As a founder, our facility was required in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 to complete extensive Tesla training at the factory in Fremont California. Our technicians routinely attended factory‐level training to learn exact welding, structural and MET (Mechanical and Electrical Training) procedures to accurately repair your Model S and Model X accurately; and soon the Model 3.
That rigorous training to some of the most strict standards in the industry promoted a culture and a skill set that could reproduce the structural and cosmetic requirements to repair your vehicle based on actual Tesla engineering, to ensure you have exactly what you had prior to sustaining damages to your vehicle.
Tesla’s Certification Standards Have Changed
In an effort to quickly expand the program, Tesla has recently relaxed the requirements of the program by removing their factory‐level training center requirements. The program, that once required months of dedicated time to meet the expectations of the factory trainers, has been replaced with an outside training company with far less‐intensive training.
This will not give you the value or understanding of a 40 plus hour test/qualification that is built from an ISO standard. 3 hours of online training cannot replicate the knowledge-base gained during 80 hours of hands‐on vehicle immersion training at a factory level; and a 4 hour test cannot produce the same assurance of aptitude that 40 hours of ISO‐compliant testing can accomplish. They simply are not the same in any way.
How Does This Impact You, The Tesla Owner?
As a repair facility who entered into the program from the initial launch of Model S and during a time of the most‐stringent requirements, our team has embraced the idea that Tesla consumers bought the very best, and deserve the very best in repair quality just as we were trained to do. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the focus of repair facilities entering the “Approved” program recently.
We are concerned whether shops entering into the program now, who have never been factory‐trained or required to be equipped with the same certified equipment and tooling that was once mandatory to meet Tesla’s expectations, will be able to deliver the repairs to the level you have come to expect and rightly-fully deserve.
Our Concerns For Our Tesla Clients
Why should it concern you that Tesla has opened their program to shops that don’t exhibit the same culture of excellence, and aren’t held to the standards of care you could once come to expect from their certified program? Our facility commits to you that we will guarantee the repairs you receive will not simply “fill a number,” but will rather keep the standards high as they have always been expected of us in the past.
Remember why you bought your Tesla to begin with. It’s a truly extraordinary vehicle showcasing some of the most exceptional functions and engineering in the automotive world. It is also a significant investment to purchase. You did not invest in an ordinary car, you invested in extraordinary technology that happens to have 4 wheels.
At our facility, the same technicians who underwent the factory‐level training will be performing the repairs on your Roadster, Model S, X and 3. Why would Tesla dismantle what was arguably the best certified collision repair program in the country? That is a great question that only the Executives at Tesla can answer.
Protecting Your Investment
Your investment doesn’t stop at ownership. Your unique vehicle is not built like any other. It is “not your father’s” luxury vehicle. Your insurance carrier knows this just as well as you do, and this is why the premium rates are different on your Tesla versus a more common vehicle such as an Accord.
Why Is This Important For Aluminum Repairs
Your Tesla is all aluminum. Aluminum has tremendous advantages in constructing safe, efficient vehicles. Unfortunately, in the event of damage, it also adds some complexity. It has no memory, and reacts completely different than steel in an accident. It doesn’t repair as well. The repair process for Aluminum is as unique as your vehicle and requires specialized skills, dedicated equipment and thus requires more of your collision repair facility.
It needs processes and procedures that are completely different then steel, and the investment made into meeting those requirements means it also has different rates or charges associated with the repair than a more common vehicle or more common material. In untrained hands, this will effect safety, crash-worthiness and resale value; this is why it is very important to have a certified location that has the specialized training and actually understands your vehicle.
The Dorn’s Difference
At Dorn’s, you are more than a repair order, you are our client. You want individualized service that you will find at independent, family‐owned repair facilities; not at chain‐brand production facilities.
As you know, all Aluminum vehicles are expensive to purchase. Repairing them is no different. We have Tesla technicians here at Dorn’s that do not work on any other vehicles. We have segregated work areas that excel in isolating your aluminum vehicle away from steel that can create galvanic corrosion in your vehicle if not isolated and handled with care.
We have Tesla centric tooling and equipment that no one else in this region has. Do not let anyone tell you that there is “no difference in repairing Steel or Aluminum” or that “there is no difference in the program of today and the program of yesterday.” There is, and there are implications in not understanding those differences.
We know this all can be confusing, we only want you to make the right choice knowing the changes made by Tesla recently. Please feel free to reach out and let us show you the difference from years of experience and factory training versus the “all vehicles are the same” philosophy.
We look forward to helping you.
The Dorn’s Certified Collision Repair Team.