Rivian R1T Fender Bender Turns Into $42,000 Repair Bill

Does it really cost as much as a Civic Type R to replace the EV's rear bumper?

Back in February, Rivian R1T owner Chris Apfelstadt was rear-ended in a pretty low-speed fender bender. The rear bumper looked a bit damaged but nothing too serious. However, after taking it to a certified Rivian repair shop, Apfelstadt said the total repair cost was an eye-watering $42,000.

According to Apfelstadt, the other driver’s insurance company estimated the repair cost to be $1,600 and sent Apfelstadt a check. However, when he took his Rivian to one of only three certified shops in central Ohio, the repair bill was just a bit higher than that. The shop allegedly gave Apfelstadt a detailed cost breakdown, documented every step of the repair, and provided photos for proof. The $42,000 repair cost, along with Apfelstadt’s rental car cost, was very close to maxing out the other driver’s $50,000 insurance payout limit.

“The biggest story here is that what appears to be a minor accident on the surface can be much more costly to fix. The truck is designed [to] absorb the impact to limit injuries to the driver and passengers. So in the event of a collision, they need to inspect a lot of parts to make sure they were not damaged,” Apfelstadt told The Drive. “I understand the total repair cost is shocking, but the shop followed the book written by Rivian!”

One of the photos that Apfelstadt posted to Facebook, which is said to be from the repair shop, shows a completely disassembled bed, devoid of any body panels, and even missing its rear glass.

“The back quarter panel was damaged and that piece goes all the way from the tailgate to the front windshield,” Apfelstadt told us.

However, Redditor and fellow Rivian R1T owner Earlgr3yh0t was also rear-ended a few months back, except their rear quarter panel had a basketball-sized dent just below the taillight. They took the R1T to a certified Rivian body shop who said the entire rear quarter panel, as well as some tailgate internals, needed replacing. The total cost of replacing an entire body panel and some tailgate bits was reportedly just over $14,000. So a $42,000 rear bumper replacement seems exorbitant, but Apfelstadt says he’s happy with his truck.

“The shop did a really good job. The body, the paint, and every detail looks exactly like it did when the truck was brand new. These guys are experts in EVs and while I’m sure another shop may have done the work cheaper, I don’t think anyone could do it better,” he said.

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