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My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:02 am
by shellzj
Over the holiday weekend in broad day light on a one-way road, some unlicensed teenager decided to come out of a side street and hit my 2017 i3 REX in the driver's side. This happened in front of a busy restaurant so there were tons of witnesses, and the police responded and cited the driver for a number of not having a license. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Does anyone have experience with the repair process?

The collision was probably at no more than 20 miles per hour, and the airbags did not deploy and there's no broken glass. In a best case scenario, I think I need a new driver's side, rear door panel, rear quarter panel, and a tire.

Are these body panels pre-painted from the factory? Crazy thing, I was just in Leipzig last week; I could've picked up the part if I could've seen this coming!

The i3

The Other Guy's 2005 Honda Accord

Re: My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:34 am
by vreihen
Condolences on the damage to your vehicle. :cry:

I believe that most of the bolt-on body panels are available on eBay for a reasonable price, and would imagine that white ones are common. I have seen pictures of the other side rear fender off to fix charger port problems, and it looks like they are easily removable if you want to DIY that repair.

What I would really be worried about is damage that you CAN'T see, like the stress on the carbon fiber tub (aka: life module) or battery pack frame on the drive module. BMW publishes a repair procedure for the CF tub in the event of a crash, but it's not something that any old body shop will be able to do. A crack in the wrong spot of the life module could total the car! :(

Have you started the insurance claim yet? If you live in the USA, do you carry uninsured motorist coverage? I am not a lawyer, but have heard plenty of instances where the other car owner's insurance company would not pay out because their insured car was being driven my an unauthorized/unlicensed driver. Your own uninsured motorist coverage may ultimately be what covers this accident.....

Re: My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:57 am
Sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation. Glad nobody got hurt.

It seems that the Honda got the worst of this impact. At least on the outside.

Like vreihen commented, there may be underlying damage that you can't see. An impact from the side can cause structural damage. Aluminum and Carbon Fiber are relatively stiff materials and don't like to flex or bend without fracturing. At least compared to steel.

I think it would make the most sense to at least get BMW to take it apart and inspect it for cracks. I am sure that is something that is in their wheel house. That should help in determining if it is going to be road worthy.

Replacing the body panels is relatively easy. I think there are some videos on replacing door panels.

Re: My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:32 pm
by shellzj
Thanks guys. I had the i3 towed to the closest BMW-certified body shop.

So far, they don't think it's that bad! They think it's the best case scenario with just replacing the door panel and the rear quarter panel plus fitting a new tire. They think it will take 5 business days and cost the insurance company about $2,700.

Re: My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:23 pm
by shellzj
New update; the body shop is saying they have to repair the carbon fiber frame in at least two places and that the current estimate is $12,500+ but that they’re waiting on an adjuster.

Anybody have any experience repairing the frame? This is now turning into a worst case scenario!

Re: My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:19 pm
by vreihen
I remember seeing BMW's training videos online somewhere (YouTube?) for doing frame splices, which is why I knew that this wasn't going to be a cheap repair.....

Re: My i3 Got T-Boned

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:38 am
by shellzj
For posterity who might encounter a similar unfortunate incident--

My i3 has now been sitting in a Houston-area, BMW-authorized repair center for more than 3 weeks with no repairs. It took 3 adjusters from Geico to decide that the car was worth repairing vs totaling. Their 3rd party valuation company was not initially able to find enough comparable to value the car but ultimately decided my 2017 i3 REX (MSRP $58k) with 12k miles was worth about $26k, hence the approval for repairs.

The current repair estimate is about $13,500 for what you can see from the pictures does not look like much damage. But apparently the carbon fiber frame is damaged, which is where at least $10k in expense is coming from.

The body shop says that all of the parts are "back-ordered" and will take at least 2-weeks to receive. So all in all, I'm expecting the i3 to be in the shop for a total of at least 6-weeks.