductible.

A hired captain dismasted my sailboat against a slow-opening drawbridge last September, while moving it between ports. I still paid him, plus the insurance deductible, and have spent the last five months dealing with surveyors, insurance representatives, and have had huge lost income and expense. Not happy about it, but have zero legal claim against the fool who wrecked the boat. That's what insurance is for,

You car will be fixed good as new.

@Dave That sounds ridiculous! The captain made a mistake a regular attentive captain wouldn't, therefor he is liable. (At least in Belgium he would be).

The storm damage is a different story, it's not a mistake the people handling the car made. My guess would be it will be for your own insurance company to cover the costs.

The people with charge of the car should have brought it under cover. If they did not or made no attempt to limit the damage, they should be held liable.
mostly hail damage does not affect the paint, fortunately, have had this happen to me in the past. An experienced "Ding Goes" type person, with a lot of patience and persistence will give you a car which is back to normal. the time taken, however, will be expensive. I guess that is what insurance is for. Certainly the hood, which is likely to have taken the brunt, is very accessible for the ding goes techniques, which are very gentle, done properly. If you have a pano roof, there should be negligible, if any, roof damage.

It was cheaper for me to replace my wife's car with left side accident damage than it was to repair it. I mention only to point out that aluminum does not respond like steel to "Dent Doctor" treatment and that the normal fix for damaged panels is to replace them. This could get out of control expensive if the panels you need corrected are not easily replaced (like the right rear quarter panel in my case).

Sorry to hear you are going through this. My wife was "T" driving down the road and the other girl says my wife hit her!! The insurance company is not paying even though the girl was adjudicated guilty for the incident.

Go figure. Stuff happens. It is not fun.

Ask if they had something called Garage Keepers Legal Liability. Most auto service operations have this insurance coverage and it should cover this type of loss. The fact they are a tint installer may make it a bit more murky however.

Thanks for the comments. Just got an email from my Service Center rep and she has a TM certified body shop that "MAY" be able to fix depending upon the severity. She did state that the aluminum of our car body parts makes the normal Ding Goes techniques less than adequate (Paraphrasing), but that either way it will get back to perfect.

She mentioned that the tint company's insurance should cover this... may be the Garage Keepers Legal Liability (GFLL) mag249 writes about above. I'll reply back when I find out so others know how it gets taken care of in Texas vs. other states/countries. Although I'm pissed off, it's more about the situation I guess. We live with hail in Texas... you should see the bridge underpasses get jammed with cars when a sudden hail storm hit's... everyone trying to get out of the rain of terror from above. Not sure if the GFLL takes care of this or it's considered a Force majeure issue, but will find out soon. I'll be out of communication for 2-3 days so thanks for the comments in advance of my return to reply on the final outcome.

We had a Lexus LS600H that was absolutely smashed by hail. Hood,roof,trunk,fenders,quarter panels,trim pieces, everything but 2 doors and of course the bumpers. Insurance company was willing to pay for a complete repaint and replace all the panels. Instead I had a paint less dent company attempt the repair. He got everything out except for the roof moldings which I just had replaced instead. This was a black car and it was impossible to find any remnants of the damage. Look around for a good company.

The tint company is obviously liable. I'd get a quote and tell them they have 7 days to pay up before you take them to court and then they will be liable for the repair plus court costs. Not that I am litigious or anything but this is a matter of principle. When they accept expensive vehicles for work, they better darn well make sure they are able to protect the vehicles under their care.

If you had parked the car in a garage on your own and it got damaged it is different than a valet parking person parking the car and it gets damaged while it is parked. When they take your key and park it some place, it is then their responsibility to ensure the car is safe. Otherwise they can park your car anywhere and then claim, oops!

Generally if I ever have to leave a car out of the home, I make a point of telling them to always leave the car parked inside.

I'd leave the car as it is - everyone knows dimples improve aerodynamics, the old golf ball effect!

I have never heard of another Model S with hail damage, you might just have the fastest street legal electric sedan in the world at the moment :-D

A friend bought a brand new (sticker still in the window) full size Dodge diesel pickup truck at auction last year for $18k, despite a $52k list price. It had massive hail damage while sitting on a new car dealer lot. The damage is amazing - every panel on the truck is dimpled - it looks like hail must have bounced off the ground to damage panels that face downward. The damage isn't scratches - just big dimples everywhere, and the paint is fine, no chips. Otherwise the truck is fine - tight panels, good windows, perfect interior, runs and drives as new. He believes it is more efficient based on the golf ball principle. The insurance company had totaled the truck for the dealer recovery and auctioned it off. You may find the same thing - enough bad panels and the car won't be worth repairing compared to residual or resale value, as lolachampcar discovered.

Call YOUR insurance company, and have THEM deal with the shop.

That is what they are there for. Hopefully your insurance carrier can work with the shop's insurance carrier for them to cover your car.

Also, Check with Tesla on *how* to fix it.

DO NOT LET THE SHOP FIX IT. Have Tesla check it out first to see what fix actually needs to be made.

I wouldn't trust the shop to take initiative on the fix. I made a mistake like that one time.

Report it to your own insurance and let them fight it out with the other party's insurance company.

Call your insurance company and give em hail!


Texas "hail of terror"! ;)

lolachampcar... 'curious as to who your insurance company was, so that we can all avoid them. I'm with USAA, and haven't heard any bad Tesla stories concerning them yet. I'm planning a serious dashcam install, mostly for insurance purposes.

Dentless repair on aluminum is very very difficult. I agree with everyone above. Call your insurance company. Have them work it out with the shops insurance. If this happened at my shop I would just call my agent and ask who is responsible. Most shops have at least a 1 million $ policy. So a $50K claim is no big deal.

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