Some Tesla owners had been complaining about repair time after accidents for a long time, but it came back to the forefront of Tesla news a few months back after an article in Motley Fool titled “Repairing My Tesla Model S Has Been an Utter Nightmare — and It’s Mostly Tesla’s Fault”.
Tesla didn’t take the blame and instead, it placed the fault on its third-party body shop in this case. But it also announced several new initiatives to improve their body repair experience.
We get a good look at those new initiatives today after Tesla released its ‘Tesla Body Repair Program Operating Standards’.
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We embedded the full guidelines at the end of the article, but here’s a brief summary.
Tesla’s Body Repair Program has its own mission statement:
“To provide body shops with the training, procedures, parts, and tools to return the car to its originally-engineered state of safety, performance, and aesthetics, in an easy and economical manner.”
In order to relieve the workload of small repairs for body shops, Tesla will not only allow fully certified shops to work on its vehicles. There are now “Satellite Cosmetic Repair Locations”, which requires significantly less training and less equipment – both have been barriers for shops to become Tesla certified.
The company also now has straightforward guidelines for feedback and review of the shops in order to maintain customer satisfaction and a 9-day full cycle average on repairs.
That should be a big difference here since the wait times, which reached several months in a few bad examples, were the biggest complaints. The Tesla body shops will be required to keep customers informed every 3 days or less and to maintain an average of 9 days on repairs.
On top of the new standards, Tesla President Jon McNeill announced last month that Tesla will ‘add 300 body shops to its network in the next few weeks’ and earlier this month, Tesla announced that they also plan company-owned body shops.
As previously mentioned, one of the big barriers to become certified was the cost of training technicians and equipping shops with Tesla’s required machinery.
In order to address that, Tesla moved some of its training programs online and it looked to certify more equipment in order to offer more options to shops.
They released the extensive list of tools and parts that shops need in order to become approved by Tesla:
As you can see, it can be quite expensive, but with more equipment now approved, existing body shops have a higher chance of already having some of the approved equipment already.
Here’s the Tesla Body Repair Program Operating Standards: