The Drive: Tesla's $16000 Quote for a $700 Fix Is Why Right to Repair Matters

Automotive journalism has never had particularly high standards, relative to other disciplines, and things only got worse in general when the web "democratized" journalism, and allowed anyone with a pulse to be widely published without any training, standards, or editorial oversight.

What this piece will do is help generate clicks, and ad impressions for the site. IIRC this is the same site that has been linked here before, and had its shenanigans noted.

What it doesn't do is apply critical thinking to the circumstances. This is neither a right-to-repair issue, nor unique or exclusive to Tesla, or BEVs in general.

It's a shadetree repair (for $700?!) that most here could probably do, in response to the classic "they don't sell that part separately" situation one is eventually bound to run into when fixing cars or other stuff. As an alternative solution to an OE-only part whose cost strongly discourages a mindless swap, but yet, is the only prescribed solution that the OEM offers. Hardly a Tesla-only thing.

In this situation, it happens to be a costly battery pack module, but it could also similarly apply to a transmission, body subframe or other major component. On a smaller scale, it could something like one of the litany of heat exchangers that fill every nook and cranny in the front end of a modern forced-induction vehicle. Cracked fitting on a radiator? Yep, you'll also be getting a new oil cooler as well, because they're part of the same module. A broken gear in the electric seat adjuster? "That will be a new motor assembly, sir." BMW owners know that one well.

"Repair" has mostly become a euphemism for parts swapping, because that's how things are mostly designed now, and for some time. And it can suck big time when something expensive breaks, because nobody does minor, component-level repair any longer (especially when it comes to electronics). News at 11. But just like during sweeps, add some spice, and throw "Tesla" into the teaser as well, to get more viewers.

Plus, as noted already, damage from hitting a piece of stationary road debris one could have conceivably avoided would be a claim on a collision policy, not a comprehensive policy. Highly doubtful that the rock, or whatever broke that fitting, leapt into that driver's path, or was ejected from underground.
This is a common Tesla problem. One coworker got a hit up front, and end up with a 24k repair bill that should have been about 12k. Then he and another coworker had the side hit a curb when making left / right turn and that scrap end up costing 10k to repair too.

Tesla is just not designing car the typical way, and they have parts shortage and high labor cost in certified program. It is almost in the exotic car category vs a Toyota category. Rule of thumb if you own a Tesla always buy full coverage insurance from Tesla, they subsidize their own insurance to make cost of ownership cheaper (accounting trick probably).
How was the owner not allowed "the right to repair"? He got it fixed for $700 at a different shop because he didn't like the Tesla dealer's proposed super expensive repair method. If he was a good DIYer, he could have done it himself for even much less than $700 based on the repair method described.
It is almost impossible to get parts from Tesla as they use "technical difference" to not sell you the part if you are not in their certified program.

They didn't certify enough places to repair, that's adding to the long wait problem as well.
Sure but the auto industry is way more regulated by the government in those aspects since it's a more expensive consumer good. A 3 year old Apple laptop that breaks down may be worth $100 so you toss it. A 3 year old Tesla might still be a $50K car. The government requires auto makers to have available critical parts for 10 or 12 years after the sale. No such thing for a computer.
But you see why they should be able to, right?

They are able to. There are loads of YT videos on how to change batteries and screens and such.

However, Apple will not guarantee that the phone will have the same waterproof capabilities as it had originally. So if you drop your iPhone in a puddle and quickly retrieve it but it fizzled out, Apple will see that a non-authorized repair had been done and you will pay.

Apple is actually very generous on their policy. I have seen and heard of many cases where a person brought in a iPhone or other Apple device because something went wrong and walked out with a brand new device.
The owner of that shop has a youtube channel called Rich Rebuilds. He rebuilt a tesla in his garage, then tesla banned him from using superchargers because he was driving a salvage title car. Interesting channel I've watched a few episodes.
Carmudgeon nailed it. The YouTube video was pretty much clickbait and designed to get the attention of the Tesla haters.
If repair issues were such a big deal, you can be sure that we would be hearing about them very frequently. I doubt that Tesla owners have statistically much less accidents than drivers of other vehicles, so I try and take reports like those with a grain of salt.

Tesla is still a very new company compared to all the others. They are selling every car they can produce so I imagine that spares are not stockpiled in very large quantities. The satisfaction among owners is so high that I have to think if repair issues were frequent, we'd see that reflected in the satisfaction surveys.

Just like how we frequently see people repeat that Tesla's have problems with body panel fit and/or paint. Have they really observed that ? I can tell you that when I worked for Tesla, I often eyeballed vehicles that were ready for shipment and the quality of the paint and bodywork reminded me very much of a Lexus. Not that a few bad ones didn't ever slip out, but it wasn't a common fault.
Apple's gross margin on products is in the 30% range, and its broken "for parts" gadgets are worth surprising amounts. But neither the T-shirt who hands you that white box replacement in that fancy store, nor the many people who designed that iPhone and the software it runs work for free.

It's fair to say none of us who participate in a DIY forum are against R2R, at the very least in principle, if not in practice.

Some of Apple's policies are disagreeable, but there are valid reasons behind them, even if the advocates of the movement, and irrelevant figures from the past may disagree. Everyone has their own agendas, and self-interest, including the advocates who paint the issues with an overly broad brush. People don't build their own computing devices from kits any longer, and the 60s are long gone.

Those who disagree may choose to sit on the green grass elsewhere, outside those walls, but don't forget that others do quite like having shelter and the other benefits that brings, even if it involves some sacrifices and higher costs.

I've met more than my fair share of industry engineers, including from Tesla, and have yet to meet one whose goal is clouded by agendas other than fulfilling the design brief. Tesla's product support is lacking because it hasn't been made a priority; even those inside will admit to that. It's as much a tech company as it is a car company, which both helps and hinders. It's not hard to guess how those traits apply.
each time I read this, the harder I laugh! Good one.
Laugh about what? I bought this phone earlier this year, for $120 retail. What's the difference between that and a $1000 Apple phone that's worth a $900 premium? It probably doesn't cost Motorola more than $50 to manufacture that phone, so why would it cost Apple much more then that to make theirs?
Does a Tesla dealer have a parts department? I just look at them like the Lamborghini dealer as I drive by. Rich folks toy stores. Nothing wrong with that they need their stores too. Have to look up my insurance not sure what covers what. I always thought comp was fire and theft.
Does a Tesla dealer have a parts department? I just look at them like the Lamborghini dealer as I drive by. Rich folks toy stores. Nothing wrong with that they need their stores too. Have to look up my insurance not sure what covers what. I always thought comp was fire and theft.
The difference is you can call up a Lambo dealer and they'll sell you whatever part you want.

Tesla won't.
I wonder if Tesla will give this guy any grief when he turns in the car, since the repair wasn't performed by them.