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, unless noted within the procedure.

Tesla provides a statement within the vehicle-specific repair procedure under Repair Information at the beginning of the procedure if a frame bench is required. For example, on a Model 3:

  • Body Side Outer Assembly procedure states: "This procedure can be completed without using a frame bench."
  • B-Pillar Outer Assembly (Complete) procedure Tesla states: "Properly mount the vehicle on a frame bench when performing this procedure."

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 is 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 requires 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.

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