Structural Straightening On Tesla Vehicles: UPDATE

Structural Straightening On Tesla Vehicles: UPDATE

What should you do when a damaged Tesla comes into your repair facility? Can you measure it? Can it be straightened? What needs to be replaced?

Information on structural repairs is located in vehicle-specific Collison Repair Procedures ➤ General Repair Guidelines ➤ Structural Repair Guidelines. Tesla States:

"Tesla does not allow Pulling or Pushing of body structure components using frame straightening equipment or similar devices of any type. Tesla defines a structural component as any bonded, welded, weld-bonded, rivet-bonded, or riveted part of the vehicle.

Pulling or pushing the body structure can damage the integrity of the component or the joint (including mechanical fasteners or adhesive) between structural components, including those in seemingly unrelated parts of the body structure."

All structural repairs on Tesla vehicles must be performed with the vehicle properly mounted to an approved frame bench, with the exception of the procedures listed in Structural Repair Procedures Not Requiring A Frame Bench. (This link is located within the vehicle-specific document). For example, the 2012-2020 Model S, the A-pillar is permitted to be replaced without a frame bench with fixtures. Be sure to follow the caution and note for set up instructions.

Other useful information can typically be accessed by clicking on the hyperlinks found within the procedures listed below:

  • Approved Frame Bench Systems
  • Approved Welders
  • Body Structure Materials and Allowed Operations

When it comes to measuring a vehicle found in Approved Parts, Tools, And Supplies ➤ Approved Frame Bench Systems and Optional Electronic Measuring Systems (Approved Frame Bench Systems Linked Document), Tesla provides a note:

"The electronic measuring systems listed in Optional Electronic Measuring Systems can be used for damage analysis but are not a substitute for component fixturing during structural repair."

Parts replacement will be determined by the material specific repair recommendations provided in General Repair Guidelines ➤ Body Structure Material And Allowed Operations and by following vehicle-specific repair procedures. The repair procedures are broken into general areas of the vehicle:

  • Front Inner Panels
  • Body Side Panels
  • Center Under Body Panels
  • Rear Quarter Inner Panels
  • Rear End Panels
  • Roof Panels

Electronic measuring systems or a frame bench with at least 8 holding fixtures are permitted for damage analysis. A frame bench and 8 holding fixtures are required for most structural repairs. Deciding what part needs to be replaced will require identifying the material repairability and locating its respective replacement procedure. Failure to follow OEM procedures will sacrifice the safety and quality of the repair.

For additional Tesla information, check out the Tesla OEM Information page.

Additional I-CAR Collision Repair News you may find helpful:
Collision Information Website Access: Tesla
Step-By-Step: Accessing Tesla Repair Information
What’s A Tesla Shotgun Outer Assembly?