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$41,000 Rivian Fender Bender Actually Just Needed Paintless Dent Removal

It's estimated that the PDR job may have cost roughly a tenth of the original body shop quote.
Rivian R1T Dent Hero
via YouTube

New cars can be expensive to repair, especially if they’ve been involved in an accident. One recent example we’ve brought attention to was a new R1T that got into a fender-bender and ended up with an astronomical body shop bill that could have all but paid off a brand-new Honda Civic Type R. It turns out that wasn’t a one-off example.

Yet another Rivian owner got into a rear-end accident recently. Similar to the first incident, the owner was reportedly quoted $41,000 to repair what might as well be the electric pickup equivalent of the notorious Camry dent. Rather than have insurance pay out that amount, the owner sought out the help of Matt “Dent Slayer” Boyette of All Out Paintless Dent Removal—and the results made the truck almost as good as new.

Rivian R1T Dent

Following the accident and body shop quote, the owner began looking around to see if paintless dent removal was an option. They reached out to Boyette and sent over a few photos and videos of the dent. Eventually, the shop agreed to take on the job and the unnamed owner sent the car six hours from North Carolina for work in Jacksonville, Florida.

Boyette instantly figured out why the shop quoted such a high amount once the truck arrived. The R1T’s bed (which is where the majority of the damage is localized) is tied into the same body panel as the cab. That means that it’s also tied into the roof and A-pillar. It also means that in order to properly replace the entire panel the way a body shop would, the back glass, panoramic roof, windshield, and battery pack must all be removed. Boyette said nearly the entire side of the truck would likely have to be repainted if the owner had gone the conventional, costly repair route.

The task of dent removal was further complicated by the construction of the truck. Specifically, the access behind the damaged panel itself, according to Boyette, is “very, very limited.” Still, he spent two days with the truck to stretch the metal back out truck with glue tabs and ratchet straps. He massaged the metal with a combination of heat and hammers to smooth out the texture and rebuild the original body line. By the time he was finished, it looked almost as good as new. There were some small imperfections and a few minor paint chips that need to be touched up, though good luck spotting them without Boyette’s help in the YouTube video.

So while this repair isn’t perfect, it’s pretty darn close. It’s not known how much the customer paid for the repair, but other claims on RivianForums estimate that PDR for similar damage on the R1T ranged between $4,000 and $6,000. And, thankfully, this process didn’t involve cutting and paintwork that could have stretched the undertaking by weeks or months, rather than days.

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