June 22, 2024

Didcot Gateway

Building Cars, People First

GM dealers are working on Teslas, claims thousands of repairs

GM dealers are working on Teslas, claims thousands of repairs

General Motors dealerships have repaired thousands of Tesla electric cars, GM claimed in its annual investor day presentation.

First spotted by Barron’s, a slide in the presentation simply reads “11,180 repairs on Teslas” without elaboration.

Some level of context came in the corresponding talk from GM president Mark Reuss, who emphasized that “about 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a GM dealer, which gives us unmatched network proximity for the customer sales and service experience…superior service strongly enabled in the dealership model is not easily duplicated by direct sellers.”

Tesla in the past has made it difficult for third parties to repair its vehicles, but its grip is being loosened by right to repair legislation.

Tesla charging (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla charging (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Right to repair bills aim to allow access to detailed repair instructions and some software to enable more independent shops to work on EVs. The Biden administration has stood behind this as a positive for EVs overall, but it’s likely to have a particularly big impact on Tesla repairs.

Tesla has previously hobbled cars that get major rebuilds—or things like battery transplants—at anywhere but its service centers, limiting their charging rates at Superchargers, for instance. It did however recently start inspecting “salvaged” EVs to re-enable features.

Without right to repair laws, even owners of cars that don’t need heavy repairs could be out of luck depending on the willingness of the company to continue supporting older models. Owners of the original Tesla Roadster had to resort to some workarounds with private shops before Tesla started supporting them once again.

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV

Now it seems some of the same protections being put in place for independent repair shops could also benefit GM—one of the world’s largest automakers—and its dealer network.

Further, GM acknowledges that it’s up to its dealerships as to whether or not they want to tackle Tesla repair.

“We do not need to approve dealers to do this,” underscored Chevrolet communications director Shad Balch. “Dealers clearly will try to help any customer they can.”

GM’s dealer network is currently undergoing its own transition to an EV-heavy future. It has looked to its dealerships to deploy destination chargers in communities, and it’s asking dealerships to install chargers and make other changes to prepare for more EV sales. The automaker has offered buyouts to Cadillac and Buick dealers who don’t want to go along with this plan, although hasn’t offered them to its Chevy dealers.

With additional reporting by Bengt Halvorson