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It was only a matter of time before those expensive repairs, lack of spare parts, and Autopilot failures had an impact on insurance costs :eek:

Can you afford that new vehicle? 25 most expensive car models to insure
Wow, I was being given a hard time by one member for saying that Musk wasn't an experienced automotive manager, but apparently his team has surpassed all traditional manufacturers in at least one way. :rolleyes:

The big difference seems to be in the collision component which is 50% higher than any of the other 24 in the list (and so not liability, theft, or other comprehensive coverage components). That presumably is driven by the repair cost which Kevin mentioned, although a lack of parts or slow repair work could drive up cost of rental vehicles provided as a replacement. At-fault collision probability could be a factor as well, although should also increase the cost of the liability component.
 

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The bottom car was a $16,000 car and the insurance was $1100
The Tesla was a $75,000 car and the insurance was $1700

So a car five times the price costs 50% more to insure??

Sounds like a bargain to me
The price of the cars in the list is all over the place - the Tesla Model S is not the only expensive car, and the total insurance cost is not closely related to the purchase price. There are $67K and $90K Mercedes models at #19 and #2, but a $16K Scion at #12, for instance.

The Tesla does cost a bit more than an equivalent Mercedes - But a Tesla is not "just" a luxury car - its a damn sight more sporty with much higher performance

If you look at "Sporty Cars" on that list - like the Lancer, then they cost more - as always
The list also does not fall into order by "sportiness", assuming that you don't consider a Kia Optima Hybrid sedan as much sportier than a Mustang, for instance.


This is not a list of 25 random vehicles, sorted by insurance cost; it is a list of all vehicles for which data is provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, showing only the most expensive 25. That means that there are lots of high-performance cars, and lots of cars more expensive than a Model S, which didn't even make the top (worst) 25. For instance, some Porsche models, and every Ferrari.

Since the analysis is pretty simplistic, and does not eliminate the effect of various relevant factors, the insurance cost may to some extent reflect the drivers. One reason the "sporty" cars are more expensive to insure is that - given the same driving record - the driver of a sport car is assumed to be more likely to have a collision. One could jump to interesting conclusions about Tesla drivers... :rolleyes:
 

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Re-reading the first page of the item, it looks like we have all missed an important point: the data is the amount paid out by insurers ("cost to the insurer per year"), not the insurance premium paid by owners (as the title suggests).

Here's the actual 24/7 Wall St article, rather than USA Today's presentation:
25 Most Expensive Cars to Insure
that also links to the least expensive models, which includes the Chevrolet Corvette, which is not cheap and is generally considered kind of sporty.

So the Telsa Model S is costing a lot to fix per year (whether due to more claims or higher claims)... a lot more than any other vehicle in the list, and the list isn't 25 cherry-picked models, it is the 25 highest average insurance payouts of all vehicles in the data set.

It is likely true that Tesla cars tend to be in major metropolitan areas. That is also true of every sports and luxury vehicle; there are not a lot of Bentleys, Porsches, or Ferraris on farms and in small towns.
 

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It was inevitable. Fenders can be repaired, batteries MUST be replaced and are the most expensive part of the car.
That's my guess, too. Minor collisions typically won't hurt the pack, but if the pack case is compromised at all, they are probably replacing the entire pack at massive cost, rather than repairing it. Insurers may also be writing off (declaring to be a complete loss and sending to salvage) cars with any pack damage, especially since they would likely have significant structural body damage as well. This, of course, is the source of salvage Tesla battery modules for DIY EV projects.

An engine is rarely damaged to the point of requiring replacement in a crash, and Tesla drive units are probably relatively safe from damage, too; however, the battery pack is more vulnerable simply due to its size.

... my point was merely that, once damaged, batteries truly cannot be repaired and they are expensive.

... Expect auto makers to split the battery pack into sections so that if one section gets damaged in a crash the others are still recoverable, and other tricks to reduce the cost of fixing a boo-boo, as they attempt to truly compete on price.
That's already an option. All production battery packs are in modules, and it would be possible to get a replacement outer case and many modules as needed, re-using the undamaged modules. It seems more likely that rebuilt exchange packs would be offered, rather than rebuilding at the service garage (which is how other major automotive systems have gone, particularly automatic transmissions); perhaps this is already available.
 

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Is it? Or do they just not have the production capacity to produce extra stock items?


Like, if they're cranking out cars as fast as they can, which still isn't fast enough to meet demand, then any parts they make available for repairs will slow down the production line even further.


I don't think that's the same thing as them being deliberately obtuse and restrictive.
If they really are cranking out new product which can't be fixed (due to the lack of parts) at the expense of current owners, then it would be abusive and irresponsible rather than obtuse and restrictive. Is that better?
 

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I believe Tesla insurance rates are hurt by a couple of pretty basic things.

1. The combination of aluminum body and basically a requirement that Tesla's be repaired by Tesla or an approved body shop lead to astronomically high costs for even minor damage.

...

2. Because of high repair costs, the Insurance companies are quick to "total" the car. They recover some of the value by remaindering the car to salvage auctions. Your insurance rates are heavily affected by the prices they get from the salvage of the totalled vehicle.

Salvage value is driven by a couple of items. There are a lot of people who purchase salvaged autos and repair them and resell them. But again, Tesla does not make repair data and parts available almost at all. Indeed, they have been known to actively DISABLE cars over the air.

As most of the large electronic parts are under warranty in almost all of the cars on the road, there really isn't any automotive aftermarket for drive trains and batteies parted out.

...
This all makes good sense to me.

Even after warranties end, motors probably still won't be worth much because they are inherently reliable (not just Tesla motors - brushless motors in general). Gearboxes will see some failures, but these are so simple that the vast majority should still outlive the rest of the car. My guess is that the electronics will rise in value, because some portion of even properly designed and well-constructed electronics let the magic smoke out eventually.

Musk thinks he's just dealing with greedy insurance companies and seeks to start his own to counter this issue. But he'll run into the same issues unless he assumes repairs, which I guess he could do.
Such a conundrum for the Tesla Motors / Musk fan: is there a conspiracy in reporting to make insurance premiums for Tesla cars look high, or is the premium cost in fact high and there is a conspiracy by all insurance companies to exaggerate repair costs? The only certainty is that can't be Saint Elon's fault. :rolleyes:
 

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I can think of several reasons off the top of my head. Since so much of the car is electronic, it is untested to perform correctly when you start adding signalling delays and structural changes. How will the autopilot react to being 8 feet longer? Lots of stuff going on in the brains to mess up.

Seems prudent to me that as the electronics are engineered for a certain platform, they should be disabled and, if someone wants to use the carcass to do something new with it, to do it from scratch.
There is some sense in this, but in reality all stretch limos are built from production vehicles with lots of electronic complexity, and it is all quite manageable. Autopilot is particularly easy: just don't use it - it is a chauffeur-driven vehicle, and the chauffeur can just drive.

Building a car from scratch for limo service is simply not reasonable.

Sure, Tesla Motors doesn't want the vehicles that they built on the road in a form which is out of their control, but that is true of every manufacturer. Most of them manage to deal with it, without limiting access to parts. Many of them even sell "crate" engines so that people can build custom vehicles with them. Some work directly with customization companies to make specialty vehicles with full factory warranties.
 

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Interestingly Tesla are a little schizophrenic on this... in the UK they have continued the warranty on a Tesla 'Shooting-brake' :confused:
An interesting decision by Tesla Motors!
I read about this car earlier, and noted from various article (including in Autoblog) that this body conversion involves no mechanical changes, probably no electronic changes (although there is re-routing of wiring), and...
RemetzCar says it left the Model S's major structural parts and crumple zones intact.
The extent of structural changes is important to repairability and potential manufacturer's liability.

It's apparent in RemetzCar's page about the conversion that one reason that the modified car's upper rear quarter area is so awkward is that they left the entire original structure, so there's aluminum behind those "windows" - it's a roof extension and new hatch stuck onto the hatchback body. The earlier effort by QWest looks much cleaner, but may have violated stock structure; I don't know what the Tesla Motors position on that might be.

RemetzCar's earlier hearse is a much more substantial body modification - I wonder if that still has a warranty? How about their 800 mm stretch (to be used for custom limousines or hearses, presumably)?
 

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To me, it seems reasonable that a car company would want its vehicles on the road as much as possible with their owners as happy as possible. To not develop a reputation for being difficult to repair, or for not having spare parts. That is a desirable position to be in. So if that is the position Tesla is not in right now, why?

Is it because they're meanies who are out to get you? Or is it because they're doing the best they can but have limitations?
One possibility: they are relatively incompetent (in supply chain management in particular), and are not concerned about their reputation affecting anything they care about. What they care about would includes the ability to endlessly raise capital to cover operating losses. They are not likely concerned about sales, as they have a large backlog of orders from people who seem very tolerant... they put down deposits on vehicles with no delivery commitment and no pricing. They may be more concerned about maintaining a high level of control of the product even after is it sold than about pleasing paying customers, reflecting the attitude of the company's leader.
 

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Elon Musk very specifically DID use the term OPEN SOURCE when originally describing his patent position, though he has furiously and regularly backpedalled away from that position at the behest of his legal team.
Since Musk's experience is in the IT business, failing to use the term "open source" properly is disturbing. Generally, I assume that his statements express the genuine intentions (product plans, etc) which he wants to share, and have little to do with current reality or even Musk's own knowledge of of what is coming.
 

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... discussing JUST the Model S, there simply IS no shortage of parts. But many are "restricted"...
So, when owners are waiting long periods for genuine OEM parts to complete authorized repairs, are they subject to a "restriction" for some mysterious reason... or are people such as Kevin just mistaken about the delays which they have experienced? :confused:

Whatever the cause, vehicles held up for extended periods for repair increase the cost of repair costs to insurers, because the owner is typically being provided with a replacement vehicle.
 
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