Tesla Australia shop debunks misconceptions about parts and repairs

(Credit: teslarepairs/Instagram)

Over the years, Teslas have garnered an unfortunate reputation for being a carmaker whose vehicle repairs are unreasonably expensive and whose parts availability is a nightmare. As per a Tesla repair shop in Australia, however, the electric vehicle maker’s repair costs and parts availability have reached parity with industry players. 

As per Luxury Auto Body, a Tesla-certified repair shop in Melbourne, Teslas are actually not ridiculously expensive to repair. In comments to Drive, Danny, one of the shop’s panel beaters who has over 30 years of automotive experience, stated that with the exclusion of major outliers, Teslas typically cost about AU$4500 (US$3000) to AU$5000 (US$3300) per repair. In fact, some Tesla spare parts are actually very affordable. 

“Some of the parts on Teslas are unbelievably cheap. Something like a bumper bar – those parts are cheap. When we talk about airbags and suspension, they’re (a bit pricier) but still considerably cheaper than a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz,” the panel beater noted. 

Interestingly enough, the auto repair veteran stated that front impacts on Teslas are significantly easier to repair than rear impacts. As per Drive, a vehicle with significant frontal impact in the shop costs about AU$25000 (US$16600) to repair even if it needs a new dash and both its airbags have deployed, but a Tesla that needs repairs in the rear could result in charges of about AUS45000 (US$30000). Despite this, the panel beater noted that similar repairs for a BMW or Mercedes-Benz vehicle would still be more expensive at about AU$50000 (US$33200) to AU$60000 (US$39800). 

“If we talk about a rear impact, it’s definitely more involving because Teslas – depending on the model – are glued and riveted on when you’re replacing a quarter panel, for example. So they’d be more on par with repairing a BMW or a Mercedes. They’re pretty basic at the front, but the back is definitely more involving,” the panel beater said. He also noted that “a lot of the sensors and cameras can be calibrated in-house” so Teslas do not really pose any particular challenges compared to other vehicles. 

Last year, Tesla Australia put some effort into supporting its customers by opening a sales, service, and delivery parts hub in Auckland with the goal of expediting the repairs of damaged vehicles. Tesla-certified repair shops also have access to the company’s electronic parts catalog, which includes all the necessary information needed to repair a Tesla. And while there are still wait times for some parts, the availability of spare parts for damaged Teslas has become generally good. 

“The availability of parts and strike rate are really good, and there’s only been a couple of occasions where you have to wait for parts. On one occasion we had to wait six weeks,” Danny said. The panel beater also mentioned that so far,Tesla’s build quality has generally become comparable to mass market automakers. “Build quality is in line with a mass-produced car – not that that’s a bad thing. They’re a good all-rounder for everyday use,” he said. 

Electric vehicle fires tend to spread like wildfire in the news, but the panel beater explained that so far, the shop has not experienced a single battery fire. This is quite impressive as the shop deals with damaged Teslas. “We haven’t had experience with (batteries catching fire). The way the cars come in, (even when) they’ve been in major collisions, there’s been no risk. With the Model Y, they’ve actually got a first responders’ wiring harness that (you can) cut for safety reasons… They go into a shutdown mode in the event of an accident,” he said. 

Watch Drive’s video about Tesla repairs below.

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Tesla Australia shop debunks misconceptions about parts and repairs
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