In the latest incident of high repair costs for new electric vehicles, a Rivian owner recently faced a $41,000 estimate for a rear-end collision. To put that in perspective, the base price for the 2023 Rivian R1T Adventure model is $73,000, making the rear-end dent repair nearly 60% of the price of the vehicle.
Like any logical person, the owner sought an alternative solution. Turning to Matt “Dent Slayer” Boyette of All Out Paintless Dent Removal. The damaged Rivian R1T, sent six hours from North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, presented a unique challenge. The complexity arose from the R1T’s construction, as its bed was intricately tied to the body panel shared with the cab, roof, A-pillar, back glass, panoramic roof, windshield, and even the battery pack.
Boyette, recognizing the complexities involved, opted for a meticulous paintless dent removal process. Despite facing limited access behind the damaged panel, he spent two days utilizing glue tabs, ratchet straps, heat, and hammers to meticulously reshape the metal.
The repair, while not flawless, left the truck almost indistinguishable from its pre-accident state. Minor imperfections and paint chips, visible only with close scrutiny, were the only remnants of the collision.
Although the exact cost of the repair remains undisclosed, estimates from RivianForums suggest a significantly lower price range of $4,000 to $6,000 for similar paintless dent removal on the R1T. Additionally, unlike traditional repair methods, which would have involved extensive disassembly and painting, Boyette’s approach allowed for a swift resolution in days rather than weeks or months.
In August, Rivian, along with Tesla, endorsed the “right-to-repair” pact between independent automotive repairers, collision repair experts and automakers. The carmaker expressed its support for third-party collision centers by providing access to Rivian repair manuals, service parts, tools and training. It also said that by developing features that enable third parties and individuals to service Rivians, it aims to be the leader in self-repair.
But of course, there’s a trade-off. Going third-party to avoid costly repairs can create warranty issues according to the company’s FAQs.
Information for this story was found via Carscoops, Matt Boyette, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.