Gone too Soon: High repair cost driving many Teslas to salvage prematurely, Reuters says

Toronto, Ontario — Tesla has been talking big about its in-house insurance platform recently, and how it is providing insights on potential design improvements, but some recent reporting from Reuters has found that far too many of the electric automaker’s vehicles are turning up as salvage prematurely.

In a compilation of 120 Model Y vehicles found on salvage auction listings, Reuters found that a “vast majority” of the listed vehicles had less than 10,000 miles (approx. 160,000 km.) on the odometer, according to data obtained from Copart and IAA.

All the Model Ys in the analysis were 2022 or 2023 models, and were built at either the Fremont, Calif. or Austin, Texas, plant, according to Reuters.

Of the 120 listed vehicles, 14 of them were identified as long-rang variants of the Model Y that were likely only built within the last year.

Recent comments made by Tesla execs during a Q4 earnings call point to an effort on the part of the company to use data collected from its insurance division to make design changes that make the vehicles cheaper to repair, and therefore, out of an early grave in a salvage yard.

“Previously we didn’t have good insight into [the cost of repair]. The other insurance companies would cover the cost, and the cost in some cases would be unreasonably high. So we have actually adjusted the design of the car, and made changes in the software of the car, to minimize the cost of repair,” said Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.

“We’re actually solving how to get somebody’s car repaired very quickly and efficiently and back in their hands quickly.”


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