Expensive to repair, Teslas generally suffer from poor after-sales management. As it begins its career on European soil, the Model Y could suffer more than other models from this network weakness. This machine, both manufactured in Freemont (California), Austin (Texas) and Berlin (Germany) has under its body unique panels at the front and rear, with the exception of models released from the California factory, which only offer the panel on the back. According to the limited information provided by Tesla, these panels would replace approximately 70 parts alone, and would bring “a substantial improvement” in the car manufacturing process.
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But in a shock, large castings are rarely repairable, everything should be replaced : “On the front part, 8 repair procedures are possible against 40 for models that do not have the front panel. The inflation of costs is undeniable, we are talking about a few hours of work compared to dozens of hours made up of stripping, cutting, painting, etc. explains Thomas Alunni, director of Lecoq bodywork, an establishment that carries out around 1,000 Tesla repairs each year.
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Prohibition of reuse parts
An inflation of costs to which responds a chronic unavailability of parts: “We have such supply problems today that we are forced to go to the limit of repairability of certain parts”, resumes the director-coachbuilder, “however, Teslas have a higher loss ratio than other cars. People are surprised by horsepower, torque or Autopilot”. The lack of spare parts could partly be solved by using the rare second-hand parts available on the market. In France, any mechanic even has the legal obligation to offer a repair alternative with used parts to his customer as soon as the car is no longer guaranteed. But at Tesla, we are American! “The use of reused parts is contractually prohibited by the manufacturer, it is an aberration” continues Mr. Alunni, “we have, for example, a shortage of bumpers and we let the wrecks leave with them for the countries of the East. It goes against common sense.” he laments. A state of affairs that not only goes against common sense, but also against the law.
Legal confrontation in Europe
Obviously not everything is to be thrown away with Tesla, which remains to this day “a brand with incredible performance” for Mr. Alunni: “There are issues related to a manufacturer that is experiencing very strong growth, but Tesla is not completely out of step with the rest of the automotive world either.“Wishes to specify the specialist repairer of Ferrari, Lamborghini and other prestigious brands. If the American brand is not “stalled”, it is nonetheless subject to the same rules as the others on the European markets.. French law is very clear, a mechanic is required to offer a repair estimate for used parts on vehicles whose warranty has expired.
This point therefore risks being settled in the more or less short term by a court. Which wouldn’t really be a first for Tesla: in February 2021, the German trade and car repair association ZDK complained to the European Commission that Tesla blocked independent repairers from accessing its technical documentation. After a call to order, Tesla complied with the injunction with bad grace, and now claims repairers €30 per hour of consultation or even €125 if it involves questioning diagnostic software and programming. ZDK is not angry and points out that Tesla, by its attitude, is still out of the woods from a legal point of view.