Tesla has informed Repairer Driven News that “Tesla authorized collision centers in the Phoenix area continue to service GEICO vehicles,” despite “false allegations” to the contrary reported by other sources earlier this month.
The OEM was responding to posts by Teslarati and Wham Baam Teslacam, reported on by RDN and other media organizations, that collision shops in Arizona were declining to repair Teslas that are covered by GEICO insurance, because the carrier refuses to provide full reimbursement for the cost of the repairs.
RDN had reached out to both Tesla and GEICO in reporting the story, and received no response from either company. Tesla dissolved its U.S. press department in 2020, and it is not uncharacteristic for the company to be nonresponsive to similar media inquiries.
“Your October 3, 2022 article is based on a false (and since-retracted) article from Teslarati and a false (and since- corrected) tweet from Wham Baam Teslacam,” a Tesla lawyer wrote in a cease-and-desist letter emailed to RDN. “Both Teslarati and Wham Baam Teslacam confirmed that their reports were based solely on the uncorroborated allegations of a single individual. We have further confirmed that all of the Tesla authorized collision centers in the Phoenix area continue to service GEICO customers. Our records further show that the Tesla authorized collision centers in the Phoenix area continue to record dozens of Tesla vehicle repairs that have been paid by GEICO, contradicting the allegations in your article.”
Teslerati has since removed the article from its site, and out of an abundance of caution, RDN has removed the initial coverage from Oct. 3 of the now-retracted reports.
Wham Baam Teslacam, which also reported receiving a cease-and-desist letter, tweeted, “On the 27th of September we Tweeted that ‘none of the Tesla-certified body shops in Phoenix will take GEICO customers because GEICO will not pay what it costs to repair a Tesla.’ What we should have said is that one of our submitters TOLD US that was true.”
A GEICO office in Indianapolis, Indiana. (jetcityimage/iStock)