The Tesla Model Y’s Rear End Design Might Make It Extremely Expensive to Repair

Since the hatch is incorporated into the rear bumper, it’s far more likely to get damaged in a fender bender.

byChris Teague|
Electric Vehicles photo

The new Tesla Model Y crossover is finally hitting the streets and faithful EV owners are starting to post photos and reviews across the internet. As we get a closer look at the Model Y, though, one thing is becoming clear: It won't be cheap to fix after a collision. Many new vehicles have body panels that stretch across large swaths of their exterior, but the Model Y's rear hatch is so big that it's integrated into part of its roof and rear bumper.

The same flowing shape that makes for such a convenient cargo opening also means that, by sheer surface area alone, the rear hatch door dominates the back portion of the vehicle. That design undoubtedly makes it easier to load and unload gear into the trunk since there’s no lip to lift over, but imagine the repair bill with such a sizable panel and piece of glass. There's also a much greater chance of it being damaged in an accident since it takes up so much space.

For reference, Tesla Model X owners say the cost to replace the bumper covers on their crossovers runs between $1,500 and $2,000, with a whole bumper replacement costing a bit more than that. Consider the Model Y is somewhere in that same territory, along with the almost inevitable hatch replacement in the case of a rear-end collision, and you'll almost certainly have to pay far more. 

There's no telling, once crash data makes its way to insurance companies, if this will affect owners' monthly rates, though we'd assume that the suite of active safety features could help negate those potential extra costs. Still, this design quirk is likely to be a real pain for owners at some point down the road, even if it's convenient in the meantime.

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