• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
One line of questioning about Ford's move to aluminum for the F-150 centered on the cost of repair. Speaking on the topic, Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, said, "It's expensive, and it's complicated and it's difficult to work with." According to Green Car Reports, Tesla Model S drivers are learning that the expensive way, with a list of repair estimates ranging from $7,000 to fix "a small dent and scratch" to $45,000 for "minor front-end damage." At least one comment on the article supports the terrifically spendy bills, user "bdwaters" saying he got an estimate for more than $6,300 to fix minor damage to a rear quarter panel.

The elevated numbers are put down to a few reasons beyond the difficulties of working in aluminum: the tools and equipment required to fix it are expensive, with one shop saying it spent $100,000 to get fitted out to Tesla standards, and incidentals like rivets and bonding agents are pricey; one repair shop charged $35 for a single rivet, and the bonding agent recommended by Tesla is $100 per tube.

Other commenters on the piece, however, provided their own evidence that ran contrary to the trend mentioned. With aluminum certain to figure in the necessary move to automotive 'light-weighting,' this will end up being an issue that affects huge numbers of drivers. Check out the story on Green Car Reports for the early take.

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