Can it really cost that much?
A screen capture of a Rivian owners Facebook group post is making the rounds online because it claims the cost for replacing a dented bumper is a whopping $42,000. Depending on your feelings about electric vehicles, your immediate reaction is probably to either laugh smugly or think the post is part of some elaborate anti-EV hoax. While it’s possible to fake social media posts like this, there are some photos accompanying the claim and some more details, making for quite the interesting tale to examine.
See how one company helps Rivian owners go overlanding here.
Here are the claimed facts from the post: another motorist rear-ended the Rivian R1T, damaging the rear bumper. The other driver’s insurance originally estimated the damage to be about $1,600. After taking the truck to K-ceps, a body shop in Ohio that’s Rivian certified, which took off the bed and other parts in the rear to examine any and all damage. After over two and a half months, the truck was repaired.
So you can see, the claim people are making that a dented bumper on the Rivian cost $42,000 is misleading at best. The owner doesn’t provide any specific information about what was repaired on the truck, only that “Rivian made some concessions in the repairability in order to keep the aesthetics a certain way.” You could interpret that a few different ways.
If you’ve been involved in an accident where on the surface the damage to your vehicle looks superficial but had the body shop start taking off panels only to find frame damage underneath, you know the bill can balloon in a hurry. Granted, $42,000 is a big repair bill, but keep in mind these Rivian R1Ts start at $74,800.
We don’t know if there was damage to the battery, but if so that could account for the high cost of repairs. Same goes for the frame. And if the process of taking apart and putting back together the truck is complicated, labor costs can add up quickly. Considering the work took over two and a half months, it’s safe to say this was far from a matter of just replacing the bumper.
At the same time, this highlights one of the hidden costs of owning certain EVs. Repair costs are more akin to what you might expect from an ultra-luxury or exotic vehicle, which helps explain why owners have complained about some insurance policies not being available for their car. The fact is being an early adopter in any field comes at a high cost.