Tesla’s Official Salvage Policy

Mar 17, 2021   

Tesla has a specific policy pertaining to salvaged vehicles that prospective buyers should keep in mind.

A salvaged vehicle is a vehicle (of any brand) that has been declared a total loss by insurance, commonly after extensive damage caused by a crash, flooding, fire, or hazard. It will continue to be registered/titled as a salvaged vehicle for the remainder of its life. Vehicles declared a total loss are typically used for parts. A number of salvaged vehicles may be purchased at auction and made operable again; however, Tesla does not officially support these vehicles.

For a buyer’s benefit salvage registration/titling can never be removed from the vehicle, meaning that it will appear on the CarFax/vehicle history as well as registration documents (which vary by state) including the title of the vehicle. If a vehicle has been salvaged then that information will appear at some point during the purchase process. Regardless, we suggest requesting a CarFax prior to committing to any prospective vehicle purchase.

Most importantly, Tesla limited warranties and extended service agreements are void the second a Tesla is considered a total loss. Equally important to note is that Supercharging is disabled, and that the vehicle is no longer officially supported on Tesla’s network.

Tesla’s official policy is that “Tesla does not warrant the safety or operability of salvaged vehicles. Repairs performed to bring a salvaged vehicle back into service may not meet Tesla standards or specifications and that is why the vehicle is unsupported. Consequently, any failures, damages, or injuries occurring as a result of such repairs or continued operation of an unsupported vehicle are solely the responsibility of the vehicle owner.”

There is potential for the vehicle to have sustained damage that makes the vehicle unsafe to drive and dangerous for repair technicians to work on the vehicle. Additionally, a salvaged vehicle may damage Tesla’s equipment including Superchargers.

On the other hand, any over-the-counter/unrestricted parts can still be ordered directly from Tesla for a salvaged-titled vehicle.

Tesla will perform repairs on the high-voltage battery system if it can confirm that a vehicle is in compliance with Tesla’s safety standards and vehicle specifications. A “Salvage-Titled Vehicle HV Safety Inspection” may be performed (at the customer’s expense) on the vehicle to determine if battery-related components are safe to work on.

Recalls will still be performed unless the completion of a safe repair is prevented by the condition of the vehicle or third-party modifications.

We allow private sellers to list salvaged vehicles as long as they clearly disclose that the vehicle has a salvage title. (Although it is extremely uncommon to find a salvaged Tesla for sale.)

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